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School funding news keeps getting worse

Original post made on May 15, 2011

Local elementary school districts have been bracing and adjusting for dramatic funding cuts for the next school year as the state wrestles with a $12 billion projected budgetary shortfall. But the latest indications from Sacramento are that the seemingly prudent budget planning by district leaders may not have gone far enough to address the scale of cuts to be made once the dust has settled in the Capitol.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 12:00 AM

Comments (37)

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Posted by Walt
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on May 15, 2011 at 2:32 am

We knew the cuts were coming and more to come. Eventually, the uproar from closed schools and lack of quality education will force actual consolidation (something like an Almanac Unified School District that includes: PV, MP, Atherton, Woodside) since taxpayers will demand services for their dollars. The cuts are just the first actions that will drive survival of the fittest; fittest being the masses in a predominately liberal/democratic State. Basica aide districts will need to ante up their parcel taxes to survive and that will only take you so far before people start to realize that they are aren't even using the schools that burden their tax bill.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 15, 2011 at 6:30 am

These long overdue budget cuts MAY result in consolidation - and that would be the most efficient solution, albeit a partial solution.

There may be an appetite, certainly for those families with children in school, to put a major effort into yet another parcel tax. They will do whatever they can to preserve their quasi private, elite school system... and who can blame them?

But this problem only represents a "sniffle" for a patient with severe pneumonia. Government deficits STILL continue to mount at a truly dizzying pace. Public employees resist serious compensation, benefits and pension reform; taxpayers continue to want new and breathtaking government benefit plans (health care) and new and breathtaking spending plans (high speed rail, stem cell research)

It is all unsustainable.


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Posted by Carla
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 15, 2011 at 7:22 am

Ranella of MPCSD the district can expect a payment from the state of only $588,000 for the fiscal year.

$588,000 is the equivalent of 2.5 administrators in MPCSD, so taxpayers should be expected to pay a lot more in taxes--and deserve to since MPCSD is essentially a private school district but with all the employee protections and benefits of a public one.

Ranella was paid $240,000 last year to run a four-school district after ten years. Ghysels arrives as damaged goods with a serious image problem and will make $205,000 just to start.

Web Link


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Posted by What are you talking about?
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm

District consolidation might save at MOST a few hundred dollars per student, and would basically be in the noise relative to the differences in local funding for each of the districts.

As the member of a district for which fully 25% of the budget comes from voluntary parent (school foundation) contributions, I can assure you that there would be a complete lack of enthusiasm for consolidating with other districts.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 15, 2011 at 5:23 pm

"As the member of a district for which fully 25% of the budget comes from voluntary parent (school foundation) contributions, I can assure you that there would be a complete lack of enthusiasm for consolidating with other districts."

So, in other words, you have what amounts to a basically private school district. God forbid those from across the freeway intrude, right? Here come the code words!


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

What states:"As the member of a district for which fully 25% of the budget comes from voluntary parent (school foundation) contributions"

Then I am sure that you understand that those taxpayers who do not have children in your semi-private school system are disinclined to provide extra parcel tax dollars to 'your' budget. As a taxpayer I want the school that I support to be schools that serve the entire community not just the chosen few.


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Posted by What are you talking about?
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 15, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but those "extra" parcel taxes to which you refer are democratically approved (by no less that a super 2/3 majority at that), and so represent a local community value. Trust me, I'll be voting for parcel taxes for my community long after my kids have graduated from the schools because I understand the many indirect benefits that I receive by having a superior school system which attracts other individuals who see that same value (and thus less crime, more community involvement, and higher property values).

It's not clear what elementary district your kids you are in, Peter, but if it is Menlo Park, I assume that to be consistent you would also be opposed to hotel taxes which are paid almost exclusively by those from outside your local community and who have absolutely not democratic voice in those taxes.


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 15, 2011 at 6:27 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

What states:"Trust me, I'll be voting for parcel taxes for my community long after my kids have graduated from the schools because I understand the many indirect benefits that I receive by having a superior school system which attracts other individuals who see that same value (and thus less crime, more community involvement, and higher property values)."

