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School Unification in 3 Beach Cities

October 29, 1992

My interest in split unification, as a citizen and a parent, is accountability. Accountability to the parents of Redondo Beach and the community in Redondo Beach.

Starting in 1959 and lasting for almost five years, the Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization advocated unification of one united district encompassing the existing South Bay Union High School District and the three elementary school districts in Redondo, Hermosa and Manhattan. Elections were held in 1966 and 1972 and the voters overwhelmingly rejected the plan. Why?

People in our community have a strong sense of identity and want that identity carried through in the education of our children. Total unification flies in the face of that community identification and local control.

I've always been one to look for balance in approaching issues, because there are always two sides to any issue. I'm also a firm believer that too much of a good thing isn't always a good thing. As it turns out, too much unification wasn't perceived as better by the voters, either.

So what are we voting for? Nov. 3, we have the opportunity to place a yes vote for what is called split unification . . . unifying our high schools into our local school districts. In Redondo that simply means unifying Redondo Union High School with our 10 elementary/middle schools into one district. A district which is along city lines, keeping our community identification intact . . . a balance with the good things unification provides: Cost savings in administering the district while maintaining the high standards of educational programs we expect from our local schools.

Proposition V represents the right amounts of several good things. Preserving our community-based education, accountability to the people and parents of Redondo Beach, the guarantee that our high school will be there for our children and that we can participate in that education.

The criteria established by the state for unification have been met by the plan before the voters. But more importantly, by a simple majority of voters in Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo, we can strengthen the ties between educators, parents and the communities we live in.

In addition, property taxes cannot increase! But Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach can achieve unified K-12 school districts. Hermosa will get the best of both worlds: choice of high school to attend and a local K-8 school district.

Community-based accountability and balance . . . I urge you to vote yes on Proposition V on Tuesday.

JONATHAN EUBANKS

Chairman

School Unification Now Committee

Redondo Beach

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