Vikings work to save their teachers, reap benefits


By Kaitlin Sharpe and Mackenzie Merkel

There are many benefits of attending a public school, such as the diversity that comes with different economic and social backgrounds. However, since it belongs to the San Diego Unified School District, La Jolla High must cope with budget cuts that private schools do not encounter.

At the end of the last school year, La Jolla High School students were stunned by the news of a budget cut. Six teachers, a counselor, and the librarian were issued pink slips - notices that their positions were terminated due to a lack of funding.

Though shocked, students were not complacent. They banded together to save their teachers in several forms of fundraising. Between a phone-a-thon, rally, and private donations, students raised enough money to make an incredible difference.

The first step of their fundraising was on June 4, 2008, when more than 100 students gathered on the corner of Nautilus Street and Fay Street to promote awareness of the situation. The rally excited people driving by as they honked their cars in support of the student’s situation. Though this raised support, other ventures were needed to aid the school’s financial situation.

Students and the La Jolla High School Foundation then organized a phone-a-thon, where they eagerly dialed the homes of the La Jolla community in order to raise funds. Their efforts were successful, and along with private donations from parents, La Jolla High School has currently raised around $94,000. This money has allowed the school to keep teachers and counselors and preserve programs, therefore keeping their class sizes down and improving their education.

Due to the teamwork of students and families, the learning environment remains partially unchanged. Yet despite strong efforts, the fundraising is not done. Some aspects of our educational setting have been damaged. We currently are lacking a full time librarian, which means we can only visit our Library Media Center three days a week. Though this is a problem, the administration is fervently working to increase Library hours. This raises the question of the slippery slope. As the district continues to cut the budget, and our programs continue to slip, when will they stop?

It is because of problems like these that the La Jolla High School body is working hard to keep their school the way it is. They understand that as programs and teachers are dismissed, there is a strong chance they will not be brought back. It is imperative that students realize that the present is the only time to fix the budget problem; there is no telling what the future holds if we are not dedicated to the cause of education.

Fortunately, the staff and students of La Jolla High School are devoted to their education. We are certain that a budget cut, no matter how big, will not crush our spirits. Dealing with these problems found at public schools prepares us for the real world - a world filled with economic stresses as witnessed in the recent Wall Street meltdown.

Kaitlin Sharpe, senior, and Mackenzie Merkel, junior, are co-editors-in-chief of the High Tide at La Jolla High School.