October 31, 2013 |

Dear Editor

Dear Editor,

Why am I voting and for whom?

In the upcoming election on Tuesday, November 5 seven candidates are running for three available seats on the Culver City School Board. Each brings their gifts, perspective and commitment to our School District.

In assessing the current needs of our District, two major issues stand out: (1) funding for desperately needed infrastructure upgrade and repair with maintenance factored in. And (2) implementation of the federally mandated Core Curriculum necessitating training teachers, parents, staff and students to understand the why and how of this approach to better educate our kids.

Know that I personally like each of the candidates and respect what each hopes to bring. However to most effectively address these two major needs our District is facing my three choices for the School Board are Karlo Silbiger, Claudia Vizcarra and Vernon Taylor.

Mr. Taylor, a senior level executive, in a major financial institution brings much needed financial acumen and connections with other industry professionals with whom to more easily form public-private partnerships that will benefit our students without raising moral issues (such as the recent financial gifts from the oil company fracking nearby our homes).

Like our City Council member Jim Clarke, who brings to Culver City wisdom garnered from working for Los Angeles, so too Claudia Vizcarra brings many years of experience gained both at UCLA and with the LAUSD dealing with educational policy and its implementation.

That coupled with her respectful receptive manner of listening, reflecting and then responding are qualities vitally needed both to implement the new federal requisites, as well as dealing with the diversity of opinions raised re how best to fund our schools' infrastructure needs.

Karlo Silbiger's passion for education and our students is evident from his ongoing pursuit of educational wisdom. He will be the only School Board member with experiential insights re the Core Curriculum as he is the only one actively involved in teaching. Karlo has already accomplished much good and cost savings for the District. And his respect for us,the tax-payers, by delaying the funding issue until both the overt and less obvious factors involved in raising taxes or bonds are adequately addressed wins my respect.

This is why in this upcoming election I am voting for these three candidates. I encourage you to do so too.

Suzanne De Benedittis, PhD

Culver City

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