News

Tuesday deadline to vote on school parcel taxes

 

Voters in the Menlo Park City School District have until Tuesday, May 3, to mail or drop off their ballots, or vote in person, on two parcel tax measures.

Mailed ballots must be postmarked on or before May 3 and must be received by the Elections Office no later than Friday, May 6.

Voters may deliver ballots to the Registration & Elections Division's 24-hour ballot drop box at 40 Tower Road in San Mateo any time before 8 p.m. on Election Day (May 3) or to Menlo Park City Hall, 701 Laurel St., during office hours (7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) from now through Election Day.

Voters may vote in person at the 40 Tower Road office any weekday through May 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or on Election Day, Tuesday, May 3, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voters who have not received a ballot or have a question should contact the Registration & Elections Division at (650) 312-5222 or by email: registrar@smcare.org.

At ShapeTheFuture.org, registered voters may click on the "Track My Ballot" link under the "Voters" section of the home page to see if their ballots have been received and counted.

By the end of the Thursday, April 28, the county had received approximately 4,250 ballots, according to election officials.

Comments

32 people like this
Posted by Former Teacher
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 28, 2016 at 1:28 pm

VOTE NO!!! This tax is PERMANENT, so no matter what the future holds, how wealthy the school district becomes, or how unnecessary the tax is you will never be able to end these taxes. Vote No! No! No!


27 people like this
Posted by Boondogle
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 28, 2016 at 1:43 pm

If parents want their children to have a private school education they should send them to private schools. It is not incumbent on the residents of Menlo Park to provide a private school education to other parents' children. Vote No!

The Menlo Park City School District has more than adequate funds to provide a good education.

The next thing you know some hare brained parent will want to have a parcel tax to pay for their children's college tuition.

Raise your own children and quit looking for handouts from other people.


5 people like this
Posted by facts
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 28, 2016 at 1:56 pm

I am voting YES. It is NOT true that the taxes are permanent. Measures A and C establish the maximum authorization for the parcel tax, and it is the five board members who are elected to four year terms represent us vote annually to set the tax rates. The taxes themselves ARE NOT permanent. The school district has been totally honest with the community about the fact that the need for these parcel taxes is not likely to be temporary. However, if something unexpected occurred at some point in the future and the maximum funding allowed by the measures for our schools was no longer needed or wanted by our community, our elected representatives would be able to set the tax rates at a lower rate, all the way to zero. And if members of our community don't approve of what their elected board members are doing but are for some reason unable to get the people they want elected to the board, they can take this directly to the voters to repeal the parcel tax authorizations.


5 people like this
Posted by YES
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 28, 2016 at 2:04 pm

I voted YES. Our schools are doing a great job. Measure A simply continues the existing 2010 authorization and will not increase taxes. Measure C provides the additional funding necessary to maintain existing class sizes and programs in the face of increasing enrollment and inadequate state funding. This does not only benefit children - Measures A and C are the best investment that any homeowner could possibly make in maintaining and improving the value of their home.


7 people like this
Posted by Propaganda
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 28, 2016 at 2:09 pm

State funding has been inadequate for decades. But that's ok because the MPCSD derives most of its funding from property taxes, which are zooming.

[Part removed.]


19 people like this
Posted by Ally
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 28, 2016 at 2:30 pm

But the questions are:

1. Do you want to be hastled by having to write to your board member to make sure that the taxes don't stay permananent?

2. Do you trust your board members to represent you or do they represent Dr. G's interest in having a fat budget?

3. Isn't it easier and better for everyone to learn to live within the means we have and not expect a gold plated experience which creates a feeling of entitlement?

VOTE NO and most importantly get the word out.

Tell your friends who can vote but might vote NO. I am going to get the word out at Little House (to seniors) St. Raymonds and other local private schools , Rosener Volunteer House. Please help spread the word to these individuals who might not want to go over the top with their taxes for a district that has a HUGE per pupil spending and has more than enough to handle growth.


3 people like this
Posted by Long time Supporter of Education
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Apr 28, 2016 at 3:34 pm

I see the opposition continues to use the TS for their primary campaign platform. They also do not find it significant that their leader, Jack Hickey, is now on his 5th campaign against school parcel taxes...Hmm, why is that? He does not care about MPCSD or live in our district, and cannot even vote in this election. He opposed Redwood City, San Mateo, Burlingame and San Carlos school funding as well; thankfully they all passed.

Here are the facts, MPCSD is run very efficiently and if you do the math correctly, here is what you get:

The following 2014 cost per student comparison of nearby comparable districts provides strong evidence that Menlo Park City Elementary School District delivers its outstanding program at a reasonable cost:
Woodside $19,458
Portola Valley $18,154
Palo Alto $14,955
Hillsborough $14,448
Las Lomitas $14,270
Menlo Park $13,006

We have a great administration, high quality teachers, amazing community volunteers and a comprehensive program like these other districts. That we are doing this at less cost is objective and compelling evidence that the District is managed well. I have voted YES to support them and our incredible community.

More FAQs can be found at www.supportmenloparkschools.org


19 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 28, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

[Part removed. Please make your point without attacks.] Even the board members acknowledge these parcel taxes are PERMANENT. It's true they can be changed by the board if they decide they are unnecessary. If you believe that will happen I have a bridge to sell you.

VOTE NO ON A AND C


13 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Apr 28, 2016 at 4:02 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

The district has $114 Million in bond debt. That's $39,560 per pupil. This debt is being paid off by property taxes. In 2014-2015, $6.1 Million of your property taxes was collected to service that debt. That's $2,104 per pupil, which is NOT included in the budget, NOR reflected in per pupil expenditures.

Additionally, ~ $20 Million in state matching grants to the district, was financed by state bonds. Those bonds are being paid off by taxes(yours and mine) collected by the state. That's another unreported $370 in per pupil expenditure.

The Measure A ballot arguments claim that MPCSD's cost per student is $13,006. Add the unreported bond debt service and we get $15,480. If HALF that amount were available to families to procure an education for each school age child, I'm sure a majority of them would do so.

And, Peter Carpenter has shown that Measure C would collect $17,417 per new student. (7,917 parcels at $2.20 = $17,417)

Find those ballots, mark your NO votes and mail them in.


15 people like this
Posted by No on A + C
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 28, 2016 at 4:16 pm

Can't believe the proponents are trying to spin that the taxes are not permanent. When has the district ever not levied the maximum parcel tax? NEVER. Will they ever reduce the amount? That's easy. NEVER.

2010 Measure C was supposed to be temporary and expire in 2017. What are they doing now? They're trying to make that PERMANENT.

Answer is simple: vote NO and force the district to practice fiscal discipline like the rest of us. MPCSD is already one of the top FIVE in per pupil spending among midsize K-8 districts in the ENTIRE STATE. All the districts they list are either much smaller in size (don't benefit from economy of scale) or unified districts (PAUSD- not comparable).

VOTE NO on A + C.


2 people like this
Posted by MPCSD Parent2
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 28, 2016 at 4:46 pm

Propaganda et al:

The MPCSD Board and the Measure A & C Campaign (www.SupportMenloParkSchools.org) have, from the beginning, been truthful about these measures.

-- Measure A simply replaces an existing parcel tax in order to provide current per pupil funding for current student enrollment.

-- Measure C simply authorizes additional per pupil funding (based on current per pupil funding rates) if student enrollment increase as expected. If student enrollment does not increase as expected (or student enrollment later decreases), then there are no additional parcel taxes (or the parcel taxes decrease).

-- Measure A & C both provide that the parcel taxes are to fund teachers and in-class material, not administrative costs.

-- Budget information has consistently been open and available from MPSCD (for example, budgets at Web Link)

MPCSD has provided and continues to provide top-tier public education in a fiscally responsible manner.

Despite accusations such as "empire building," "Cadillac educations" and overt/covert calls against Measures A & C as part of a seeming political agenda aimed at dismantling public schools/implementing vouchers/promoting private schools, I have seen nothing from opponents about what in these Measures and MPCSD budgets is not accurate, or what cuts they want to be made -- teachers?, arts?, music?

I value the quality public education that MPCSD provides, and I have voted YES so that MPCSD can continue to provide that education.


20 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 28, 2016 at 6:05 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

All of the proponents above cited "facts" have been repeatedly refuted.

The district currently has FOUR parcel taxes of which three are PERMANENT.

The current parcel tax which is term limited will expire in 2017 and would be replaced by Measure A if it passes. That would give the District Four Permanent parcel taxes.

If Measure C passes the District would have FIVE PERMANENT parcel taxes - a record for any entity in California to the best of my knowledge.

In addition $6.1 million dollars in bond debt service was collected from MPCSD property owners. That's an annual expenditure of more than $2,000 per student. This expenditure is NOT included in the cost per student reported by the district.

