Santa Clara County, CA November 7, 2000 Election
Smart Voter

Eitner, Polanski rate re-election to school board

By Althea Polanski

Candidate for Governing Board Member; Milpitas Unified School District

This information is provided by the candidate
The following is the recommendation of the editorial board of the Milpitas Post. As they have stated, ..."one of the most important decisions will be on a choice of the two school district trustees who will guide the community's public education efforts in coming years..."
Article last updated:Thursday, October 26, 2000 5:45 PM MST

Eitner, Polanski rate re-election to school board

When Milpitas voters cast their ballots Nov. 7, one of the most important decisions will be on a choice of the two school district trustees who will guide the community's public education efforts in coming years.

It is fortunate that two candidates have offered their services, in addition to the two incumbents who seek re-election. That competition will further the thought and debate about the role of Milpitas Unified School District's Board of Education, the condition of the schools here and the academic, fiscal and safety policies and personnel choices which the present board has made.

While there is on-going reason to salute the district for its above average performance, especially up to 100-point increases in the Academic Performance Index, the picture is not without a few clouds on the horizon. There is the financial concern centered on the unanticipated drop in enrollment. Any system as sensitive to per student state funding must be careful of a potential budget crunch caused by circumstances beyond the district's ability to control them.

There are other nagging problems which don't have easy answers. The periodic episodes of juvenile violence at the high school and the regional difficulty of retaining teachers who face astronomical housing costs here continue to bedevil educators.

A hard-working school board can help administrators maintain a stable, productive system. Steadily improving test scores, reductions in dropout rates, and building support from the private sector have all shown excellent progress. And the current board has been instrumental in those things. The two incumbents seeking another term, Althea Polanski and Debbie Eitner, have participated fully in those accomplishments.

Board President Polanski is a 24-year resident of Milpitas. She works hard at her elected position of board trustee. She took a leadership role in helping pass the $64.7-million school construction bond issue and she's continued to help supervise its progress to keep faith with the voters.

Ms. Polanski knows the district's history as well as anyone, and has a terrific understanding of the complex system of funding and bylaws as handed down by the state. She has the best pulse on Milpitas' public school needs. Mrs. Eitner, who teaches in a private school, has also been tireless in her efforts for the district. In addition she has been active in Parent-Teacher Assocations and Girl Scouts in leadership roles.

As a board member, she has worked to lift standards in several academic areas, some of which exceed state standards. She deserves credit for moving forward the Focus on Success program in which 17 different assessments are made to gauge academic improvement. She, along with Ms. Polanski and the rest of the current board, continue to attend weekend workshops to better learn the ins and outs of public school policy. They are the only whole board in the county which attends. Mrs. Eitner also has ideas we like on forging ties with businesses not just financial ones where we believe mentoring and real-world experience can be beneficial.

Both women have been serious, thoughtful board members who deserve to continue in office for another four years. We recommend them to the voters.

Three other candidates aim to dethrone Ms. Polanski and Mrs. Eitner. None is qualified enough to do so......

(The full text is available in the October 26, 2000 issue of the Milpitas Post or at their web site -

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