Tonight: Menlo Park council may examine 'education equity' proposal


The Menlo Park City Council will discuss tonight (Aug. 23) a proposal by Councilman Ray Mueller to help the Ravenswood City School District achieve education equity with other local school districts.

According to previous Almanac reporting, the school district, which recently conducted a master plan to study its aging facilities (most of which are more than 55 years old), identified more than $330 million in costs associated with bringing the facilities up to code, addressing hazardous materials and modernizing classrooms. However, the district can only legally ask its residents to support school bonds adding up to $51 million.

Mr. Mueller has proposed starting a joint powers authority, similar to the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority, with the purpose of promoting educational equity.

A recent legal opinion by attorney Eugene Clark-Herrera from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has said that forming such a group would not be illegal.

The council could designate up to two of its members to work on an "ad hoc committee" to study the idea, according to a staff report.

Mr. Mueller has suggested the group could include representatives from the cities of Menlo Park, Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, the Ravenswood City School District and San Mateo County, and the participating agencies could decide to contribute money to the district but would not be required to do so.

The Aug. 23 meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Menlo Park council chambers at 701 Laurel St. in the Menlo Park Civic Center.

See the meeting agenda and watch the meeting online.

Related stories:

How new regional agency could help Ravenswood schools

Narrowing education equity gap in local schools

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