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2 Challenge Incumbents in Mountain View District

November 03, 1985|RHONDA M. GIVENS | Times Staff Writer

Funding, expanding educational programs and improving communication between board members and parents are the central issues in the school board election Tuesday in the Mountain View School District.

Five candidates, including three incumbents, are vying for three seats in the district that includes El Monte and part of South El Monte. It has nine elementary schools, one intermediate school and one junior high. The top three vote-getters in the districtwide race will win.

Dolores Molina, 36, an eligibility worker for the county Department of Public Social Services, said she would like to see more effort aimed at keeping students from dropping out.

"There is a high dropout rate for Hispanics in this area," Molina said. "If we can spark their interest while they are in elementary school, we can lay a foundation and hold onto them as they pass through school."

80% Latino

Latinos make up 80% of the enrollment, according to district figures.

Although Molina has no specific plan, she said improving relations between Latino parents and the board would be a start.

"If we can reach the parents, then we can reach the kids," she said. "Right now, Hispanic parents are underrepresented and don't feel like they have anyone to address their needs."

There are two Latino board members, President James Galvan, who has two years remaining on his term, and Andrew Prado Jr. The board has five members, including Harold Wylie, whose seat is not up for election.

Prado, 44, said he is committed to serving the entire community and does not believe there should be emphasis on any one segment.

'For All Children'

"I think the programs we institute are for all children," Prado said.

Prado, employed by Davis Walker Corp., a wire manufacturer, said he is running so he can continue programs, such as bilingual and migrant education, that he has helped create during his 12 years on the board.

"The district has a $20-million budget and receives about $7 million to $8 million from the state, but because most of the state funding must go toward specific programs, not enough money goes to the programs I'd like," Prado said. He wants more funds for music, art, sewing and home economics.

Another concern for Prado is the growing enrollment. For the 1985-86 school year it is 7,819 students, 217 more than the 1984-85 school year.

To meet the growth, a new elementary school, Twin Lakes, was opened last week. It will serve 600 students.

Expects More Students

Prado's concern, however, is that more schools will be needed sooner than the district can afford to build them.

Nancy Quiroz, 42, a member of the Mountain View School District Advisory Committee for six years and chairman for four, said she is running because she wants the board to become more aggressive in its search for money.

Quiroz, whose two children attended district schools, said she also wants parent groups to get more respect from the board.

"Parents are treated with token concern," she said. "The board members believe they are pro tem parents, but they are not. They are there to govern.

"Parents need to know what the board is supposed to do. If they did, the board wouldn't have this mystique about it." She added, "People see the board as ominous figures" and "board members are not accessible" to parents.

More Parent Participation

Incumbent Clayton Clay Hollopeter, 47, administrator of the Boys' Club of San Gabriel Valley, said he would like to see more parent participation with the board.

"This is a working person's community with a lot of single-parent families, so it is hard for parents to get involved," said Hollopeter, who has been on the board for five years, including one year after his appointment to fill a vacancy. "But I'm always interested in what parents say and think."

Hollopeter said he wants the district to acquire more textbooks so each student can have his own to take home for assignments. At present, students receive photocopy assignments from textbooks, he said.

Hollopeter also wants a longer school day.

"If we extended the school day by an hour, junior high school students could get into science and math a little more and even take an elective," Hollopeter said.

Young Stresses 3 Rs

Robert Young, 61, a layout engineer, has been a board member for 16 years. Young said he is running for reelection to help maintain the quality of education.

Young said he would continue to stress the importance of reading, writing, arithmetic and computer literacy.

"To do this you need good teachers," Young said. The best way to get and maintain a good teaching staff, he said, is to offer seminars and programs to upgrade their techniques.

"This is what we've tried to do in the past, and this is what I want to see us continue to do in the future," he said.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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