In addition to many of the challenges faced in 2010, there is another wrinkle now: a mandatory pension obligation that must be met. As a former pension attorney I understand the nature of this requirement — it is wholly non-negotiable and out of the hands of the district.
Reasonable minds can differ about issues around unions, benefits, pay structures and the myriad complexities that running a school district entails. An active public can and should wrestle respectfully with controversial issues when input can help craft solutions. I myself have appeared before the school board more than once to discuss policies or decisions with which I disagreed. But this new pension obligation, which alters school district budgets significantly, was made in Sacramento. The Menlo Park City School District must comply and face the challenge of absorbing the increased expenditure.
In any case, opposing Measure X, a reasonably conceived initiative that is the product of much research and reflection on the part of the district, is not an effective way to protest legislative decisions made in Sacramento. The only results of the measure's failure, should it fail, would be degradation of the educational opportunities of current and future MPCSD students and declining morale among the excellent district staff.
"Yes" votes for Measure X will do more than renew the lapsing parcel tax — they will reinvigorate our collective priorities. With this in mind, I will vote "Yes." I urge Almanac readers to join me.
This story contains 541 words.
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