Code words for the discrimination which exists in OUR school district.
Shame.


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Posted by What are you talking about?
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 15, 2011 at 6:53 pm

That's just a cheap shot to avoid even discussing whether folks should have the right to vote to support what they consider their own local community (ie, district in which they directly live).

I think everybody has their own dividing line. I think even the most liberal here would not advocate for completely open borders in this country, which would have a far larger benefit to the many far less wealthy individuals in Mexico. If you do, good on you. But if you don't then you are apparently just a racist who is unwilling to sacrifice to share with those far less fortunate then yourself.


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

What states:"That's just a cheap shot to avoid even discussing whether folks should have the right to vote to support what they consider their own local community"

"Folks" certainly have the right to vote but I suspect that the next time around the taxpayers will say NO to another parcel tax which simply supports a semi-private and discriminatory school system.

Remember that this thread was about a school funding shortfall and promoting the status quo is not the answer.


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Posted by Shame
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 15, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Peter's never seen a big government bureaucracy he didn't like. Bigger must be better.

How about consolidating EPA, Menlo Park, and Atherton: "East Atherton Park"?

Is it time to tear down the fence on Bay Road?

Peter's the head of the Atherton Civic Interest League. I'm certain his campaign for bigger Government sits well with its members. Not!

Shame.


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 15, 2011 at 7:18 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

Shame states:"Peter's the head of the Atherton Civic Interest League. "

Once again another false statement by an anonymous poster - I resigned as President of ACIL when I was reappointed as a Director of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District last year.

And I have no love for big government as is evidenced by my 2008 plea to local government leaders to cut back - a message which was unfortunately ignored.


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Posted by What are you talking about?
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 15, 2011 at 7:27 pm

This semi-private charge is bogus. 20% of the kids that attend my school are from out of district (either Tinsley transfers or Romero Open enrollees). I support these programs (which come to our basic aid district with basically negative funding since we pay for transit), but I do feel that the 20-50 times property taxes that I pay does entitle me to advocate for increasing my own taxes to fund a school with more commensurate programs especially in light of the 25% private donations which it receives.

If folks in Atherton don't agree that it is a local community value, then you're right they won't vote for it. In my district, the parcel tax is a drop in the bucket compared to the bond measure that we passed to pay for getting rid of the pods on campus, so I do think that within reason a parcel tax increase may not meet the same fate that you anticipate in districts that don't care about their local schools as much.


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 15, 2011 at 7:32 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

What states:"I do feel that the 20-50 times property taxes that I pay does entitle me "

Please explain how you pay "20-50 times property taxes" than others and how what you pay "entitles" you to anything more than others.

And is cash king or are fundamental values more important?


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Posted by What are you talking about?
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 15, 2011 at 8:04 pm

sorry, I meant 20-50x the property tax compared to the parcels from which the imported students come.

The state has an obligation to guarantee that every district is funded at a level that guarantees that a decent education opportunity is afforded every kid within the state. Beyond that is it really that unreasonable for those of us paying disproportionately to expect the local right to create (and pay for) whatever additional school programs we wish to fund with our own tax dollars?

"Shame" has a great point. Your goal not short of advocating to annex all of these local towns into one larger city so that we can all have equal opportunity like in San Francisco (where one feels lucky to be able to enroll in even a mediocre community school).


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 15, 2011 at 8:19 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

What asks:"is it really that unreasonable for those of us paying disproportionately to expect the local right to create (and pay for) whatever additional school programs we wish to fund with our own tax dollars?"

Separate but equal was declared unconstitutional a long time ago.

Separate and unequal has never been morally acceptable.

Cash/wealth does not trump the right of every child to have an equal education.


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Posted by What are you talking about?
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 16, 2011 at 1:40 am

Spare me the rhetoric. On the one hand you say that it's ok to advocate for parcel taxes and on the other hand I'm a racist if I'm willing to support my local school through contributions and greater local taxes.

I agree that legal segregation is wrong, and I support the existing programs which do place about 20% of students from minority districts into my own (with a minimal funding mandate), but I don't apologize for not want sacrifice my school to uniform mediocrity that would come with consolidation. And that's not fear of the integrated students, that's fear of loss of funding because the broader community isn't willing to directly support their schools the same way that my community is.

