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.