MP district will take all Tinsley students next year Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Mar 12, 2010 at 12:52 pm
The Menlo Park City School District voted to enroll its full allotment of Tinsley transfer students from the Ravenswood school district. The school board voted unanimously at the March 10 meeting to enroll its usual 24 students, plus 10 "backfill" students for the coming school year.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 12, 2010, 11:49 AM
Posted by Lee Weaver, a resident of the Menlo Park: University Heights neighborhood, on Mar 12, 2010 at 2:12 pm
We're being asked to pay more taxes to keep the teachers so class sizes won't go up, but the increase in class sizes could have been offset if we had eliminated this program. So we're basically being asked to pay more taxes for a random giveaway to whomever happens to live in EPA and gets a lucky number, which could be people from any ethnic or economic group.
Posted by MP Parent, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 12, 2010 at 6:07 pm
We live in Menlo Park and have the unfortunate political history of have three school districts within our towns borders. Regrettably, one of those in underperforming for a variety of reasons. Many of the Tinsley Kids are "true members" of the Menlo Park community with Menlo Park addresses and participation in all other areas of or life. Why not allow them to go to our school - many of these kids are a pleasure to have and motivated to do the best they can.
Posted by Let's help all the kids, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2010 at 9:01 am
Palo Alto takes the largest number of Tnsley kids on an absolute basis, but Menlo Park takes the most of any district as a percent of enrollment. Unfortunately, the Tinsley program is actually hurting the kids who are left behind in the Ravenswood district because of the negative impact of Tinsley on Ravenswood's funding. It would be much better for all the kids in Ravenswood if the district was just split up and taken over by Palo Alto and Menlo Park.
Posted by No Time Like the Present, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm
And there's the problem: "it won't happen ... unions ... politics...."
How about we agree to new parcel taxes AFTER the school districts (unions and elected officials) agree to consolidate to improve the education for all our kids while at the same time lowering costs (more efficient use of the various campuses, reduced administrative overhead, etc). How about Los Lomitas and Menlo Park merge and take all of Atherton and Menlo Park (including unincorporated areas and the eastern parts of the city currently in Ravenswood School District). Palo Alto school district would take the rest of Ravenswood school district (i.e. East Palo Alto). Two school districts vs four. All kids in one of the two, remaining outstanding school districts. Yes, it'd be a tough sell, but the alternative (continuous parcel taxes and continued leaving-behind of Ravenswood) isn't a recipe for success either.
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm
Are you willing to take the lead on this? Or is this just a red herring you bring up to divert the discussion from the pros & cons of the parcel tax?
While much that you say sounds perfectly reasonable, and may even be a great idea, I don't think it's going to solve the immediate problem of how we avoid laying off 17 young, energetic teachers by mid-May. This imminent layoff is the immediate crisis that, in addition to sending the wrong message to our teachers, will measurably degrade the quality of education provided to our young people.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2010 at 2:22 pm
I'm happy to see that the school board did the right thing on the Tinsley transfers.
I agree with Lets that we should be using the current budget issues as a reason to discuss consolidation but can't imagine how to bring the three districts to the table since the staffs in each will fight it.
Steve - The real red herring is the announcement that the city plans to lay off 17 teachers if the $1.37M parcel tax is not passed. The district has a large reserve (last I heard about $15M) that could easily be used to ride out this recession and provide time to consolidate school districts if that was the plan. The truth is that they like to pass a new parcel tax every 3-4 years in order to have revenues keep up with ballooning costs.