Monday: Parcel tax vote for Menlo Park school board

Menlo Park City School district board meeting is in Hillview PAC at 6 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 5, will be the public's last chance to weigh in on the details of a parcel tax measure that the Menlo Park City School District's governing board is pondering putting on the March 7 ballot.

The board meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Hillview Middle School Performing Arts Center, 1100 Elder Ave. in Menlo Park.

A draft resolution that will be considered by the school board calls for a $350 annual tax on each parcel in the school district, which includes parts of Atherton and Menlo Park, roughly between U.S. 101 and Alameda de las Pulgas and Sand Hill Road and Atherton Avenue. The tax would expire after six years.

The proposed ballot text is: "To protect outstanding public schools, retain high-quality teachers and excellent programs, avoid teacher layoffs, maintain reasonable class sizes, and sustain property values, shall the Menlo Park City School District replace its expiring parcel tax at the new rate of $350 expiring after six years, adjusted annually for inflation, raising $ 2.75 million annually to be spent only on teachers and essential educational programs at Encinal, Laurel, Oak Knoll, and Hillview schools with independent oversight, annual audit, and senior exemption?"

The meeting will be the first for two new board members, David Ackerman and Caroline Lucas. They will join board members Joan Lambert, Terry Thygesen and Stacey Jones. The board will also elect a new president and clerk on Monday.

The proposed resolution explains that when the parcel tax that is set to expire at the end of June 2017 was put into place, the district expected its enrollment would level off and the state would restore funding it had taken from schools.

Instead, the resolution says, district enrollment has continued to increase and the state has not increased funding but has instead vastly increased the amount of money it requires the school district to pay into its pension system.

Related story: Parcel tax measure in Menlo Park City School District moves toward board approval.

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4 people like this
Posted by WOW
a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 5, 2016 at 3:58 pm

I guess the Board just doesn't understand NO!. A primer, it is the opposite of Yes. The taxpayers do not want to pay more until you cut expenses. The voters said no, why does this money grab continue?

4 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 5, 2016 at 6:36 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"why does this money grab continue?"

Because "it's for the kids." Or, it's becasue many of the parents of this district would like the rest of us pay for the cost of providing an above standard education instead of paying for the added cost themselves.

2 people like this
Posted by brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 12, 2016 at 5:25 pm

I am a parent of children and I will still probably vote NO on this. The MP school board does not seem to be in tough with reality and needs to look at their costs and non teacher salaries before tapping the residents again. Looking at how much of my property taxes goes to School Bonds or School parcel taxes makes me realize they need to get a handle on things. The goal should not be to spend more per child, it should be to spend effectively per child. Look at the salaries in our school district and tell me that is happening...

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