STATE FUNDING cuts have hit the Lafayette School District hard. Over the past two years, the district has had to cut $2 million from its budget and faces a $1.4 million deficit in a $24.5 million budget.

The next round of spending reductions will be more difficult because much of the non-classroom cuts have been made. Without new sources of revenue, programs, class size and other important educational services would be in jeopardy.

The five candidates seeking the three seats on the board understand the seriousness of the situation and are willing to work hard to get more donations from parents clubs and the Lafayette Arts and Science Foundation.

But even with increases from these sources, all five agreed that a parcel tax will be needed to preserve the high academic rating of Lafayette's schools.

Lafayette homeowners already are paying more than $600 annually in parcel taxes to the Lafayette and Acalanes school districts, which will make it difficult to pass any tax increases.

The candidates include incumbents Teresa Gerringer and Art Kapoor and challengers David Gerson, Berch Parker and Saveth Soun.

At this time, with so many fiscal troubles, we believe that it is important to retain experienced board members who have already dealt with tight budgets and understand how the district operates. That is why we are endorsing incumbents Kapoor and Gerringer.

Selecting a third choice for the board is particularly difficult because all three challengers would make excellent board members. We feel that Parker has a combination of education and business experience that would serve the board well and deserves to be elected.

We recommend that voters support Kapoor, Gerringer and Parker on Nov. 2.