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School districts put tax measures on upcoming ballots

Original post made on Jan 29, 2021

Two school parcel tax measures will go before voters this spring and next fall. The measures aim to maintain current educational programming and keep teacher salaries competitive, school officials say.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 29, 2021, 11:53 AM

Comments (13)

Posted by Kay Blocker
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jan 29, 2021 at 12:22 pm

Kay Blocker is a registered user.

I am forever in favor of supporting education. But this attempt is insulting. Where is the communication of plans for covid education? The schools have been closed for a year, generally education has been sub par for this year and we are supposed to impose new taxes. Cannot believe this. And we are supposed to forget the mismanagement that has occurred in the past.

Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jan 29, 2021 at 1:54 pm

Neighbor is a registered user.

No. Just No. We are sick of the incessant yearly ask from our local school systems, while they continue to propose and act upon senselessly expensive and inordinately excessive campus rebuilds. They have more money than God from the galas and million dollar donations from parents and community members, and yet they insist that this simply isn’t enough to provide quality education to our children (including music and the arts) while paying teaching staff appropriately. Where is all the money actually going? Please provide a detailed breakdown of expenses and a detailed monetary allocation for the PV School District. If a community with the wealth level of PV can’t maintain standards for a school district of a total of 700 kids, we need to know why.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 29, 2021 at 3:39 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Yet again. As predictable as the sunrise, MPCSD comes asking for more money. Why? Enrollment is DOWN and going down. There needs to be significant justification if I'm going to vote for renewal of a parcel tax that probably shouldn't have been passed in the first place.

Posted by Erin
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jan 29, 2021 at 4:43 pm

Erin is a registered user.

As a long-time PVSD parent of 3, I have been very happy with the thoughtful and cautious approach the school district has implemented to get our K-8 students back on campus this year. Kids have been on campus in a hybrid model since early in the fall. In fact, PVSD is 1 of only 8 out of the 23 public school districts in San Mateo County currently offering students on-campus schooling. It makes all the difference for my son to see his teachers and play (socially distanced and masked) with his friends at school.

Posted by Kay Blocker
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jan 29, 2021 at 11:40 pm

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Glad to hear from a parent with children in the schools and that you are happy with PV school plan. But I would like to see a breakdown as to where the money goes if I am to consider voting for this parcel tax. And what is supposed to happen after they graduate 8th grade....expensive private schools or our public high schools. Maybe that is where the money is truly needed.

Posted by Josh Moser
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jan 31, 2021 at 3:14 pm

Josh Moser is a registered user.

The PV schools have been funded through the same 4 revenue sources for decades: 1) local property taxes 2) the parcel tax, 3) donations from parents and the community to the PV Schools Foundation, and 4) state and federal funds. California ranks below the national average in school funding—and only a fraction of local property taxes goes to our local schools. The current parcel tax is about to expire. This May, residents of the District are being asked to renew it, at a lower amount. The District’s leadership is fiscally responsible, and has made cuts wherever possible without jeopardizing the high caliber of student services. In fact, because of the District’s excellent financial stewardship, Standard & Poor assigned it an AA+ bond rating.
The bottom line, the quality of our schools, and ultimately our property values, will change if the District’s funding is reduced. Please join me in supporting the parcel tax renewal.

Posted by Kristin Brew
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Feb 1, 2021 at 6:12 am

Kristin Brew is a registered user.

I would like the PVSD school district to explain why their costs keep rising as the number of students they serve keeps falling.

Posted by Connie Ngo
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Feb 1, 2021 at 11:58 am

Connie Ngo is a registered user.

Please visit the PVSD website at Web Link to learn more about our District's finances, or contact Chief Business Official Connie Ngo directly at [email protected]

Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 2, 2021 at 11:14 am

Brian is a registered user.

Menlo Park School District asks for money more often than the panhandlers that hang out by the stop lights. Every time I turn around they are asking for more money ($2000 per student at the beginning of the year, class donations, read-a-thons, auctions) and now they are yet again asking for another parcel tax. As Menlo Voter mentioned, enrollment has dropped over the last 10 years while the income from property taxes, the major source of funding, have skyrocketed (up about 10% each year). So less students, more income and they still want more. Maybe they should take a look at the current economy and be happy for what they have. Someone posted a great analysis about enrollment and revenues the last time this came up, I will have to see if I can find that and re-post it.

Posted by PV Resident
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Feb 2, 2021 at 5:54 pm

PV Resident is a registered user.

You can love our schools, our teachers and our Portola Valley community without greenlighting this spending. I'm fine with taxes but it's just too much, too many times.

The last Portola Valley vote will cost us $70-80 million for "upgrading" 2 schools with over a decade of declining enrollment. That's nearly $1.5 million per student served. The U.S. median spending for a new school construction is $60k/student served. Yes, it's more expensive in the bay area. Yes, it's more expensive with a small district. This is so far beyond that. If you thought it was excessive, now is your time to be heard.

In terms of annual operations, the CA average per student is 12k/year. Charters are 10k. PVSD is nearly 30k. I don't know the optimal number is to educate a child but in Portola Valley the answer is always "much, much more." We're all doing with less. For shrinking schools working with fewer students, less seems ok.

Posted by PV Resident
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Feb 2, 2021 at 6:16 pm

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Correction: at $70-80 million, it's about 150k/student total cost for UPGRADES (not 1.5 million). The median NEW construction number for the U.S. is 50-60k/student.

Posted by ADavison
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Feb 4, 2021 at 12:40 pm

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We have been taxed up the wazoo recently, including the way over the top bond measure from a few years ago for a dwindling student body. How about lowering the amount even more and relying more heavily on the willing participants of foundation?

Posted by MPCSD Public Information Officer
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Feb 8, 2021 at 9:44 am

MPCSD Public Information Officer is a registered user.

MPCSD Superintendent and Board Members invite members of the MPCSD community to attend an information session about district finances, including a replacement parcel tax for Measure X. We will host three sessions over Zoom: February 22 at 7:00 p.m., February 25 at 10:00 a.m., and February 27 at 9:30 a.m. More details and RSVP at The district welcomes community input as it makes decisions about the long-term financial health of our schools.

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