To the extent that there is a problem it's a problem that needs to be fixed at the state level. Prop 13 is first in line in that regard, but good luck getting political support on that one.

Beyond this, I think we'll just have to agree to disagree. As for the practical reality of consolidation, you keep talking about it as though it is some kind of financial solution which it is not. As has been explained elsewhere, it makes no sense for a basic aid district to consolidate with a grant limit district. Doing so will only make the entire district funded by State Grant average daily attendance vs basic aid and local property taxes.

Basic aid exists to allow local property taxes to remain local and no other reason. In general it happens to support mostly rural and primarily commercial districts (think Bakersfield oil fields).


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 16, 2011 at 8:12 am

What states: "I agree that legal segregation is wrong, and I support the existing programs which do place about 20% of students from minority districts into my own (with a minimal funding mandate), but I don't apologize for not want sacrifice my school to uniform mediocrity that would come with consolidation."

The first part of your statement is called appeasement. Never mind that it's a handful of kids who get bussed to other schools, you seem to have no problem sacrificing at least 80% of those kids who didn't win the Tinsley lottery. Your altruism is overwhelming.

The second part of your statement assumes that consolidation resulted in mediocrity. Why would you assume that? With the millions of dollars in savings that comes from getting rid of multiple superintendents (one just hired for a quarter of million dollars...), accountants, business managers, clerks, staff and facilities, you could RAISE the poorer performing districts to match those of the elitist districts.

Mr. Carpenter has accurately noted the reason it has little support from families with children attending these schools. I understand why it would be so painful to see your own blemishes.


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Posted by Love It!
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on May 16, 2011 at 10:45 am

Fairly typical of this topic, someone throws in the race card, when in fact it is not about race, it's all about socioeconomics. "What are you talking about" has absolutely hit it on the head. Also, it is a fact that Tinsley kids have lower test scores, API scores etc., this is not racist it is fact. There have been some people that think that perhaps it's not a good thing to ship the kids into the District, these kids feel out of place and not as confident. I chose to live here because of the schools, Las Lomitas is #1 in the state for API scores, MPCSD is within the top 20. I chose this area for this reason, and WE all benefit from this from the education our kids receive, to the home prices. It's nice to think we could all "share this wealth", but there's no way I would allow this District to sacrifice what it has built, what it has invested in and what it has paid for, all in the name of "giving all the kids a chance". Sorry, I said it, I'm blunt about it, but I'm not a hypocrite or racist. I've worked hard to get here, and I'm heavily invested into this community, and in my own kid's education. We need to do a redo on Prop 13 and have the folks commenting on this issue have their taxes increased. I wonder how THAT would fair with those of you commenting that either don't have kids, or don't pay the taxes many of us newbies do.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 16, 2011 at 10:57 am

Love it states:"We need to do a redo on Prop 13 and have the folks commenting on this issue have their taxes increased. I wonder how THAT would fair with those of you commenting that either don't have kids, or don't pay the taxes many of us newbies do."

I have been on public record and in this forum for years objecting to the fact that, because of Prop 13, I pay far lower taxes than my neighbors who receive the same services.

I also believe that my tax money should provide equal education for all children and not be used to support a semi-private school system.

The high schools have successfully integrated a larger geographical area, why can't the elementary schools? The lower performance of the Tinsley students is a direct consequence of having two separate systems with dramatically different support systems, not a sign that those students are inherently inferior.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 16, 2011 at 11:00 am

Like lots of government agencies, you are welcome to support your high-priced, overstaffed, bloated educational bureaucracy.

But you would be wise to heed the recent news. Governor Brown is releasing his "all cuts" state budget today. It won't be pretty and it's just the beginning.

Your overspending is equally unsustainable. Unless you develop a more economic model, it will be subject to the same fate.