From the MPCSD Second Interim Report page 112:

"Principal Balance Fund 51, Bond Interest and Redemption Fund $131,153,954.00"

That is a LOT of debt!


My PROPERTY tax bill includes $151.02 to pay a very small part of this debt and every other property owner also pays an ad valorem tax to help retire this huge debt.

This revenue does not appear in the MPCSD budget.

"The Bond debt financing does not go through the general fund. Both the collection of taxes and debt repayment of all bonds are handled at the County level.

Best,

Ahmad Sheikholeslami
Chief Business and Operations Officer
Menlo Park City School District"

It is as if the taxpayers incurred the original debt, MPCSD got the money and from then on the annual cost to the taxpayers is none of the District's business or responsibility. And`since MPCSD does not include the $6+ million paid annually by the property owners as revenue so, of course, it does NOT show up in the revenue per student calculation. And IF it were included in revenue per student calculation that would dramatically change all of the current comparisons to other school districts and further undercut the justification for these new parcel taxes.


I would welcome someone providing documentation that proves any of the above statements to be incorrect.


21 people like this
Posted by Apple
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 28, 2016 at 6:15 pm

The district can provide a great education with the current taxes it already has. It doesn't need more taxes. MPCSD spends the third most per student among midsize districts in all of California without even adding in the new parcel taxes. If the school board can't handle a budget that is that well funded, then the problem is with the board's budgeting skills, not the level of taxation.

Just like @Boondogle says, the new money is going to provide a private school level education funded by homeowners. That is why parents are so passionate about getting these taxes passed. Their children will receive a private school level education on mostly someone else's dime.

This is all pretty clear to the outside observer. That is why The Almanac, The Daily Post, (and Stuart Stoffer) all recommend a No vote.

Does any community newspaper recommend a yes vote?


16 people like this
Posted by No on A + C
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 28, 2016 at 6:51 pm

According to 2010 census, in Menlo Park, 31.5% of families have children <18 in the household. Since we're talking about children in K-8, minus those in private school, I'd guess that maybe 20% of families have children in MPCSD. Therefore, approximately 80% of homeowners are subsidizing the 20% of families in the system.

For each family with children in the system, 4 homeowners with no children in the system are subsidizing them. When your children are out of MPCSD, you will still be footing the bill for the district as long as you own your home. PERMANENTLY.

Not everyone in the district is rich. $700 a year is a lot of money for families that struggle to stay here. If you're a renter, you can count on the landlord passing on the cost to renters.


14 people like this
Posted by NO ON A,C
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 28, 2016 at 7:34 pm

Properties in MP are routinely selling in the 3-6M range. If an older couple moves out that has lived in their home for 30 or 40 years the property tax to the new buyer is 1% of sale price per year per prop. 13. $50k on a 5M house, thats annually add another .2 percent for all the little goodies like school taxes and it jumps to 60k a year just for property taxes. Where is all that money going.

How can you have the audacity to ask for more. My kids attended Oak Knoll and Hillview 20 years ago before the campuses became luxury resorts and are doing just fine.

Learn a little fiscal responsibility and how about a tax reduction.


14 people like this
Posted by insider
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 28, 2016 at 7:43 pm

To MPCSD Parent2:

You ask: "What cuts we want to be made -- teachers?, arts?, music?" How about the $$$$ that we are spending to fund the 17K tuition of the employee's children? Let's start with that. I'm still waiting to hear the answers from these questions posted last week:

- How many out of district children of MPCSD staff are currently enrolled in MPCSD schools?

2 - At $17k per student what is the cost of this benefit?

3 - Where does this expense show up in the MPCSD budget?

4 Is it included in the $7 million+ Benefits line item?

5 - Is this benefit reflected in the compensation analysis of the staff?

6 - Is this benefit taxable income to the recipients?

Could we get answers to these and then be informed about how much we are "gifting" the district to use on something other than our own children? Remember, MPCSD doesn't need incentives like this to attract talent. Teachers flock here for the salary.

Does anyone have any idea how to get answers to these questions?

On another note: I like Ally's idea of getting word out to VOTE NO to folks who don't feel the need to gold plate and already gold filled education. Let's rally opponents of A and C. Who is up doing our own marketing this weekend? We need to reach those who might not vote so the proponents doesn't use scare tactics like, "our children will be in overcrowded "gold plated" classrooms with enormous class sizes (like the ones in Ravenwood) and with inexperienced teachers (because we can't attract them without more $).

Please community. Breathe. Your children are sweet and lovely and will continue to be here if they don't have what kids for the past ten years have had. Really. It's OK.

Finally, I am getting tired of hearing people talk about Jack Hickey. Who cares if someone outside of our area wants to comment? He's not forcing people by putting their feet to the fire. He is commenting as do folks in LLESD, PV , PA and the like. I could care less about his agenda and just care about the facts. The facts are that we have more money per student than most other LIKE districts, yes, LIKE districts, in the state. If you can dispute that, please do so but don't try to convince me to vote for A and C because you don't like Jack H. or his politics. That is a weak argument and doesn't sell me.


5 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 28, 2016 at 7:51 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Editor:

how do you describe a falsehood as anything other than a lie?


8 people like this
Posted by No on A and C
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 28, 2016 at 7:55 pm

Even if you Cut the teachers salary, I guarantee the would not leave. It's a cush job, w/ great benefits and they aint going anywhere.

I've received 2 very slick pro AC mailers, who is paying for those and why. They're expensive, how about using that money on the schools instead of promotion of new taxes.

VOTED NO.


18 people like this
Posted by Equity
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 28, 2016 at 8:12 pm


To whoever said, It's a 'cush' job. Please don't write that until you've walked in those shoes. People who know that most teachers work hard and are not the ones pushing this will discount you if you start teacher bashing. If the job is so 'cush', then we wouldn't have a teacher shortage on our hands and certainly not a sub. shortage.

Let's stay a united opposition and stick with the facts ('cush' job is an opinion) so that people don't discount us, the opposition to A and C.


Hello NO ON A,C

Thank you very much for sharing. My kids also attended Oak Knoll and Hillview and are doing just fine.

In fact, they are doing better than fine and that's because ultimately it's up to the parents to supplement and enrich in ways that are important to them.

You may have kids in MPCSD now but once they are out, you will be on of the 80% of homeowners subsidizing the 20% of families in the system, referred to by No on A and C. You will most likely look at it differently then.

So, here are just a few reasons to VOTE NO on A and C.

Since there is money that the district receives that it doesn't show in the budget (as seen in Peter's reference to Ahmad's response) "The Bond debt financing does not go through the general fund."

Since there is a good chunk of our money that the district "gives away" to it's employees (the 17K referred to by a posting for staff kids)

and since we cannot count on getting our school board to help us out if we get in over our heads (inside club who work for Dr. G, not us),


WE MUST VOTE NO ON A AND C AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO THE SAME.

All local papers have said NO. Shouldn't you read a little more closely before checking that box in favor of increasing your taxes PERMANENTLY?


18 people like this
Posted by Propaganda
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 28, 2016 at 11:57 pm

It is notable that every MPCSD teacher that I know personally has complained to me about the administrative waste and overhead spending.

"Measure C simply authorizes additional per pupil funding (based on current per pupil funding rates)"

Measure C ALONE brings in more money per new pupil than it costs to educate a student.

"Budget information has consistently been open and available from MPSCD <sic>"

Yes, and that budget info shows that the district will be just fine without Measures A and C. The only impact will be on the reserves fund, which won't grow as much.

Petty accusations aside, I don't have a leader; I don't report to Jack Hickey or anyone else. I can think for myself, and I can run the numbers. I've had enough of the runaway budgets and have voted no on both measures.


15 people like this
Posted by Train Fan
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on Apr 29, 2016 at 9:54 am

Train Fan is a registered user.

Dear undecided voters,

Here are the facts:

FACT:
In comparison to other comparably-sized and comparable quality elementary school districts (900+ API, 2000+ student population), MPCSD has the highest per-student revenues of ALL elementary school districts in the 9 bay area counties.

(graph: Web Link )


FACT:
Since the 2000-2001 school year, MPCSD revenues have increased faster than both inflation and student population growth by $6,547,549 .

(graph: Web Link )


FACT:
Even without these 2 additional parcel taxes (5 total), MPCSD projected revenue for the 2017-2018 school is projected to increase by over ONE MILLION dollars, which works out to over $17,000 per additional student (current per-student revenue is $14,527).

