Last chance to drop off vote on Measure E

Last chance to vote! Registered voters in Rowland Unified School District (Rowland Heights and parts of Walnut, La Puente and West Covina) have one last chance to vote on the Measure E Special Parcel Tax Election.

The election is being conducted as an all vote by mail election. For voters who haven’t mailed their ballots, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk will have a special satellite ballot drop-off location in the lobby of the Rowland Heights Library at 1850 Nogales St. on Tuesday, June 30 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The ballot drop-off location is exclusively for voters who did not mail their voted ballots in time. It will be staffed by registrar personnel.

Rowland Unified School District is facing more than $13 million in cuts because of the state budget deficit. The district says this will have a devastating impact on every school as well as the educational programs.

Measure E is a local parcel tax that would help raise an estimated $2.5 million annually for five years only. These funds could not be taken away by the state and would provide stable funds to be used to maintain college preparation classes and high school counselors.
Rowland Unified would also use the money to preserve student health/safety/security services, provide adequate instructional materials and classroom technology, keep school libraries open, protect small class sizes, maintain music and art programs and retain qualified, experienced teachers

 If approved, Measure E will cost property owners $10 per month, for a total of  $120 per year, for five years only. Property owners age 65 and over can apply for an exemption.

If passed, the deadline to fill out the senior exemption form is July 30. An independent Community Oversight Committee will be appointed by the school board to make sure that school parcel tax funds are properly spent.

To pass, Measure E must receive at least 66.7% support from those who vote on the measure. For further information, please visit or call (626) 854-8352.

Rowland Adult students graduate

Rowland Adult and Community Education held its graduation ceremony on June 9 at Rowland High School.

Several students received special awards. Student speakers were Carmen Flores and Natalie De La Paz.

A special GED award was presented to Richard Maldonado for the highest English GED score. He achieved a score of 3,120 out of a possible 4,000.

Director Rocky Bettar presented the Director’s Award to Lily Tran for superior achievement and demonstration of a strong desire for learning. Tod Hua got special recognition for his determination in earning a high school diploma.

District PTA President Connie Miranda presented the Ada Mae Warner scholarship to Sarah Mallari.

These classes allow adult students to work at their own pace with one-on-one instruction to finish their diploma. Both morning and evening classes are offered.
For information, call (626) 965-5975 or visit<WC>

Walnut Unified recognizes retiring employees

Walnut Valley Unified School District hosted a retirement recognition event at the District Education Center.

The retirees and their years of service are: John Anderson, 27; Jennifer Chisholm, 28; Ranay Collins, 27; Alex De Lone, 28; Mike Dunphy, 20; Linda Frost, 30; Wesley Garrett, 26; Jackie Hassell, 24; Nina Harvey, 20; Aileen Maruki, 20; Marilyn McMahon, 16; Lupe Reyes, 30; and Diane Tobar, 30.

Rowland Unified fights Districts of Choice legislation

Robert F. Hidalgo, President

of the Rowland Unified School District, sent in an interesting letter to the editor about Districts of Choice. We also understand that Superintendent Maria Ott has traveled to Sacramento twice to testify about matter.

“As public school district board members, we
would like to share additional information that was not included in
your “Choice for Public Schools” editorial (Our View, May 26).

“Educators also believe in choices for parents and students.
That is why there are already numerous options for parental choice that
exist including interdistrict permit programs, charter schools, choice
among district of residence schools, and federal No Child Left Behind
and related state laws. The District of Choice legislation that is due
to sunset in July is an outdated policy that is no longer relevant.

“The California Department of Education conducted an
evaluation of the Districts of Choice Program and concluded that given
that only 3.9 percent of the 100 surveyed districts indicated an active
participation in the District of Choice program, “it seems to be a
small program with very limited impact. The CDE sees no significant
negative consequences to the program’s lapse as scheduled for July 1,

“In fact, the District of Choice provisions offer little
state oversight, no financial relief for districts impacted by the
program, lack of access for all families and would have unintentional
consequences to schools across the state. Although the provisions in
the law are designed to ensure that special education, bilingual, or
other students with special needs are not discriminated against because
of the costs associated with educating these students, there is not
oversight to ensure that students are selected through a random and
unbiased process as specified in the law. Record-keeping obligations
for the district of choice are surprisingly minimal and entirely

“The District of Choice statutes were scheduled to sunset in
July. It is time to allow this poorly monitored legislation to come off
the books.”

Robert F. Hidalgo


Rowland Unified School District

Tom Selinske


Pasadena Unified School District

Mt. SAC graduates share their inspiring stories


Sometimes, we need to be our own heroes. We have to save ourselves before we can help others.

the way, we find inspiration in the stories of those who have overcome
overwhelming odds to accomplish their dreams. Some students graduating from Mt. San Antonio College on
June 12 shared their personal stories.

Porras lost seven years of her life and the father of her youngest
child to meth. The Nogales High graduate became caught up in the world
of methamphetamine, a psychostimulant that induces intense euphoria.

But the La Puente woman turned her life around. Find out how in the Rowland Heights Highlander.

Arcadia teachers vote to roll back pay, save jobs

The Arcadia Teachers Association voted last Thursday on a tentative agreement that would approve a 1.25 percent pay rollback, effective for the next school year. The announcement was posted by Superintendent Joel Shawn on a budget discussion blog entry dated June 12.

The move would allow the administration to rehire all the probationary and permanent teachers who were given layoff notices in March, said Board of Education President Joann Steinmeier in an e-mail.

Shawn said some teachers may be reassigned to different schools.

“In light of horrible economic times, and equally horrible resource cuts by the state, the Arcadia Unified School District family has done everything possible to protect the programs we provide for our students,” he said.

Rowland Unified, Hacienda La Puente, Mt. SAC squeeze summer offerings

Schools are slashing their summer school
programs to save money. Officials say ballooning budget deficits are
forcing them to make hard choices, beginning immediately.

Some are cutting summer school all together, others are
halving their programs. Here’s a list of local schools and their summer

Read more about the changes in the Highlander newspapers.

Vejar students present history quilt to Walnut Mayor


It’s not your grandmother’s quilt.

at Vejar Elementary School in Walnut decided to contribute to the
city’s 50th anniversary by creating a historical quilt.

No, the quilt isn’t 100 years old, but it does cover the city’s history through colorful panels designed by the youngsters.

To do so, the 9-year-olds had to research the past to create the quilt in the present for future generations to enjoy.

is so touching, it’s wonderful. You put so much effort in this and I
wanted you to know how much I appreciate your work,” Mayor Mary Su told
the students on June 2. The students had been bused in to City Hall for
the big presentation.

The mayor said the beautiful quilt will be hung in a prominent place in city hall.
Read the whole story in the Walnut Highlander.