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Schools: Trying to get in
Original post made
on Oct 1, 2009
A tiny neighborhood near Woodside High School is petitioning to be included in the Las Lomitas Elementary School District.
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 2:15 PM
Posted by What they deleted. . .and more
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Oct 6, 2009 at 12:44 pm
The editor deleted a bit of my last post because I made a guess that the anonymous poster is from the petitioning neighborhood, is one of the people pushing the petition, and has the name mentioned in the article (and another post) as the lead petitioner, who also lead the petition to "move" from Redwood City to Woodside.
Anonymous just posted claiming that s/he is a disinterested observer. Huh. Cuz the amount of time/energy/annoyance put in those posts seems like a lot for someone who doesn't have skin in the game. Seems like a talk-radio kind of thing. . . But I thought that philosophy is that government is bad and wasteful, so wasting government resources in this way would be out of character?? I totally don't get this kind of strident righteousness and don't claim to understand American politics/culture so don't get het up if I'm all wrong.
Empty nesters moving out when their property value soars due to a windfall is very rational and a proven pattern. Say you've lived in your house for 40 years and have been retired for 15. Low tax, no mortgage, so it makes sense to stay put. But it would be nice to move to a different community, for any number of reasons. Then you get a windfall of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Lots more freedom of choice may be just the thing to push you to make the decision. Besides, you remember how great the street was when your kids were young, families in every house. Now that your house is in a better school district and the realtors will be pushing it as a family street, maybe it's time to move.
I have not claimed in any way that it's the empty nesters pushing for redistricting. (Nor have I said they are the greedy ones). I predict, based on what's happening in Ladera, that if the neighborhood changes districts, it will speed the process of generational turnover.
If you re-read my last post, you will note that I am describing my street in Ladera as having no children in 2/3rds of the houses. I know all my neighbors and know who has kids.
You acknowledge that you are jumping to a conclusion that I/we want to close the doors to our school. No. In fact, I'm inviting people to buy/rent houses in the district if they want to attend Las Lomitas schools.
People without kids do move all the time. Here in Ladera, however, most of the houses selling in the last 2 years have been bought by families with kids. There are 3 small Eichlers on our street that have each sold 2 or 3 times this decade. Each buying family has had kids. One family moved back to their home country; the others bought bigger houses in Ladera. I think the county and the school districts numbers are unrealistic, because I expect those 2 streets would become magnets for families. If I'm correct, the streets would be anomalous to general county patterns. I don't know the houses, but the Google view shows the lots to be smaller than others in Woodside Heights, thus more "middle class." There are other unincorporated streets off the Alameda (between Las Lomitas and Avy) that have become crowded with kids. It's like the 50s in there, white picket fences, kids playing in the streets and all!!
Many many families wanting to send their kids to our PUBLIC schools (perhaps private school quality, but in no way quasi-private) manage to find places to live here and ways to afford it. If your number one goal is to have kids at Las Lomitas, there are so many options, from some run-down apartments to incredible grandeur. If you're really committed to it, you make it happen yourself -- not by buying out of distrct and using expensive government processes to teleport your house into a redefined city and district.
The district lines are a type of rule. Show your children how to live in society by following the rules, instead of changing the rules for your specific benefit. Grrrr, that kind of selfish behavior drives me nuts! If these families didn't have clearly adequate resources to take care of their families, it wouldn't be quite as annoying. Maybe if they'd tried for the school change before the city change it wouldn't look so aggressively greedy.
Maybe they borrowed too much against their homes' (fallen) values, can't sell, and can't afford private school anymore. That's an unhappy story, but there are still decent choices, like the great elementary charter in RWC, or home-schooling for a year or more. But don't seek a public solution to a private problem.
If our enrollment keeps growing, one of the leased campuses will have to be reclaimed and reopened. Huge expense! Huge workload! Huge processes of decision-making and cost-cutting and public input --and stress. If a third school has to be opened, I am certain I'll be on the front lines: lobbying for a bond, soliciting for private donations, making my own as-much-as-we-can-afford donation. I would be so much happier to continue volunteering in the classroom, having playdates at my home, having some unstructured time for my family. Having worked on the last parcel tax effort, I know the time and toll it takes. As much as I'd like Ladera school open again, I'd rather the process didn't have to happen. If we weren't so close to the tipping point, I don't think I'd care much. As it is, I don't like that tipping point brought closer by a few people seeking a public solution to a private problem, who don't seem to be thinking about the larger picture (including the likelihood of neighborhood demographics changing) in their quest for having a grander life without working harder for it.