Here's the math proving this is true, ALL from the MPCSD budget and Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS):

2015-2016 MPCSD budget: $42,726,549
2015-2016 student population: 2941

2016-2017 projected property tax revenue: +5% (from MPCSD budget)
2017-2018 projected property tax revenue: +3% (from MPCSD budget)

2016-2017 projected parcel tax revenue: +2.5% (from MPCSD, absurdly low)
2017-2018 projected parcel tax revenue: +2.5%

2017-2018 projected student population: 3000 (again, from MPCSD)


Applying the above, ALL from MPCSD and BLS, yields a projected revenue for 2017-2018 school year of...$43,752,875 (vs $42,726,549 this year)

That is an increase of: 43,752,875 - 42,726,549 = $1,026,326

MPCSD projects 59 more student for the 2017-2018 school year:



>>> $1,026,326 / 59 = $17,395 PER ADDITIONAL STUDENT <<<



(source, the MPCSD budget: Web Link )

(source: the MPCSD initial budget: Web Link )

(source, Bureau of Labor Statistics: Web Link )



That is WITHOUT Measures A and C. Clearly the district does not need additional funding; revenues are increasing without the FIVE parcel taxes MPCSD and its sycophants are demanding.


Don't trust my numbers, don't trust Jennifer Bestor's numbers; do the math yourself. You'll see I'm telling the truth.


The Daily Post recommends NO on Measures A and C.

The Almanacnews recommends NO on Measures A and C.

Stuart Soffer recommends NO on Measures A and C.


Please vote NO on Measures A and C


14 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 29, 2016 at 10:06 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" do the math yourself."

And when you do be sure to ADD in the $2k/year per student that the taxpayers pay for bond debt. The students benefit every day from the very nice and very expensive facilities that were built with that bond money, yet somehow the district wants to ignore the annual cost to the taxpayers of that debt.


16 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 29, 2016 at 12:02 pm

Voted NO

As I have posted on other articles, I have lost confidence in the superintendent and Board to provide adequate financial responsibility, oversight and transparency. Besides who votes for a tax with no end -- that makes no sense.


2 people like this
Posted by MPCSD Parent2
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 29, 2016 at 12:30 pm

1.
"The district can provide a great education with the current taxes it already has."

Yes, the district can and does provide a "great education" for CURRENT student enrollment with CURRENT taxes. Measure A & C simply allows the district to continue to provide that same "great education" by keeping per-pupil funding at the same CURRENT level, while at the same time recognizing that student enrollment is expected to increase. (If student enrollment doesn't increase as expected, then taxes do not increase.)

2.
"Therefore, approximately 80% of homeowners are subsidizing the 20% of families in the system."
&
"You may have kids in MPCSD now but once they are out, you will be on of the 80% of homeowners subsidizing the 20% of families in the system, referred to by No on A and C. You will most likely look at it differently then."

Sentiments such as these are disappointing.

Schools, like libraries, parks, police, etc., have a the long history of being community-funded resources that are OPEN AND AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE in the community.

This doesn't mean that people are prevented from going to private schools, having private libraries, joining private country clubs/going on private vacations, or even hiring private security.

But good public schools, like parks, libraries, police, etc., are both a benefit to and should be supported by everyone in the community -- even if they don't currently have kids in the schools, patronize the libraries, visit the parks, etc.

Before I had kids, now that I have kids, and after my kids are out of school, I have and will continue to support public funding of public schools by everyone in the community -- just as I have and will continue to support public libraries, parks, police, etc.

Remember: recognizing the potential hardship for some seniors (and working within the legal requirements of Prop 13) Measures A & C do have an over-65 exemption.

3.
"How about the $$$$ that we are spending to fund the 17K tuition of the employee's children"

Again, sentiments such are these are disappointing. Kids of our schools' employees should also be welcomed as part of our community. I would much rather have our employees more vested in our schools by welcoming their children. For example, I know of more than one teacher who is able to and does put in significant after-school hours because their kids are on site.


14 people like this
Posted by Train Fan
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on Apr 29, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Train Fan is a registered user.

MPCSD Parent2, a resident of Menlo Park, other, wrote:
> keeping per-pupil funding at the same CURRENT level, while at the same time recognizing that student enrollment is expected to increase.

This has already been refuted and is not correct.

The previously posted math proves irrefutably that funding from property taxes and the 3 permanent parcel taxes is growing at a projected rate faster than student growth, by OVER ONE MILLION DOLLARS, which is $17,395 PER ADDITIONAL STUDENT; current per-student revenue is $14,527.



It takes incredible chutzpah to ask for more money when the district already gets SO MUCH. Taking more money for a district that doesn't need it while other districts could actually use more funding is wrongheaded.

Another poster pointed this out, and he/she was right: 'The school district has succumbed to what economists label "regulatory capture."'


4 people like this
Posted by MP parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Apr 29, 2016 at 12:55 pm

@MPCSD Parent2 wrote:

>>>>"How about the $$$$ that we are spending to fund the 17K tuition of the employee's children" Again, sentiments such are these are disappointing. Kids of our schools' employees should also be welcomed as part of our community. I would much rather have our employees more vested in our schools by welcoming their children. For example, I know of more than one teacher who is able to and does put in significant after-school hours because their kids are on site.<<<<

I also think the teacher and staff kids are part of our community and I personally am ok paying taxes for them. But I can see how it would not sit right with some people that Measure C ties taxes to enrollment growth, when the district appears comparatively permissive in terms of non-Tinsley interdistrict transfers (in contrast to LL/LE, PAUSD, and LASD). The transfers appear to be at the discretion of the administration(?) subject to guidelines from the Board(?); right now it is limited to hardships and children of 0.5FTEs, but I assume that could change in the future. I also am troubled by the lack of response to questions as to whether this is indeed how Measure C would work.


9 people like this
Posted by No on A + C
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 29, 2016 at 1:01 pm

MPCSD Parent2 wrote:
> keeping per-pupil funding at the same CURRENT level, while at the same time recognizing that student enrollment is expected to increase.

Property tax revenue is not keeping up with enrollment growth because the district is increasing expenditure per student at a rate GREATER than inflation AND property tax revenue increases.

Using bay area inflation index (April 2005-2014), inflation is 24% during that period. Expense per ADA went from $10489 in 2005 to $14006 in 2014 per ed-data. That is an increase of 33.5%, which is obviously greater than inflation.
Web Link

That's why they're running out of money. If per pupil funding were merely kept at the same level as inflation, we'd have plenty of money to fund enrollment growth and then some.


9 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 29, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

These questions were directed to Board Member Lambert on 15 April:

Joan,

An analysis of the budget and the justification for Measure C suggests that the “cost” of each additional student is about $17k.

How many out of district children of MPCSD staff are currently enrolled in MPCSD schools?

At $17k per student what is the cost of this benefit?

Does MPCSD have/require interdistrict transfer agreements from the district of residence for these students?

Does the District receive ADA for these students?

Where does this expense show up in the MPCSD budget?

Is it included in the $7 million+ Benefits line item?

Is this benefit reflected in the compensation analysis of the staff?

Is this benefit taxable income to the recipients?

Thanks,

Peter

On 18 April she replied:

On Apr 18, 2016, at 6:04 PM, Joan Lambert <joanlambert@hotmail.com> wrote:

"Peter,

Could you please direct your questions to current MPCSD Board President Jeff Child."

On 18 April I forwarded the questions to President Child.

As of 29 April I have not received a reply to these questions.


13 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 29, 2016 at 1:36 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

""How about the $$$$ that we are spending to fund the 17K tuition of the employee's children"

Again, sentiments such are these are disappointing. Kids of our schools' employees should also be welcomed as part of our community."

Remember that these children evidently bring no revenues with them - no property taxes, no parcel taxes, no bond repayments.

Remember that our teachers are probably the BEST paid elementary school teachers in the Bay Area - and that does NOT include the cost the district incurs to educate their children.

It seems that the 20%? of the taxpayers that use the MPCSD want the other 80% to not only pay for their childrens' education but also for the education of an unknown and uncontrollable number of children of MPCSD staff. And note that it would be illegal to even inquire as to the number of children that an applicant for an MPCSD staff position might have.

There are lots of things like this very expensive benefit that would be "nice" to have as long as someone else is paying the bills. I think we all support good quality education but we find it increasingly difficult to support all of the "nice" things and to understand all of the "hidden" coast and revenues.

I suspect that the taxpayers have reached their limit - we will soon see.

And if these measures fail then I urge the MPCSD Board to immediately propose for the November General Election a plan to replace ALL the current and permanent parcel taxes with one single parcel taxes that has a reasonable expiration date.


12 people like this
Posted by Apple
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 29, 2016 at 2:19 pm

MPCSD Parent2 wrote:
"Schools, like libraries, parks, police, etc., have a the long history of being community-funded resources that are OPEN AND AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE in the community.

Only MPCSD is asking us to double our permanent parcel taxes. Are any of the libraries, parks, police, fire, city, county, state, federal, healthcare district, etc. asking to double our taxation level? No.

The community wants to support the schools, but the taxation level is not reasonable and they want the right to review the taxation level in the future (i.e. no permanent taxes). The community also has problems with the board's and district's focus on spending and governance. They seem to be too beholden to parents who want the best of everything for their children at the expense of taxpayers who need to fund any largesse.

