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$70 million bond measure passing in Las Lomitas school district

Original post made on Jun 5, 2018

The first election night results show voters in the Las Lomitas Elementary School District approving a $70 million bond measure, with 65 percent of the votes counted in favor of the measure. The measure requires a 55 percent approval by voters.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, June 5, 2018, 8:38 PM

Comments (9)

27 people like this
Posted by Peninsula resident
a resident of another community
on Jun 5, 2018 at 9:20 pm

I think this result is a real shame. While well-intentioned, ignorant voters are enabling llsd to continue their poor management of finances. Llsd has more streams of dollars coming in than most school districts, yet is unable to translate those dollars into adequately maintained campuses.

12 people like this
Posted by MP resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 6, 2018 at 12:19 am

I agree but its far more than just financial mismanagement. There is a lack of vision for the district. When are we going to see some progress? What's the district working on? Is there anything new on the horizon?

PVSD is on it's third year of having a K-8 foreign language program.
MPCSD is opening an Early Learning Center.
Woodside has amazing service learning opportunities.

What do we have going. The same old LLESD with little to no new initiaves by the school board or it's employee. Come on trustees. Look at your neighbors around you. Aspire to more and get yourself a superintendent who has some fresh ideas for improving our teachers' use of technology, emotional learning, and world language from the elementary grades.

6 people like this
Posted by Digital Educator
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Heights
on Jun 6, 2018 at 6:30 am

Dear Peninsula and MP resident,

Your comments indicate to me that you may have not recently done a deep dive into what Las Lomitas and La Entrada schools are actually doing. Under our extraordinary Superintendent, curriculum has been significantly updated, supporting a variety of new and engaging pedagogically designed curricula, along with enhancing the quality of teaching, which directly translates to a much more meaningful student outcomes.

Adequately maintained buildings. Really? The vast majority of the two schools were built in the 1950's. Schools at that time were not designed for todays Earthquake safety standards, and public schools in California are now required to to meet the strict standards of the California Department of the State Architect (DSA), which greatly increases the cost of building classrooms. The portable classrooms, which are dull and dreary with little natural light, will be removed and replaced with modern classrooms that have capacity to teach, engage, and learn in modern and captivating ways. Student Centric teaching opens minds and engages students and faculty, much more than the "memorization" required in the days of yore. Accordingly, the new buildings will support 21st Century Learning, Collaboration, and active engagement. Todays LLESD is at the top of the mark, and producing excellent student outcomes year after year.

6 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2018 at 12:28 pm

This is why people need to get out and vote. 1100 people out of a ~22000 population (Menlo Park) got a tax bill rammed through that will cost most people in the district $300-600 a year extra. I don't even have a dog in this fight, and think that's pretty absurd.

14 people like this
Posted by Barbara Wood
Almanac staff writer
on Jun 6, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Barbara Wood is a registered user.

Robert - Just to clarify, according to San Mateo County's elections office, the Las Lomitas School District has 7,525 registered voters. Only voters who live in the school district -- which includes only a small part of Menlo Park but also parts of Atherton, Woodside and the unincorporated Ladera neighborhood of Portola Valley -- were eligible to vote on the bond measure. Votes mailed in on or close to the election date will be counted as they arrive.

10 people like this
Posted by Annie
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 6, 2018 at 2:59 pm

Is anyone aware of any studies showing the correlation of facilities spending with student achievement? All of the elementary districts mentioned above plus the Sequoia Union HS district have spent huge sums on facilities. Of course it makes some people in the community feel good because we’re “doing it for our kids, for the next generation.” But has all this spending helped educate our children by any measurable yardstick?

The real issue facing many districts is the quality of teaching. It’s not so much impacting the districts in our wealthy communities yet, but it will. We will need to pay teachers more. But many will fight this for two reasons: 1) public service pension payments that are eating up huge amounts of money that should be spent on education, and 2) teachers’ union opposition to any kind of merit based reward system. These are the real issues facing school districts, but they are unpopular to talk about and really hard to address. Until we do, we will continue to put money into facilities and pensions, but not into high performing public educators.

It’s a shame.

11 people like this
Posted by peninsula resident
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2018 at 6:52 pm

"you may have not recently done a deep dive into what Las Lomitas and La Entrada schools are actually doing...curriculum has been significantly updated..."

This is a Red Herring.

Define "Red Herring": something that is or is intended to be misleading or distracting.

The issue under discussion is not about the state of the curriculum. The issues are:

* the merits of $154 million in bond debt for a district with only 2 active campuses and just 1,386 students (and trending downwards), resulting in a cost of $113,821 per current student. To put that in perspective:

- PVSD has half as many students and its bond debt will be $104,304 per student if their new $40 million bond is approved.
- MPCSD has twice as many students and its bond debt is $45,794 per student.

* whether new buildings have any impact on academic performance.

"Adequately maintained buildings. Really? The vast majority of the two schools were built in the 1950's."

That's YOUNG. Lots of people live or work or teach or learn in buildings older than that. Nobody is disputing that buildings need to be maintained; the issue is whether LLSD does enough to maintain them cost effectively.

"Student Centric teaching opens minds and engages students and faculty, much more than the "memorization" required in the days of yore."

Another red herring.

5 people like this
Posted by Ladera resident
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Jun 7, 2018 at 9:54 pm

Almanac..please explain why Ladera School can't get opened with this new money. I understand there is a 50 year lease Woodland Woodland School, but seems economical to break the contract. The traffic into Portola Valley is crazy, since a majority of Woodland School students do not live in Ladera. Why do we have to bus the kids out of Ladera to go to Las lomitas and La Entrada, when they all could walk to Ladera School?

6 people like this
Posted by Don’t You Love It
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 8, 2018 at 7:17 am

Ladera Resident makes a good point. Lots of construction at both Las Lomitas and La Entrada, yet the district owns both the old Ladera (Woodland) and La Loma (Phillips Brooks) schools. But I guess it’s better to soak the community for more money and collect rent on the old schools than it is to just use the old schools.

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

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