News

School district starts process to lay off 30 teachers

If parcel tax fails Menlo Park City School District will follow through on layoffs

In a preview of what could be ahead for the Menlo Park City School District if its March 7 parcel tax measure fails, the district's governing board on Feb. 15 unanimously approved starting the layoff process for the equivalent of 30 teachers.

The board will consider additional layoff notices for non-teaching employees in March or April, Assistant Superintendent Erik Burmeister told the board.

Mr. Burmeister called the process "one of the hardest parts" of his job as head of human resources for the district.

The process for laying off employees in the teachers' union, which includes credentialed administrators and specialists, requires that notices be given by March 15, a week after the parcel tax election. The district has more flexibility in laying off non-teaching employees.

The board had asked district staff to plan for the maximum number of layoffs that might be needed to give it flexibility in deciding what positions or programs to eliminate. The list that was approved allows the board to follow through with any, or all, of the reductions on a list of cuts it had earlier considered.

Among the positions the board approved for layoff notices are the full-time equivalents of one director of curriculum and instruction, six kindergarten to fifth-grade classroom teachers, three middle school English teachers, two middle school humanities teachers, one middle school math teacher, one middle school social science teacher, two middle school science teachers, four kindergarten to eighth-grade librarians, three kindergarten to fifth-grade art teachers, two teachers on special assignment, 1.5 technology coaches, 0.33 each of middle school drama and physical education teachers, 0.5 of a Spanish teacher, 0.17 each of middle school teachers of music, art and industrial arts, and 1.5 world language teachers.

If all the layoffs were to go into effect, the district's teaching staff would be reduced by 15 percent, Mr. Burmeister said.

He said that if the parcel tax does not pass, the board will need to hold at least three special board meetings before spring break to decide what cuts to make.

Layoffs will be made by order of seniority, with the last hired being the first to be laid off.

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Comments

35 people like this
Posted by Karen Dearing
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 17, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Karen Dearing is a registered user.

Let's all hope that it doesn't come to this! The district and community have been working tirelessly to make sure the community is well informed of why Measure X is so important to our schools. If you are undecided or leaning toward a no vote, please take th time to become informed before you vote! Read Barbara Wood's excellent articles dating back to last September. Review the District's FAQs on why Measure X is so critical. And remember that the passage of X amounts to a modest $153 increase in your property tax bill.

Web Link


39 people like this
Posted by Jane Gill
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 17, 2017 at 12:27 pm


Easy Solution: Let's start by laying off one-third of the administrators. That's where the BLOAT is.


40 people like this
Posted by Karen Dearing
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 17, 2017 at 12:40 pm

Karen Dearing is a registered user.

Jane Gill, on what facts do you base your accusation of administrator bloat? In recent months, most in this forum have done a nice job of providing evidence/analysis to support their statements so that readers can use the comments to think critically and become informed.


20 people like this
Posted by Karen Dearing
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 17, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Karen Dearing is a registered user.

In case other readers actually care about the facts, our district's administrative spending is actually less than many of our neighbors (based on 2014-15 data publicly available on EdData, when all administrators are included). Web Link

District Administration Costs Per Student

MPCSD
$2,169

Palo Alto Unified
$2,177

Hillsborough
$2,396

Las Lomitas
$2,406

Portola Valley
$3,915

Woodside
$3,937


15 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Feb 17, 2017 at 1:26 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Passage of Measure X will result in a total parcel tax of $1,047 per year with a built-in COLA.
If the NO votes prevail, MPCSD will still collect parcel taxes of more than $675 per year, forever, with a built in COLA.
Unlike traditional ad-valorem taxes which tax properties on the basis of their assessed value, parcel taxes treat little houses the same as BIG houses.


27 people like this
Posted by lisa
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 17, 2017 at 1:43 pm

One of the many wonderful things about our school district is the quality of our teachers. In this competitive world, our kids need all the support they can get to get ahead in life. Even if you don't have children, please try to think of the greater good and vote Yes.


14 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Feb 17, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.


@Karen Dearing:

Why compare MPCSD with Hillsborough, Las Lomitas, Portola Valley, and Woodside? How does it compare with the A.D.A. weighted average of all elementary districts in San Mateo County, including the 4 aforementioned districts?

MPCSD spent $6,180 per A.D.A. in 1999 and $14,007 in 2015. The $6,180 figure, adjusted for inflation, would be $8,792 in 2015. Is that fiscally responsible?
(Adjusted for bay area CPI, $6180 in 1999 is equivalent to $9321 in 2015 dollars. Courtesy of homeowner in Web Link)


24 people like this
Posted by Libertarian Johnnie
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 17, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Jack got his, and now lifts the ladder up behind him. Community!!


35 people like this
Posted by MPCSD Parent2
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 17, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Know the speaker....

Again, with respect to Jack Hickey, others have noted, and it warrants repeating that:

— Mr. Hickey does not live in our district — he is Redwood City homeowner

— Mr. Hickey consistently opposes parcel taxes proposed by school districts throughout the Bay Area

and

— perhaps most importantly, Mr. Hickey has made it clear that he opposes even the notion that we should have quality public schools, claiming that "government schools should be schools of last resort," and that they should at most provide only a “basic” education.

So, when deciding whether to support Measure X, it is probably worth remembering that Mr. Hickey has made it clear that he is not really interested in whether or not our kids are getting a quality education, and he is also not really interested in whether or not our district is being fiscally responsible in providing our kids with a quality education.

Also, I'll take ACTUAL CURRENT comps on admin costs per student over jack and homeowner's PROGNOSTICATING about how per student (ADA) spending should have moved lock-step with CPI.
And yes, spending $14,000/student to provide the quality education our kids get is fiscally responsible. Take a look at this thoughtful article Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 17, 2017 at 5:15 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

Jacks facts are usually off base. He objected the then Burlingame School Dist. discussing the selling of the district offices. The owdn the building. They were not selling a school as he stated.


14 people like this
Posted by Childless In MP
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 17, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Thanks everyone for your thorough comments and responses about this topic! I've learned more about the issues and the people involved (including anti-public school outsiders) this time around. And I'm voting for the parcel tax this time around.

A strong school district is important to our community.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Feb 17, 2017 at 10:04 pm

Steve, where did you dig that up?


Like this comment
Posted by Aaron
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 20, 2017 at 10:00 am

I thought that that MPAEF was paying for the art program in the Elementary Schools. Since they are on the list of lay-offs, it seems my impression was incorrect. If Measure X fails, and if donations to MPAEF don't grow to fill some of the gaps, things look pretty grim for our local schools. But at least housing will become more affordable as the property values plummet.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 20, 2017 at 11:23 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" But at least housing will become more affordable as the property values plummet."

This will have zero impact on property values no matter what the vote.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Feb 20, 2017 at 11:33 am

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Jennifer Bestor made the following comment in another topic: Web Link

"Currently, there are 3000 students who attend our district schools. A similar number attend private schools." She has not answered my question as to where she got this factoid. If it is true, then maybe the quality of the private schools has more to do with inflated property values.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 20, 2017 at 11:59 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"maybe the quality of the private schools has more to do with inflated property values."

Far more Atherton students attend private schools than public schools.

I am not aware of a single Atherton child that attends Selby Lane elementary school.


2 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Feb 20, 2017 at 12:04 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

San Mateo County weighted expenditure per A.D.A. for FY 2014/15 was $10,124.
MPCSD was $14,007.


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