The other parcel tax on the May ballot is Brisbane's. They proposed a $12 increase in parcel taxes with a six year expiration. There is little to no opposition to that tax proposal.

The high school district assesses a parcel tax on our property tax bills. It's $11.70. MPCSD assesses $850 now. If these parcel taxes pass, MPCSD parcel taxes will be 100 times LARGER than the high school's.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 29, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

""Schools, like libraries, parks, police, etc., have a the long history of being community-funded resources that are OPEN AND AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE in the community."

When did the MPCSD Board vote to support a Unified School District that would be "OPEN AND AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE in the community."?


12 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Apr 29, 2016 at 4:15 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Information from Controller's Office

Fiscal Year District Levy Request Tax rate Total debt Actual Levy
2014-2015 MPCSD $6,039,741 .0486 $6.1M
2015-2016 MPCSD $5,329,536 .0393 $114,683,000
2016-2017 MPCSD $TBD TBD $136,957,418

With a $22.3 Million increase in debt, what will the new Levy Request be?

Prior year Levy for MPCSD
2013-14: $4.56m
2012-13: $4.40m
2011-12: $4.27m



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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Apr 29, 2016 at 4:17 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Sorry about the misalignment. They reformatted it on me. A-a-ar-rgh!


10 people like this
Posted by Joe G
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 29, 2016 at 7:20 pm

Peter. I have also asked the same questions you have posted over the past few weeks to Jeff Child and the Superintendents office. Have heard zero from both and the Superintendents office. Seems obvious they do not want to answer these questions until after the election.

Jeff or Maurice: Do either of you plan on commenting to the community before the close of this election? Peter's questions have been posed to both of you many times. Please provide the answers.

Barbara Woods - maybe you should ask these questions directly.

No response = NO on A & C.


9 people like this
Posted by NO NO NO
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Apr 29, 2016 at 7:22 pm

3 no votes from my household. Enough is enough.


13 people like this
Posted by No on A, & C
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 29, 2016 at 7:31 pm



If the district is short of money. Why did they spend millions rebuilding the campuses. I don't mind paying taxes to offer a quality education but not luxury facilities.

That being said if the district didn't have the foresight to plan ahead for future student expenses why should I trust them now.

sorry guys,

NO ON A&C


15 people like this
Posted by Joe G
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 29, 2016 at 8:02 pm

Great Blog by By Stuart Soffer on NO on A & C. Please share via email with others in the community.

Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Equity
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 29, 2016 at 11:01 pm

I would really like to get some straight answers from the district BEFORE THE ELECTION.

Ms. Wood, it seems that the community is having trouble ascertaining some information about several questions that were posted some time ago; constituents are now reaching out to you to put in a simple call to get some simple answers.


Where does this expense of employee's children show up in the MPCSD budget and is it included in the $7 million+ benefits line item? Is it or is it not?

Is this benefit reflected in the compensation analysis of the staff and is it taxable income to the recipients? Is it or not?



4 people like this
Posted by Apple
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 30, 2016 at 9:47 am

@Joe G @Equity

Most likely, the answers to your questions are not favorable to supporting the parcel taxes, which is why you are not getting answers. The pro-parcel tax folks have a FAQ up on their website. It is notable which questions they answer and which ones they don't. The ones they don't answer to don't have a good way to spin them.

If the community wants answers, they need to vote these parcel taxes down.

It is the school board's duty to ensure the voters are well-informed. If voters don't feel they've been informed, they should vote down the taxes, especially due to the permanence of the taxes. That is the oversight duty of the voters.

If these taxes are important, the district should have started having community forums on this topic long ago. I'm not talking about regular school board meetings. I'm talking about a forum about the parcel taxes solely that proponents, opponents, and local reporters can ask questions and get answers. That would be an open and transparent process.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 30, 2016 at 9:57 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Can somebody please post the text or a good picture of the mailings the proponents have sent out.

They seem to be targeting these mailers to likely pro voters as I know no one who have received a mailer.

Do the mailers answer any of the questions that have been raised?


6 people like this
Posted by Equity
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 30, 2016 at 10:35 am

Dear Apple,

I understand and agree with you that these questions are being avoided because there is no way to put a good spin on them. That being said, I disagree that our only recourse, to not feeling adequately informed is to vote them down. I want to know the answers. I don't feel the school board, nor the district has the right to ignore questions.

Here is an example of misinformation:
I was at my exercise class this morning. I told the other participants to vote NO on A and C. One 50 year old woman said, "I used to be a teacher and I think schools always need money". I told her about the amount of money going towards employees' children and she was surprised. She asked me how many children we are talking. I told her I would let her know at our exercise class on Monday.

This is a typical citizen who was not really thinking about the election. Now she is. She is on the fence. I want to provide her with real facts. I cannot get those facts.

Apple, how can we get the information if the district and school board don't answer?


6 people like this
Posted by Propaganda
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 30, 2016 at 11:51 am

I don't think there is any way to post pictures on Townsquare.

Because I am a district parent, I have gotten all the glossy pieces. They use the same approach as the full page ad in the Almanac: join your friends and support our schools.

Schools always need money, of course they do. But giving your schools more money than they need is like giving your 10-year-old a $100/week allowance. A lot is going to get wasted, your kid will not appreciate what she's got, and nothing good is going to come of it.


10 people like this
Posted by Jenson
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 30, 2016 at 2:17 pm

VOTE NO on this attempt to take more money from the tax payers. This measures will put a stranglehold on your wallet for years to come. If these measures pass residents will pay forever.............This is permanent

VOTE NO

The Daily Post recommends NO on Measures A and C.

The Almanacnews recommends NO on Measures A and C.

Stuart Soffer recommends NO on Measures A and C.


10 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 30, 2016 at 3:03 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

In reviewing the MPCSD Board Minutes I note this item on the 9 Feb 2016 meetong:

"VIII. 7:55 P.M. PUBLIC HEARING/ACTION
a. Public Hearing and Adoption of District Response to the Menlo Park Teachers
Association's (MPEA) Initial Proposal for the 2015-16 School Year (5 minutes) (D) (V)
This item provides the public with an opportunity to address the Employer's Response to the Initial
Proposal of the Menlo Park Teachers Association (MPEA) for the 2015-16 school year.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: The Board adopts the Employer's Response to MPEA's Initial Proposal for
2015-16.
Minutes
The Public Hearing of the District's Response to the Menlo Park Teachers Association's (MPEA) Initial
Proposal for the 2015-16 School Year was declared open at 7:58 p.m. by Board President Jeff Child.
Hearing no response from the audience, President Child declared the Public Hearing closed at 7:59
p.m.
It was moved/seconded (Hilton/Lambert) and the Board unanimously (5/0) adopted the District's
Response to the Menlo Park Teachers Association's (MPEA) Initial Proposal for the 2015-16 School
Year.
Motion made by: Maria Hilton
Seconded by: Joan Lambert
Votes
Jeff Child Yes
Maria Hilton Yes
Stacey Jones Yes
Joan Lambert Yes
Terry Thygesen Yes"

***********


There is NO indication of exactly what was "Employer's Response to MPEA's Initial Proposal for 2015-16."

The approved budget has zero salary increases for 2015-16 but what did their response say and why was the content of the response not included in the minutes?

How can they vote on something in Open Session and not even disclose exactly what they voted on?


3 people like this
Posted by Ally
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 30, 2016 at 3:18 pm

Thank you Peter for taking the time to look up this information.

I am getting tired of "mysterious" happenings just like this.

It is time for full disclosure. Questions are asked and questions are answered.

I suggest that you email this (and the other questions , again) and tell the board that you would like to hear the answers at the next board meeting.

Anyone who is concerned about the
1. lack of unanswered questions
2. mysterious happenings such as what you just pointed out and the missing board minutes from March 2016 which seem to be "inaccessilbe" due to the system change over, and others
3. lack of emails to which board members do not respond

Anyone who is getting tired of the run around, please come. It will be too late unfortunately to find out why the posed questions are being evaded (although we already know why) but it will be an opportunity to call the board on the carpet and have a collective voice.

Aside of the election, as Mr. Soffer points out, there is some cleaning up of act that needs to happen and a transparent board is what we need to expect.


