Life has trade-offs: We can't afford everything and we must live within budgets. It's a lesson for West Contra Costa school district leaders, including candidates running for school board in Tuesday's election.

Of four people vying for two seats, two understand this. Hence, we endorse retired principal Randy Enos and innovative longtime school volunteer Todd Groves. While supporting school construction, they recognize that it comes at a price.

Incumbent Antonio Medrano and Robert Studdiford, a member of the committee overseeing the bond program, do not. They consider school construction a mission that must be fulfilled seemingly at any cost.

Voters will directly confront the trade-offs with two measures on the same ballot. We've already backed Measure G, which would extend a parcel tax that provides classroom money. The district desperately needs more funds for salaries to attract dedicated teachers.

And we have opposed Measure E, which seeks approval for the district's sixth -- that's right, sixth! -- construction bond measure since 1998. Already potentially on the hook for $1.15 billion of bonds, the district wants to add $360 million more. Property owners would pay a huge $290 annually for every $100,000 of assessed valuation.


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All four candidates support both measures. But Medrano and Studdiford seem oblivious to taxpayer fatigue and excessive school reconstruction costs. Groves and Enos recognize there are limits, that the push for still more taxes for buildings makes it harder to win approval for additional money for classroom teachers.

At least they understand the trade-off.