ACIL & Atherton should consider better supporting our schools Atherton, posted by Jenny Redo, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2011 at 2:16 pm
I recently learned that Atherton Civic Interest League (ACIL) is considering sending money to the Community Coalition on High Speed Rail (CCHSR) while they voted down sending money to public schools in Atherton.
As you are likely aware, all public schools are feeling the economic crunch. Atherton has one school in particular, Selby Lane School, where over 80% of the children live below the poverty line and desperately needs community support (both financial and volunteers). Selby cut 25% of their budget in the last three years yet their enrollment is completely full and their average Kindergarten student to teacher ratio is currently 31:1.
I urge anyone reading this to consider doing the following:
1)Give ACIL your feedback by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org
2)Find a way to help your local public school (regardless of if you have children there). Selby Lane School has a foundation and you can email them at email@example.com. If you are living outside the area and reading this, consider going to DonorsChoose. Here is the link to a Selby Lane Teacherís Wish list there: Web Link
Posted by Susan Speicher, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm
It is easy to look the other way when our children are grown or in private schools. However, Selby Lane School, our neighborhood school, needs the support of the people in Atherton now more than ever. There are many ways to give time and/or money to programs at Selby Lane School. Whether you spend an hour tutoring a student or give money to buy him/her a book, you'll get back more than you give.
Posted by Fiscal issues, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2011 at 4:21 pm
It seems like people in Atherton would rather donate money to the police department than to its schools. What would happen if we outsourced the police department, saved $2M per year, and gave $1M of it to improve our schools? How much would our property values go up if we had public schools at the level of Palo Alto or Los Altos? Seriously.
Posted by Alan Miller, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Feb 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm
Since High Speed Rail will devastate California's budget for decades to come, and California has a long track record of robbing school funds in order to pay for the rest of the budget, it stands to reason that one of the best ways to support our schools is to derail High Speed Rail.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Feb 17, 2011 at 4:38 pm
The citizens of California have decided long ago that schools should be supported by property taxes and, if approved by the voters, parcel taxes.
It makes no sense to take more money from the Town of Atherton, which already contributes to the school through its ERAF payments, to divert tax revenues to the schools. If the schools deserve more money then they should ask the taxpayers for a parcel tax not subvert the requirement for a voter approved parcel tax by trying to get tax dollars from Atherton.
As for ACIL, it simply doesn't have any extra money to give away.
Posted by Patricia Brown, a resident of another community, on Feb 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm
As a resident of an unincorporated area adjacent to Atherton, I strongly support the point of view expressed by Jenny Redo. Schools are facing catastrophic cuts, potentially reducing instructional days by 30-40 days a year. We all must put our children as the highest priority.
Posted by Jenny Redo, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Feb 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm
Just to add a couple more items:
* If ACIL doesn't have the money or time to support any school, why does their website home page state their #2 project is "to improve the Redwood City School in Atherton"?
* Selby Lane School receives in government funding about half (per student per year) that the other Atherton public elementary schools receive. If you add parcel taxes and donations, the gap widens even further.
Posted by Desiree Richmond, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Feb 18, 2011 at 3:08 pm
In response to Peter Carpenter's comment that the ACIL "doesn't have money to give away" I would have to ask why they are giving money to the anti-high-speed rail project? A friend of mine whose child WOULD go to this school (they live in Atherton) told me that the school is so terrible that they wouldn't even consider it. That's awful. Either the ACIL doesn't have money to give away or they should start off by making sure that their own back yard is in order, instead of giving money to lawyers and legislators fighting over the train.
Posted by Margaret Watson, a resident of another community, on Feb 18, 2011 at 3:46 pm
Education needs to be a top priority and funding needs to come from the communities because it is not coming from the State of California. Every community has to "step up" and help to finance our schools.
When I went to Selby Lane (many years ago), I attended school with many Atherton residents. The community embraced the school. I agree that ACIL should consider funding their local public school.
Posted by Don't want my name in the paper, thanks, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jun 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm
Peter Carpenter comments that we should not "make the Atherton Town Council" pay for everybody in the school district. Absolutely correct. However, the ACIL is the "Atherton Civic Interest League," not the town council. It's a nonprofit devoted to improving the quality of life in Atherton. Selby Lane school is in Atherton and perhaps Mr. Carpenter might be swayed by the concept of noblesse oblige, if not common neighborliness. It's an Atherton school. We should support it. Secondly, that type of high-handed "let them eat cake" attitude might be why ACIL used to have over three hundred members, but after Mr. Carpenter was at the helm, membership has dipped precipitously.
Finally, the huge boondoggle that is high-speed rail is a huge problem, fought by deep-pocketed people in money-dripping venues. The amount of money that ACIL wants to donate is just a drop in the bucket. That drop in the bucket when applied to Selby Lane schools, however, could result in a better life and higher literacy for some kids who really need it.
Use the money for the school and educate residents to come out and picket against the high-speed rail!
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Jun 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm
Don't want my name in the paper - I wonder why not?
You are perfectly comfortable slandering others, why should you not be ridiculed for your excessive debts, your personal shortcomings, leaving your trash cans out too long and your otherwise despicable behavior?