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 30, 2016 at 3:27 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I did find this attached to the 9 Feb agenda:

"MENLO PARK CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT MENLO PARK EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
2015-2016 NEGOTIATIONS DISTRICT’S INITIAL PROPOSALS
As required by the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA), specifically California Government Code Section 3547, the Menlo Park City School District (District) presents its initial proposals for 2015-2016 negotiations with the Menlo Park Education Association (MPEA). The District’s proposals are presented as interests rather than end results. The District believes that an expression of its interests will assist understanding, encourage clear communication between MPEA and the District, foster an effective bargaining environment, and promote proactive labor/management problem solving.
The District will request that the District and MPEA bargaining teams jointly develop ground rules for the negotiations sessions to facilitate effective negotiations.
The District is interested in discussing possible modifications to the following Articles of the existing collective bargaining agreement pursuant to the re-opener provisions of Article 17, Section 17.3.2:
• Article 7 (Work Year): The District is interested in revising this Article and the 2016-2017 work calendar attached as Appendix B as necessary to provide for a work calendar that effectively meets student needs.
• Article 8 (Hours of Employment): The District is interested in revising this Article, if necessary, to clarify required work hours.
• Article 13 (Employee Benefits/Salary): The District has an interest in providing a level of overall compensation (salary, health and welfare benefits, pension and related retirement benefits, excused time, preparation time, and all other benefits received) that will enable the District to continue to recruit and maintain excellent certificated staff while ensuring that expenditures do not exceed revenues in the current and future years as required by law and Board policy.
• Revise other Articles if necessary to comply with recent changes in law.
In addition to the initial proposals set forth above, the District acknowledges and is prepared to negotiate regarding the initial proposals submitted by MPEA, including:
• Article 7 (Section 7.3): Work Year,
• Article 9 (Section 9.2): Class Size, and
• Article 13: Employee Benefit/Salary."
***************

So the Board IS prepared to negotiate benefits and salaries even though there is no money in the budget for any increases in those items - very interesting and possibly the seeds for another parcel tax proposal.


15 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 30, 2016 at 3:40 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Wow - digging back through the agendas (turns out that is where the good stuff is kept hidden) it turns out the union has exercised its right to reopen the CURRENT contract including renegotiating salaries and benefits for the 2015/16 school year - a year that is almost OVER.

"Menlo Park Education Association
To: Maurice Ghysels and the Menlo Park C.S.D. School Board
From: Maria Clemo, Jacqui Cebrian, Sheila Warren, Vincent Lopez
Date: January 8, 2016
Re: Sunshine Re-opener of MPEA/MPCSD Contract
As agreed upon in Section 17.3.1 of the current MPEA/MPCSD contract,
MPEA proposes to negotiate the following articles of its contract with
the MPCSD for the 2015-2016 school year:
Article 7 --- Work Year (Section 7.3)
Article 9 --- Class Size (Section 9.2)
Article 13 --- Employee Benefits/Salary"


And the Board agreed to the proposed renegotiation.


7 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 30, 2016 at 4:30 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

So the board is allowing the teachers' union to walk all over them? That's great.

Vote NO on A and C. Our board needs to be beholden to the taxpayers, not the teachers' union and not the 20% of people with children in the schools.


13 people like this
Posted by Train Fan
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on Apr 30, 2016 at 4:37 pm

Train Fan is a registered user.

> the union has exercised its right to reopen the CURRENT contract including renegotiating salaries and benefits for the 2015/16 school year - a year that is almost OVER....And the Board agreed to the proposed renegotiation.


Gasp!

Looking at elementary school districts with at least 500 students in the ed-data.org database...

MPCSD teachers are the HIGHEST PAID teachers in the state of California!!

Here's a link proving this is true: Web Link

From the above link:
MPCSD avg teacher salary: $100,890
Hillsborough avg teacher salary: $94,811
Las Lomitas avg teacher salary: $94,104
Mountain View avg teacher salary: $93,471
Saratoga U avg teacher salary: $89,192
Mill Valley avg teacher salary: $81,111
Los Altos avg teacher salary: $78,615
Cupertino avg teacher salary: $78,280
San Carlos avg teacher salary: $76,469
Belmont/RWS avg teacher salary: $76,147

With the exception of Mountain View, all of these districts score comparable or HIGHER API scores than MPCSD.

It takes incredible greed to request a renegotiation when you're already in state-of-the-art buildings with smaller than average class sizes with easier-than-average children to teach with already very high salaries!

And it takes an incredible negligence of duty by the School board to agree to a renegotiation!


Mr. Carpenter, you've been involved in community organizations and government entities longer than the rest of us, most likely. What can we do? This is a school board that not only has spending out-of-control, it's not even saving any money for the inevitable economic downturn! This school board isn't even trying to look out for the community; it's not even trying to look out for the future children in this district! I fear future school boards are going to have to make substantial cuts in order to address the mistakes this board is making.

Pro-tax advocates keep saying it's "for the children", but these same people, and school board, and TEACHERS, are MORTGAGING THE FUTURE financial stability of the district, which can only inevitably affect the quality of the educational experience in the future.

What can we do? Is there anyone with prior school board experience that has the backbone to reign in spending?


2 people like this
Posted by Train Fan
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on Apr 30, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Train Fan is a registered user.


This link is better: Web Link

(the other link isn't wrong, but the one in this post takes you closer to the data)



6 people like this
Posted by Cmon
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 30, 2016 at 4:53 pm

It is comical to read from proponents that it is not a permanent tax, but rather an extension of an existing. Umm, that is the point -- the district assume that the once temporary parcel tax gets renewed in perpetuity. That does make it permanent. In many ways, this is the root of the issue, the district knows that these usually get passed (since they rely on mostly school parents getting out to vote. The age old strategy is to not engage publicly but to just rally the parents) and have not developed a sense of how to allocate limited resources for optimal student enrichment and financial stability over time. Spending more to get more is not hard. Budgeting is hard and developing a well articulated approach to educating our kids within our means is a challenge. The superintendent has set the tone, focused on the wrong long-term strategy, and the board has generally obliged. At the end of the day, this is the issue that we have to grapple with. As to me, I am undecided only because I remain an advocate for great schools and local families. It will be most useful to advocate for a better process at election time. Fresh leadership, able to start with a clean slate, is what we need in MP.


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 30, 2016 at 4:53 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

To be fair agreeing to negotiate is not to agree on the outcome.

But what is troubling is that the Board accepted the current contract which includes a reopener clause, Section 17.3.1, that evidently allows the union to reopen negotiations at any time.

I suspect that the only thing that would stand in the way of a retroactive increase in the already highest salary schedule in the Bay Area would be the defeat of Measure A and Measure C.


2 people like this
Posted by Propaganda
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 30, 2016 at 6:12 pm

I was just listening to KQED and they had a bit on school funding that included some quotes from Stanford researcher Eric Hanushek about the lack of correlation between funding and results. The research, however, focuses on education for disadvantaged students. It's almost laughable to suggest that we are going to achieve any better results by throwing extra cash at our already well-funded district. I mean, it's great that the 6-year-olds all get iPads, but do any of these bells and whistles improve the quality of the experience even marginally?


4 people like this
Posted by Call to Action
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 30, 2016 at 7:23 pm

I am with Peter's comment.

"I suspect that the only thing that would stand in the way of a retroactive increase in the already highest salary schedule in the Bay Area would be the defeat of Measure A and Measure C."

Paying that many teachers retroactive to August 2015 is a big chunk of change. In addition to the salary RENEGOTIATION is the employee benefits piece, which we have established is a mystery.

The first line of order is to defeat the election. We need to rally those who are not likely to vote. I heard a parent this afternoon tell someone who opposed the measure, "It's hard on them to have to keep coming back and asking for more when they need it so this long term increase will make it so they don't have to keep doing that" .... There was more but my point is that I was shocked to hear how the mother had been made to believe the district felt "a sort of hardship" to have to come crawling back and begging for me. She said something about disingenuity of having to keep asking.... as if they were embarrassed and we could help with that..... So we need to be willing to hit the pavement. I propose:

I. make our own flyers with a simple NO on A and C mean NO PERMANENT taxes. It can be simple run on home computers.
- target the private schools on Monday
-target Little House/Rosener House
-target anywhere that non school district parents will be

II. Give them out, put them under mailboxes, talk it up. We cannot be just talking to ourselves.

The second line of order is to get answers to questions.

I. Attend the next board meeting. SPECIAL MEETING 9:00 a.m. May 4, District Office TERC building. (hard time for working folks to make...... hummmm.....)
II. Call/email the district and the board about the items mentioned here (salary and benefits and from where this money is coming) (how much is given now and has been given as a benefit to staff in recent years)
III. Get the media involved (Dr. G is a very image oriented supt. and won't want anything that gives bad PR)

Who is in this CALL TO ACTION?




10 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 30, 2016 at 8:10 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Fascinating sequence of events.

In December the Board signals its intent to seek new parcel tax revenue.

At its January 11 meeting the Board confirms that decision.
"At the November 10, December 8, and December 15 Board meetings Superintendent Ghysels led discussions with the Board about the current Measure C Parcel Tax set to expire June 2017. Discussions included Measure C background information, student enrollment, MPCSD financials, and an overview of MPCSD's commitment to excellence. Following the Board update on January 11, the Board will continue to discuss the possibility of a Parcel Tax election at a Special Board meeting on the evening of January 19."