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Posted by Love it!
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on May 16, 2011 at 11:37 am

I'm not sure what set you off Mr. POGO, sorry this posting, like many other postings, have angered you. Jerry can bring all he wants with his cuts, fortunately the MPCSD only receives about 7-8% in state funding the rest is thru property taxes and the foundation. We'll survive, and our "semi-private school system" will survive too. Why be envious, shouldn't you be proud of our community? Odd bunch.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 16, 2011 at 11:49 am

I'm not the least bit angry. But I am realistic and I'm watching this story play out all over California. Just last week, San Mateo County released their latest update that property tax revenue is continuing to fall.

It is happening in Woodside, Atherton and, yes, even in the tony enclave of Menlo Park. Don't believe me? Watch the rumblings about cutting teacher pay and benefits, losing sports and after school programs, and, heaven forbid, increasing class sizes. You can try to increase yet another parcel tax, but that ship seems to have sailed.

But none of that has to happen if the districts become more economical. Having $250,000 a year superintendents and all of that staff for our tiny local school districts that together barely comprise a single district, is simply wasteful. It's something we can no longer afford.

You ignore it at your own peril... and that's not anger.


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Posted by Observer
a resident of Woodside High School
on May 16, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Peter, what leads you to believe that the high school district is an outstanding example of integrating a larger area.


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

Observer asks:"Peter, what leads you to believe that the high school district is an outstanding example of integrating a larger area. "

Just the facts:

Los Lomita Elementary K-8

% minority 29.5

Menlo Park Elementary K-8

% minority 32.1

Ravenswood City Elementary K-8

% minority 99.0

vs Sequoia Union High School District

% minority 69.0


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Posted by What are you talking about?
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 16, 2011 at 1:41 pm

"Love it!" -- POGO does have one thing right which is that basic aid districts will not be immune to feeling the next round of budget cuts and not just because of overall declining property tax revenue. The legislature has included "fair share" reductions for basic aid districts which actually exceed the "basic aid" that is directly given by the state. The reality is that the next round of cuts will indeed be painful.

On the other hand POGO's suggestion that consolidation is the panacea which will solve the problem is ill informed, imho. Menlo Park with its 4 elementary schools spent $1511 per student on administration in 08-09 according to NCES. Las Lomitas did spend more on its 2 school at $1989 per student, but combining the two districts is not going to reduce the overall amount by more than a few hundred dollars additionally.

But the cost of consolidating Las Lomitas with Menlo Park would mean Las Lomitas would share parent contributions and income from two leased school sites with Menlo Elementary totaling over $2500 per student.

I can understand why Menlo Park might want to consolidate with Las Lomitas to grab a share of their cash flow, but I don't see what's in it for Las Lomitas.

For me it's not about socio-economics, it's about economics, period.

And the discussion of consolidating with Ravenswood is the most bogus of all. To do so would certainly result in the loss of basic aid status which would cost thousands of dollars per student additionally.

Peter C. has not hidden the fact that his real agenda is not about fiscal matters but rather desegregation. I'm fine with having that discussion, but I view that as a mandate that needs to be funded at the state level rather than placing the burden on a few nearby districts. Hey as long as we're at it, why not roll in all of the east bay schools? Where do we stop? You know schools in Alabama are funded even worse than our own.

POGO's agenda is, however, less obvious to me. The fiscal claim simply doesn't make any sense unless you are in Menlo Park....


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

What states:"Peter C. has not hidden the fact that his real agenda is not about fiscal matters but rather desegregation"

Actually I began a separate thread calling for consolidation of the local elementary school districts precisely on the basis of economic efficiency. As I explored the data I discovered, to my profound dismay, how racially segregated are our three local elementary school districts.

I have therefore come to believe that consolidating these three elementary districts would be BOTH fiscally efficient and morally correct. I don't doubt the difficulties of such a consolidation but, having grown up in the segregated schools in the Deep South, I am ashamed to find them here in the 21st century and even being added to by the recent shift of the Pacific Parc students from Ravenswood to the Menlo City School District. The current funding pattern is a convenient excuse for ignoring this segregation but it is only that - an excuse.


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

The just released State Budget proposal by the Governor increases support for community colleges and schools but the proposed level of funding is "still $4 billion below the 2007-8 funding level".


