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Voter Guide: Big issues face Sequoia board candidates

Original post made on Oct 11, 2013

Perhaps a middle-aged hermit sequestered in the Santa Cruz mountains, someone with uncanny powers and unpleasant high school memories, is tormenting the Sequoia Union High School District with an ancient curse: "May you live in interesting times."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 11:43 PM

Comments (5)

Posted by Fred Varner, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 11, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Hopefully all the candidates learn from the short-sightedness of their predecessors who years ago sold valuable properties -- the San Carlos and Ravenswood High sites -- to developers in the interest of short term funding. More recently board members won what I consider an extravagant parcel assessment, much of which was wasted on unnecessary "improvements" that do little to improve core education. Example: What does the "architecturally significant" performing arts center do to support the core function of our schools? That money is now gone, and they, like their counterparts in the Los Lomitas and Menlo Park School Districts are coming back to the well yet again.

And let's hear it for the Coomon Core. Coomon sense in education. Reasoning and thinking translate a lot more easily across language barriers than rote memorization.


Posted by Patti, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 11, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Why do we have 3 school districts in Menlo Park? The students from Bellehaven and East Palo Alto could flow better into Menlo Atherton if they had a school more comparable to the other schools that flow into M-A. Since schools are funded largely by property taxes, drawing the school districts the way they are seems to ensure subpar schools for those on the other side of 101. What would it take to change this?


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

What would it take to change this?

Appropriate public outrage.


Posted by stats, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 14, 2013 at 5:58 pm

@Patti, Peter,

I don't think it's as simple as meets the eye. Thanks to California's complex funding formulas, the 3 districts all get more funding per pupil separately than they would as a combined district. MPCSD and LLSD are basic aid districts, while Ravenswood is a revenue limit district that actually brings in higher per pupil funding than either of the other two.

Web Link

A combined district would be a basic aid district with significantly lower per pupil funding.


Posted by Funding 101, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 14, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Thanks, stats. I get so tired of the ignorant comments from people who seem to think that the current district boundaries result from local racism or a desire to protect property values.

School funding is incredibly complex, which is why the LLESD and MPCSD, both basic aid, can't merge. Not unless the CTA allows it, which it wouldn't.

The funding formulas are largely determined by the state. If you want to spend all your time, energy, and money for the next ten years in a futile effort to fight the CTA and get the funding changed, be my guest. One thing I can guarantee you: you won't help Ravenswood one iota.

Ravenswood gets plenty of money for each student. Their problem is not about funding. More money doesn't always fix everything.


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