That Special Board meeting is then rescheduled for 21 January.

On January 20 the union notifies the District that it "intends to negotiate a fair and equitable increase to the current salary schedule."

The union did not even wait for the parcel tax election to demand its share of the new revenue.

So please tell me again -"It is for the children."




10 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 30, 2016 at 8:22 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

It's not "for the children." It's for the limp wristed board members that can't stand up to the teachers' union. We're short of money because we've given too much to our teachers AND let them bring their children into the district. On OUR NICKEL.

Our board is NOT looking out for the citizens of Menlo Park.


Like this comment
Posted by Call to Action
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 30, 2016 at 8:29 pm

So I ask again. What are we going to DO about this?


9 people like this
Posted by Apple
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 30, 2016 at 8:52 pm

@Equity
"how can we get the information if the district and school board don't answer?"

When politicians have good answers, they answer your questions. When they don't, they evade. They know if they tell you something negative, you will vote no. If they don't answer your question, you may stay home or vote yes. That is how politics is played.

Have you noticed the school board members and proponents communicate primarily through ads and a website? There's no town hall. They stonewall Peter when the questions get tough. You would think if it was really important to get everyone to vote yes and all the facts are on their side, they would have an open town hall. Instead, they adopted a strategy by providing selective facts, emotional arguments ("it's for the children"), and getting parents to turn out for a special election.

If you vote yes and the parcel taxes pass, do you ever expect to get answers? I think not. The district got their money. They can stonewall you until you give up.

If the parcel taxes are defeated, the board either has to figure out how to live with only being the third HIGHEST per pupil spending among midsize districts in all of California. Normally, that would be easy. But based on Train Fan's findings, they've made MPCSD teachers the highest paid in all of California. The school board will need us to pay for the promises they made.

When they come back to us, we can demand answers. If they stonewall again, vote no again. If subjecting themselves to community oversight is too difficult, then they won't get my vote.

If the parents are happy with how the board does things, nothing stops parents from increasing their MPAEF donations to make up the shortfall.


Like this comment
Posted by Equity
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 30, 2016 at 9:26 pm

Thanks Apple.

I am very angered by what Peter reports about the timeline of events and the idea of the taxpayers financing a raise to the highest paid teachers in the state.

I am discouraged by your email. They can stonewall and not give answers. I am ready to rally but have voters likely thrown their ballots away long ago, not realizing what it was.

Are there any action items that you can suggest at this point, other than casting a NO vote.
-----------------------------

I think we need to appear at the May 4 meeting at 9:00 and ask them face to face why they ignored the requests.

If I attend, will I be alone?


9 people like this
Posted by Yes vote No.
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 30, 2016 at 9:32 pm

Yes vote No. And replace the school board.


19 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 30, 2016 at 9:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Folks - There are no evil people here.

The School Board is just doing what it has always done - provide the best education possible without regard to the cost to the taxpayers.

And in every single previous parcel tax election we the citizens have cheered them on.

Fortunately Measures A and C have awakened a very sleepy and inattentive citizenry.

IF Measures A and C fail then perhaps the priorities will change and the Board will place greater emphasis on its fiscal responsibilities and we the citizens will start doing a better job of oversight.


19 people like this
Posted by Scott Lane
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 1, 2016 at 9:14 am

"So I ask again. What are we going to DO about this?"


Hello,

I've been following the debate on Measures A and C. I feel compelled to comment.

There are specific things that need to be done to effect change:


1) Ideally, and the simplest way to wake up the Board, is for Measures A and C to not pass, and the board takes notice and MPCSD makes improvements on how it budgets. But regardless whether they pass or not, other changes are needed.


2) We need a more fiscally responsible board. We need a board that understands that it has a duty not only to current students, but future students too. This one is not planning for the future. This board is mortgaging the future, and making future boards make the inevitable difficult choices that are bound to occur because this board has taken the money, community and current economy for granted, and doesn't understand it has a duty to future parents, future students, future teachers and existing community citizens beyond the small subset of parents, teachers and school administrators that have their ear.

According to the MPCSD school board website, 2 of the 5 board positions are up for reelection this year. We need 2 people to run for those 2 positions. And these 2 people need to care about the future and the entire community, not just school administrators, the teachers union and the small subset of parents that have taken over what is suppose to be a public entity.


3) The "Special Election" option needs reform. It is wasteful of taxpayers dollars to have a special election 1 month before a primary. And it's equally clear the intent of the MPCSD school board is to improve the odds that only people interested in passing Measures A and C will vote. Our democracy works best with transparency. The MPCSD clearly doesn’t believe in transparency; it would much prefer to game the system at the expense of the future.

This will require reaching out to California State Legislator members, pleading for reform.


4) Parcel taxes with no sunset provisions need to be banned.

This will require reaching out to California State Legislator members, pleading for reform.


I recognize that the school board is a voluntary position, and respect the members efforts to maintain a quality district. But this board is suffering what another poster correctly characterized as “regulatory capture”: it only represents the school senior administrators, teachers and a narrow group of parents who only care about their narrow interests and not the community as a whole. One of the primary duties of the board is to represent the *entire* community, both present and future, and they have failed in this regard.

The board is meant to be a check-and-balance, not a rubber-stamp.



Scott Lane (an Atherton committee volunteer)


6 people like this
Posted by Call to Action
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 1, 2016 at 10:08 am

Dear Scott,

Thank you for your well thought out post. You are very articulate and most likely would have some ideas for some of us who are less so, to "plead for reform. Could you help by giving us a few bullet points? I know it sounds unnecessary but even including the email address of where to send this plea, would most likely help busy citizens stop and do it. You could say that if voters care they shouldn't need to be hand held, but I do think that many voters care but maybe it's not a top priority. I am suggesting that we help folks along. You may agree or disagree that it's letting the nature course take it's way.

I understand, and agree, that the bigger changes need to happen by doing what you suggest. However, right now, we are in a situation of needing to block a potentially very harmful ballot. I see different blogs wondering what we can do to increase the likelihood of blocking it? For example, the Hillview newsletter, which was issued this morning, has the following as its very first announcement of the week. All the links are there to find out how to replace lost ballots, learn more about the importance of the measure etc. Where is the organized or even unorganized effort on the part of the opposition? Just because we cannot get a campaign going at this point, doesn't mean we should sit back and hope that it doesn't pass, sending the board a message? Do we feel at this point that we can do no more than cast our own vote? That is what I meant when I ask, "What are we going to DO about this?" This being, block the measures in addition to plead for/demand reform. (which is more likely to happen if we block the measures)


Ballots Due Tuesday, May 3 - VOTE

Your mail-in only ballot for Measures A and C is due this Tuesday, May 3! Learn more about the measures here as well as how to replace missing or lost ballots. Be sure to get your ballot postmarked by Tuesday - every vote count


What is our version of this? What is our effort to get the word out? How do we help the many voters who likely tossed their ballot?

I for one am going to send the link of how to replace a lost ballot to my friends/neighbors who are likely undecided and frankly, out of it/don't really care. I'm going to send my version of the district's reasons.

I will also attend the board meeting on May 4 at 9:00 a.m. at the TERC.

Finally, if we want to support a candidate to run for school board, and an honest, clean person is interested, but someone who is

a. unknown and
b. potentially not loaded $

how could we support that?

Frankly, that might be the best type of person because we know that people use their $ to buy their way into their special interests. How can we reinvent the system to allow for an unknown, not independently wealthy candidate to make him/herself known enough to stand a chance? As you said Scott, we need candidates who think about ALL kids, future students as well. and will act responsibly, not cave in to the current senior administrators, unions, and parents. It will be us who pay when they are long gone…..

Link to replace a lost ballot: Web Link

Also listed that we can distribute:

Web Link

Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by CCB
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on May 1, 2016 at 2:16 pm

Couple of thoughts:

1) Voted no on the measures, not because I don't want to fund the district but because I think allowing no sunset clause is undemocratic. I hope that if the measures fail, the district will come back with a more reasonable proposal in time for the next election.
2) As a parent in the district, I've experienced wonderful teachers and think they are worth every penny they are being paid. I'd rather see other teachers being paid more than see ours paid less.
3) That said, really not so happy with the overhead, lack of accountability, and administrative costs at the central office level. Would much rather see a streamlined central office and even more/better teachers. I know it will never happen, because politics, but I think Peter's suggestion that MP combine districts into one unified system makes sense and would be the equitable thing to do.


2 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 1, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Measures A and C require a 2/3 majority to pass. That threshold is likely to change in the near future unless voters wake up and look at the total cost of education, including the debt service on bonds they passed for grandiose facilities, and just say NO More! MPCSD had the county collect $6.1 Million in 2014/2015 for debt service on those bonds. That revenue is not included in per pupil expenditures, where it would have added $2,104.39 per ADA. The district's outstanding general obligation bond debt increased from $114,683,000 in June 2015 to $136,957,418 in November of 2015. An increase in property tax collections to service the increased debt is likely.