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 16, 2011 at 6:38 pm

What ARE you talking about? I NEVER suggested "that consolidation is the panacea which will solve the problem."

It is but ONE factor that will help.

I'm always amazed that people use the fact that there is no single fix as an excuse to do nothing about a problem. We can't cut a single government program or make it more efficient because it really won't have a big impact. On the contrary, I think saving "a few hundred dollars a student" is a big deal, a VERY big deal, in fact... especially when you have thousands of students. As Everett Dirksen reportedly said, "a billion here and a billion there, pretty soon you're talking real money." I think saving a couple of million dollars in redundant administrators and allocating it to classrooms is a good idea.

When your family budget is underwater, you cut back on eating at restaurants, going to movies, skipping a vacation or buying new clothes. Yet none of those actions will solve your problem. So why do we do them at all? The reason is that, in aggregate, they do put your family in the right direction and set a tone for everyone. It's a start; you are doing SOMETHING.

Schools need to do this also. In this case, the low hanging fruit is administration at the district level. We have several incredibly small districts - some with one school! - and each has their own superintendent and a full staff. At a time when money is tight and they are threatening cut backs, that simply doesn't work anymore.

Consolidation is ONE of the answers. Consolidating Woodside, Portola Valley, Menlo Park, Las Lomitas and Ravenswood will make for a very average size district with the efficiency of a single superintendent and one staff. Eliminating five district staffs would seem to be a good thing, especially when money is so tight.

I have no illusions that the parents of children at these elite "private" schools will embrace this idea and as long as they are willing to pay the price (and convince their neighbors), they can do whatever they want. You see, my agenda is remarkably simple - I prefer to see efficiency in our government at every level - a very foreign concept, I admit.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 16, 2011 at 7:15 pm

As POGO notes "the parents of children at these elite "private" schools ...... as long as they are willing to pay the price (and convince their neighbors), they can do whatever they want."

They also need to remember that the voters without children in these tax supported "private" schools vastly outnumber those who do have children in these schools and any parcel tax proposal faces the very difficult threshold of 2/3's approval. In the past most voters without children in the schools simply opted not to vote - that will not happen in the future.

Interestingly the Ravenswood District just received 68.5% voter approval to double their parcel tax while Los Lomitas decided not to even try for a new parcel tax.


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Posted by What are you talking about?
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 16, 2011 at 8:06 pm

As I have repeatedly pointed out (and has been repeatedly ignored), consolidating with the Menlo Elementary district would be a huge financial disadvantage to each of the Las Lomitas, PV, or Woodside districts.

If you are in the Menlo district I can see why you might advocate for it, but the few hundred dollars per student that it might (or might not) save would force these districts to share thousands of dollars of locally raised revenue.

And as has been repeatedly ignored, converting the district to a grant limit district by consolidating with Ravensdale would be a financial disaster, but if you think it would be a good idea for the Menlo district, go for it.

Fwiw, administration can be shared without consolidating districts. Woodside and Portola Valley shared a superintendent prior to Ms. Abatti's appointment.



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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 16, 2011 at 8:27 pm

What states:"And as has been repeatedly ignored, converting the district to a grant limit district by consolidating with Ravensdale would be a financial disaster,"

Not true, this has not been ignored but rather noted that "The current funding pattern is a convenient excuse for ignoring this segregation but it is only that - an excuse."

Social justice is seldom free - primarily because those who have the benefits of social injustice will fight to preserve those benefits ala "converting the district to a grant limit district by consolidating with Ravensdale would be a financial disaster".


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Posted by What are you talking about?
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 19, 2011 at 4:16 am

[Portion removed. Please refrain from personal attacks.]
So, we have Tinsley in place, and let's be clear, I checked and the program is not and never has been fully subscribed in all the participating districts, notwithstanding the popularity of the Palo Alto Unified District, which gets the brunt of the application backlog (and why wouldn't it; heck I'd love to be able to send my kids to high school there). San Carlos and Belmont are replete with API 10 top decile schools, and the former has not always filled, and latter has never filled.

