MVHS’s financial priority needs to return to education


Nathan Desai

Amazing things are happening at MVHS. For the first time ever, our field has lights, there are plans to renovate the library and we will finally get to host a Homecoming football game that is actually at home. MVHS is starting to fit in with the rest of the Silicon Valley with its new high-tech and modern appearance.

MV’s new football field is visually appealing and ready for action. However, the construction has also led to some budget problems. Photo by Nathan Desai

Of course, “high-tech and modern” doesn’t come cheap. It has taken approximately $13 million in order to fund these new amenities. The money comes from a bond measure signed four years ago that promised almost $200 million dollars for new tracks and fields for all FUHSD schools. But money doesn’t grow on trees. All that money is coming from tax dollars. A proportion of tax dollars is usually spent on schools anyway, but this much money is rarely dedicated to a sole purpose. However, if there is one cause that deserves the money, it’s the teachers.

Teachers are essential to running a school. Without them, students would have nothing to learn. Having a shortage of teachers completely defeats the purpose of a school.

MVHS only hired one teacher for the 2012-13 school year. While it is arguable that hiring only one new teacher indicates that MVHS already has a solid group of educators, it also reveals a lot about the budget of our school.

Our only new teacher, Ashley Stolhand, teaches Spanish 2, PE 9, and Government and Economics. It seems like good business to hire one teacher who can fill all three roles, but it also hints at consolidation that might occur in the future, which could cause MVHS to sacrifice some of its teaching staff.

According to a story published by El Estoque in June 2011, FUHSD checked its budget at the end of the 2010-11 school year and realized that it could be financially unstable during 2012-13. The district would have to lay off some teachers and make budget cuts. However, the next year, the district made plans to construct a new field at MVHS. And at the end of the 2011-12 school year, teachers were laid off, and only one was hired.

Even though the bonds were allocated directly to creating a new track and field, if the ballot hadn’t passed, MVHS could have received a proportion of those funds. That money could have been used on staff salaries, textbooks and computers.

Although everyone is proud of our new field, a lot has happened behind the scenes to accommodate its cost.  But the next time MVHS makes a huge investment like this, it needs to remember that it is first and foremost a school. Education is more essential to its purpose than athletic amenities.

In fact, if MVHS didn’t have teachers, it wouldn’t even be a school. And if it wasn’t a school, it wouldn’t even need a new field.