Your NO vote will offset two YES votes. The Measures can be defeated! The YES vote count in the 80%+ margin of victory of prior Parcel Tax measures constituted LESS THAN 25% of the registered voters.

Find those ballots! Or, get replacements.
Please vote NO on Measures A and C.


4 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 1, 2016 at 4:27 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Send these big spenders a message by not only denying them a 2/3 vote, but by denying them a simple majority vote of 50% + 1 vote. That would temper their arrogance.


4 people like this
Posted by Apple
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 1, 2016 at 6:25 pm

@Equity, @Call To Action,

At this point in time, what should be done next is dependent on the election results. It's much too late to start organizing group campaign activities. Individually, each of us can still talk to our neighbors to sway their vote.

There has been a semi-organized opposition. Ballot arguments and rebuttals were written against the parcel taxes. Community members have reached out to their neighbors and local newspapers outlining their objections. Numerous editorials and letters to the editor have been written against the taxes.

It's certainly not as organized as the proponent side, but the opponents were never going to be as organized. The proponents decided when the election would be most convenient for them. They filed the election paperwork at the very last minute, which limited whatever opposition could organize. The proponents had time to organize ahead of time. The taxes are for the direct benefit of their children, which means they are much more willing to put in time and money to campaign. The proponents have access to mailing lists and phone numbers of likely yes voters (i.e. other parents).

The only advantage the opponents have is the 2/3 vote requirement (and the facts).


9 people like this
Posted by Call to Action
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 1, 2016 at 8:35 pm

Thank you Apple.

To: Voters who have decided to vote NO on A and C but can't find that ballot....

Vote in person at the 40 Tower Road office any weekday through May 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or on Election Day, Tuesday, May 3, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Almanac votes NO.
The Daily Post votes NO.


To parents who are worried to vote no,

We can reorganize after town meetings this spring and summer to put something sensible on the November ballot without running the risk of a PERMANENT tax that we will live with long after your children are gone and you're trying to send them to college and actually retire....


2 people like this
Posted by Propaganda
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 1, 2016 at 9:49 pm

I know two people who registered before the deadline and have yet to receive ballots. I guess the only recourse is to go to Redwood City or San Mateo to vote? One of them will be out of town on Tuesday. I wonder if others did not receive ballots.


2 people like this
Posted by Call to Action
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 1, 2016 at 11:34 pm

Good point.

Let's make it easy to help constituents vote NO on A and C.

Voters who have not received a ballot or have a question should contact the Registration & Elections Division at (650) 312-5222 or by email: registrar@smcare.org.


15 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 2, 2016 at 7:58 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

If you have not yet voted and you have unanswered questions regarding Measures A and C please post those questions here and I and others will endeavour to answer them in an as unbiased way as possible throughout the day today and tomorrow.

Informed citizens are the lifeblood of a democracy.


9 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 2, 2016 at 8:05 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here are the texts and the ballot arguments for Measures A and C:


Web Link


17 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 2, 2016 at 8:11 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here are the pro and con video presentation on Measures A and C:

Menlo Park 2016 Election Measures A & C - Pros and Cons
The Midpen Media Center
The Midpen Media Center

Published on Apr 8, 2016
Shari Conrad presents her arguments in favor of Menlo Park Measure A.
Peter Carpenter presents his arguments against Menlo Park Measures A & C.
Scott Hinshaw presents his arguments in favor of Menlo Park Measure C.
Peter Carpenter repeats his arguments against Menlo Park Measures A & C.

Web Link

Presented by the Midpen Media Center, based in Palo Alto, California


2 people like this
Posted by Joe G.
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 2, 2016 at 10:16 pm

Thanks to all who helped get some answers from the board. Here is a summary of the response from a member of the board.

Q: How many out of district children of MPCSD staff are currently enrolled in MPCSD schools?
About 2% of the district student total of 800.

Q: Where does this expense show up in the MPCSD budget?
A: It doesn't.

Q: Is it included in the $7 million+ Benefits line item?
A: No. It's a benefit to make the overall working conditions attractive, similar to offering teachers a small class size.

Q: Is this benefit reflected in the compensation analysis of the staff?
A: No.

Q: Is this benefit taxable income to the recipients?
A: Of course not.

If you have not done so, please remember to vote NO and A & C.


Like this comment
Posted by Joe G.
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 2, 2016 at 10:52 pm

Sorry all. One correction. The student population is about 2,000 NOT 800.


Like this comment
Posted by Ally
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 2, 2016 at 11:38 pm

Thanks Joe, for providing answers that we've been asking for a long time.

Actually the total population in MPCSD is 2,949 students. 2% of that is 58.98 or 59 students.

59 x 17K=$100,300

That is a lot of money to provide a "perk" for teachers that, while terrific, are likely to work in MPCSD anyway since they are the highest paid in the state.

I suggest that we revisit this perk, given that we are in "dire financial times". The scare tactic email that I received tonight from Jeff Weiner said the following: "Without Measures A and C our schools will lose $5.7M in annual revenue which will result in the loss of at least 42 teaching positions."

If we are that desperate that we are about to loss 42 teaching positions, then I suggest we revisit this perk before turning to the taxpayers as first plan of action.


4 people like this
Posted by I didn't know that
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 3, 2016 at 5:47 am

Ally Math correction:

59 kids at $17,000 each is $1,003,000 *NOT* $100,300 as written.


2 people like this
Posted by Clarifying note
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 3, 2016 at 8:32 am

Just to clarify the kerfuffle out there - the union negotiates the current year contract EVERY year - which for people who pay attention to so much, is a somewhat shocking miss.


4 people like this
Posted by Apple
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 3, 2016 at 9:16 am

So if we vote no, then the school board will be in a better position to ask for concessions, such as non-resident employees paying for some of the cost to send their kids to MPCSD schools or holding the line on pay and benefit increases.

If we vote yes, the union will see a big pot of money available and will ask for more.


6 people like this
Posted by Train Fan
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on May 3, 2016 at 9:31 am

Train Fan is a registered user.

> teachers that, while terrific, are likely to work in MPCSD anyway since they are the highest paid in the state.

This statement needs a little clarification.

Among all elementary school districts in the state of California with at least 500 students, MPCSD teachers are the highest paid in the state.

If you remove the 500-student restriction, MPCSD teachers are the 2nd highest paid in the state; there's a tiny district in Southern California that has an average teacher salary slightly higher.


> the union negotiates the current year contract EVERY year

That is even WORSE news. Basically, the contract with the teachers union is worthless; the community is not represented in bargaining...at all. Any contract has to stay as-is from the communities perspective, but the Union can change it any time it wants.

What's the point in having a contract if one party can negotiate changes any time it wants?

This school board is looking worse and worse by the minute...


6 people like this
Posted by No on A + C
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 3, 2016 at 9:32 am

"Without Measures A and C our schools will lose $5.7M in annual revenue which will result in the loss of at least 42 teaching positions."

That is completely misleading garbage. Measure A currently brings in approximately $1.56 million. Measure C, will bring in approximately $3.7 million in 5 years ($468.8 x 7900 = $3,703,520) if it passes. They're already counting as lost revenue a measure that hasn't even passed yet?

MPCSD business office has all these excuses why certain items in their revenue shouldn't count as revenue, while counting as revenue money that hasn't even been approved by voters.

I'm disgusted.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 3, 2016 at 9:41 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The onion of obfuscation is being peeled away by diligent citizens seeking the facts.

And the facts do not support Measure A or Measure C.


8 people like this
Posted by Train Fan
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on May 3, 2016 at 10:10 am

Train Fan is a registered user.

I recently played the lottery and didn't win.

Using the School Board's (and its sycophants) logic, because I didn't get the jackpot, I "lost" over 200 million in revenue.

Using the School Board's (and its sycophants) logic, if I ask my employer for a $50k raise and don't get it, my salary was reduced by $50k.

What kind of math and logic are these people using...common core?????


6 people like this
Posted by Alex
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 3, 2016 at 12:09 pm

I was at the Menlo Park community center last night. Someone put a "No on A and C" flyer on every car in the parking lot.

It goes to show the level of dislike that the community has for the size, the permanence, and the governance decisions around the parcel tax measures.

Was it you @Call to Action?


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 3, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

You can drop off your ballots at:
Menlo Park City Hall, 701 Laurel Street(during regular business hours.

eligible voters may visit the Registration & Elections Division at 40 Tower Road, San Mateo to cast their ballot or return a voted mail ballot. The office will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Use car pooling if you have to. We need the NO votes.
Ballots receieved as of yesterday, were over 4,500. We need more!


Like this comment
Posted by Joe G.
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 3, 2016 at 1:26 pm

Wow. We pay some pretty good salaries in the MPCSD. It is all laid out at the following site.

Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 3, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

And the teachers' salaries do NOT include the $17k it costs to educate each of the 60 or so out of district children that they bring into the MPCSD schools.

Nor is that benefit reflected in their taxable income or in their compensation negotiations.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 3, 2016 at 1:59 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

You can drop off your ballots at:
Menlo Park City Hall, 701 Laurel Street until 5:30 P.M.

Eligible voters may visit the Registration & Elections Division at 40 Tower Road, San Mateo to cast their ballot or return a voted mail ballot. The office will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Use car pooling if you have to. We need the NO votes.
Ballots recieved as of yesterday, were a little over 4,500. We need more!

I am trying to get David Tom at county Elections to provide replacement ballots at Menlo Park City Hall. Right now they have a slotted box and envelopes.

If you lost your ballot and can't make it to Tower Road, I suggest that, as a last resot, you insert your vote, with an identifying mark, in an envelope, seal it and sign it. That should unambiguously establish "voter intent".

I am trying to get David Tom at county Elections to provide replacement ballots at City Hall.

This is one of the unintended consequences of the all-mail ballot.


Like this comment
Posted by MP parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on May 3, 2016 at 2:03 pm

>>>>And the teachers' salaries do NOT include the $17k it costs to educate each of the 60 or so out of district children that they bring into the MPCSD schools. Nor is that benefit reflected in their taxable income or in their compensation negotiations.<<<<

I thought the actual cost per student was closer to $13K? (As opposed to the $17K that Measure C requests.) If an out-of-district child's "home school district" spends more per child than MPCSD, should the teacher/staff member get a tax deduction?


2 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 3, 2016 at 2:07 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Teachers who bring their children into the MPCSD from outside the school district should have to claim it as income in my opinion. At the very least they should be responsible as "income" for the difference between the per pupil spending in their home district and in MPCSD.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 3, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"I thought the actual cost per student was closer to $13K"

$13k is MPCSD's claimed revenue per student - which does not include the substantial property taxes paid for MPCSD bond debt repayment.

The District has never revealed what its cost per student is however using the $2.20 per parcel from Measure C and the 7800 plus parcels gives a cost of $17k.


13 people like this
Posted by Train Fan
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on May 3, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Train Fan is a registered user.

> $13k is MPCSD's claimed revenue per student - which does not include the substantial property taxes paid for MPCSD bond debt repayment.

$13k also doesn't stand up to the application of basic math:

From the MPCSD budget: $42,726,549 in revenue
From the MPCSD website: 2941 students

42,726,549 / 2941 = $14,527.89 revenue per student

Source: MPCSD budget: Web Link

Source: MPCSD website: Web Link


Regardless how this vote turns out, this isn't over.


9 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 3, 2016 at 8:09 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Now that Measures A and C have failed what should be the agenda for the MPCSD Board?

1 – Understand the depth of misunderstanding and mistrust in the community,

2 – Commit to full transparency as they move forward including a redesigned web site that actually includes and makes easy to find all of the financial, performance and union contract information,

3 – Prepare a SINGLE Parcel Tax measure for the November General Election that supersedes ALL of the current parcel taxes and which has a 6 year expiration date,

4 – Commit to doing everything possible within the next six years to creating a Unified Elementary School District serving Woodside, Portola Valley, Menlo Park, Atherton, East Palo Alto and the adjacent unincorporated areas of San Mateo County.


7 people like this
Posted by Train Fan
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on May 3, 2016 at 8:13 pm

Hi Peter,

While I'm not yet willing to declare victory, the early results do look promising.

Wow, almanacnews.com DOES make a difference!

Wow, the comment section in almanacnews DOES make a difference!

Even if the voting tide turns, my faith in the democratic process is (partially) renewed!


5 people like this
Posted by Train Fan
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on May 3, 2016 at 8:16 pm

For a district that has NEVER had less than a 70% YES vote on a bond or parcel tax, 53.8% has gotta hurt.


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 3, 2016 at 8:19 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

MENLO PARK CITY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT MEASURE A
20 Complete Precincts:of 20
Yes 59.17%
2,819

NO 40.83%
1,945

MENLO PARK CITY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT MEASURE C
20 Complete Precincts: of 20
Yes 53.79%
2,560

No 46.21%
2,199

46.21%


4 people like this
Posted by Joe G
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 3, 2016 at 8:30 pm

Pretty resounding rejection. I wish I could attend tomorrow morning's board meeting. Good job everyone getting the word out.


4 people like this
Posted by Train Fan
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on May 3, 2016 at 8:39 pm

Yeah, that's a pretty resounding rejection. I'm impressed, and tremendously thankful that people voted with their head instead of just emotion and used judgement instead of misinformation.

I'm sure some parents are probably upset, but this rejection will force the district to behave in a manner that is in the long-term best interest of both current and FUTURE students and parents. This district and board have been spending like drunken sailors, and were going to force future boards into making difficult choices due the current district taking the current money and economy for granted.

So, just like a drunken sailor, it's time to detox and get your financial house in order, MPCSD!

We'll be watching. You better believe it.


2 people like this
Posted by No on A + C
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 3, 2016 at 8:48 pm

Probably won't be seeing any discussion at the board meeting until after official results are in. Besides, by law, the board is not allowed to discuss items not listed on the agenda.

At least the board can't dismiss and ignore the critics this time.


2 people like this
Posted by Call to Action
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 3, 2016 at 8:48 pm

To Alex:

Let's just that I know about the 100 fliers that went out last night with Mr. Carpenter's rebuttal on copied verbatim on on side and Ms. Wood's instructions verbatim for how to vote at the last minute if you lost your ballot. Others did the work and a call to action put some seat time in to reach even more voters....

Certain places were targeted that would reach the population outside of schools. Senior center parking lots, train station commuters, and places where cars were out late (i.e. families not home putting kids to bed). Who says that it's too late to rally? :)

Thanks for commenting that the fliers reached you and thank you for voting. NO/


4 people like this
Posted by Curious C.
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 3, 2016 at 8:56 pm

I am with you Train Fan. This is not over. It's just beginning.

It's time to take back our community. Let's keep the momentum going now.

I recommend that folks come and speak at the board meeting tomorrow or send someone on your behalf with your address to read for you if you have something to say and cannot be there.

It's likely that Barbara Wood will be there and it's a good opportunity for us to meet one another, exchange contact information and get a grass roots campaign going.


2 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 3, 2016 at 9:05 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

It's great that voters voted with their heads. Glad to see these measures fail.

I wish I could be at tomorrows board meeting as well. Unfortunately, for this board, I don't think they'll "get it." They're too arrogant and think what they're doing is "best."

I'll believe the board behaves in a financially responsible way the day I see it. My bet is we'll see two more measure on the ballot for November. Or if they really want to try and pull another fast one, we'll see another special election.


4 people like this
Posted by Mike Keenly
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 3, 2016 at 9:42 pm

The voters have spoken. Hopefully the Board will see this for what it is: a massive reality check.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 4, 2016 at 9:56 am

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Is the state's $15,000,000 share of the CalSTRF bailout included in per puptil expenditures? See:
Web Link

I sent the following to LAO Principal Fiscal & Policy Analyst, Ryan Miller: Web Link

"Ryan, I am researching cost per pupil of our school districts. I have identified debt service on state and local bonds as a major, unreported component of current reporting.

In 2014-2015, MPCSD had a $6.1 Million levy to service $114.7 Million of debt. That’s $2,104.39 per ADA which is not included in their current revenue per student. The districts debt as of November 2015 was $136,957,418. They also have incurred $20.5 Million in state debt by virtue of matching grants. What is the state debt service per ADA on that debt?
Thinking that was a lot of debt service, I contacted the San Mateo County Controller’s Office to get similar numbers for all the school districts in the county. I was shocked to find that SMUHSD had $557.5 Million in debt, and debt service of $9,746.74 per ADA.

Since the state is contributing to CalSTRS, how is that cost accounted for in each district’s per pupil calculation?

Yours for transparency,

Jack Hickey


2 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 4, 2016 at 10:05 am

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Regarding the state's debt service on bonds used to supporting matching grants, I received the following from Dan Kaplan of the LAO: Web Link

Hi Jack,

Our website has historical state expenditure data going back to the 1984-85 budget year, located here Web Link. If you open the pivot table, you will see that the total state debt service for K-12 general obligation bonds was $2.3 billion in the 2014-15 budget year. The statewide student enrollment was 6,235,520 in 2014-15 (the most recent data available). Therefore, the statewide per-student debt service cost was approximately $368 per student in 2014-15.

I encourage you to contact me with any follow-up questions.

Best,
Dan

Dan Kaplan
Fiscal and Policy Analyst || Teachers, Administrators, & School Facilities
Legislative Analyst’s Office

When you ask questions at today's meeting (for items not on the agenda) ask them about the real cost per pupil.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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