So it's not like there are not good, nay strike that, excellent options available to every minority student in the Ravenswood District. And it goes beyond that, absolutely every minority student at Ravenswood's worst performing school can go to ANY higher performing district that he she wants subject only to the district not being completely filled to the point of not accepting even in district students by virtue of the Romero act.

And the costs for these programs are borne primarily upon the participating VTP districts, so there is no free ride here.

So it would be helpful to me to understand exactly which social injustice you plan to address here because it doesn't seem to be opportunity. And it's not clear to me that it is program based funding either since Ravenswood is funded at a superior level to MP Elementary on an overall revenue basis.

So is the "social injustice" statistical, the fact that economic segregation occurs at all? I guess that's unfortunate, but it seems harder to change. Because even after your master plan of rolling all of the districts into one grand district (let's not forget to please include PAUSD in that plan, please), the Ravenswood schools will still have the same 9X% minority students as they did before, with voluntary participation.

Unless... Unless you haven't yet shared the rest of your master plan: forced integration by busing non-minority students from their home districts into East Palo Alto. That will definitely even out the numbers. I'm assuming that is what you intend because I don't see integration coming to Ravenswood's schools soon without it.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 19, 2011 at 7:40 am

Let's use a private sector analogy. If I suddenly found myself managing five separate divisions(school districts) with 20 plants (schools) each producing the same product and having approximately the same cost per unit but yielding very different quality I would make sure to move my best workers(teachers) to the lower quality plants, spend extra management time at those plants and consider having one or more of the plants begin to specialize in the production of more difficult products(magnet schools). There are lots of others things that I would do, like eliminating duplicate overhead at the divisions and plants, but none would involve large scale trucking of work in progress (students) from one plant to another.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 19, 2011 at 7:49 am

It is truly ironic that the same people who think it was such a good idea for our government to shift money from the "haves" to the "have nots" to provide health care insurance, seem to be doing everything humanly possible to preserve their privileged, little, private school districts. Unfortunately, their justifications are completely at the expense of children and families in less fortunate districts who don't have political clout.

Why try to improve their teachers, facilities and curriculum when you can ease your conscience by throwing them $100 of eScript every year?

Yes, that seems completely fair to me.


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Posted by Fair Share
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 23, 2011 at 10:34 pm

These superintendents have these cushy admin jobs getting paid top dollars to put fear in voters to keep the gravy train going. It's about time the State got their stuff together and send the "fair share" cuts down the food chain. I guess these democrats are serious about leveling the playing fields for the kids. I am a major tax payer and I am glad to see the squealing and hopefully the voters will realize that at some point us tax payers are going tighten the faucet. Push for consolidation or see your schools close doors....I am glad I don't have to worry about schools.

"Eric Hartwig, superintendent of the Las Lomitas School District, said his district faces similar pain, and worries that without the tax extensions the Legislature might pass new bills allowing lottery money to be withheld from the state's schools, and reducing the guaranteed $120 per student all districts receive from the state.

The four elementary school districts in the Menlo Park area -- Menlo Park City, Las Lomitas, Portola Valley and Woodside, all basic-aid districts -- will be affected by the so-called "fair share" funding cut signed by the governor several weeks ago. That measure will cost basic-aid districts in the state 8.9 percent of what is normally paid to them in categorical funds.

Superintendent Tim Hanretty of the Portola Valley School District said the "fair share" cut will cost his district about $350,000. In an April 13 report, Hanretty said the district may be facing another $225,000 if the tax extensions aren't approved.

But Hartwig said that the state Legislative Analysts Office on April 14 indicated that school districts should prepare for a hit of about twice what was originally predicted should the taxes not be extended. In Las Lomitas' case, that means a loss of $900,000 to $1 million rather than the $485,000 the district originally was told to expect."


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Posted by POGO You are right
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on May 30, 2011 at 1:48 am

Your comment on the irony of these people trying so hard to protect their little rich school districts is right on. It's easy to sit there with their ivy league degrees and "think" it out and play God, but when it affects their little liberal kids things get personal.

Keep up the great work Jerry Brown, the people voted you in to spread the wealth; yes even these white liberal voters on the peninsula in the basic aid school districts.


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