Thursday, February 17, 2011

Los Altos Hills City Council votes to support LASD parcel tax

[Again, it bears reminding that this blog is my personal blog and does not reflect the positions of the entire LASD Board of Trustees. over coming posts, I'll be discussing why I believe it's important to pass the parcel tax.]

I'm pleased to say that the Los Altos Hills City Council voted tonight to endorse the parcel tax LASD has placed on the May 3 ballot.

The discussion was a difficult one. LAH, more than other parts of the community, is split by the BCS issues. Several BCS parents and supporters spoke in opposition to the measure. Most of the discussion was centered on the fact that there is no direct cash transfer to BCS.

I believe that the tax in fact does benefit BCS. Under Prop 39, changes to our classroom loading also affect BCS. The simple fact is that if the tax doesn't pass, it will have a significant impact on our class sizes, which would change the the BCS facilities. offer. As goes the district, so goes BCS.

The Hills Council included language in their resolution that expressed the divides in their community. The council has a difficult job, and I respect their desire to represent the opinions of the broadest portion of their community. I believe that the things they expressed are for the most part consistent with the goals and actions of LASD. I had the opportunity to speak with several of the council members afterwards- including some who voted for the resolution, and some who opposed it. I'm glad to have opened this dialogue, and hope to continue it moving forward. In the meantime, I'm grateful for their endorsement, and look forward to the parcel tax campaign.


  1. I'm not sure one can say the Los Altos Town Council endorses the parcel tax. Let's do a full disclosure here and add what LAH Council said, ""Whereas LASD should submit balanced budget proposals for the upcoming school year (with and without parcel tax revenue), seek additional cost-cutting measures including concessions from employees unions, including sharing with BCS in future Parcel Tax measures, and provide a long term location for BCS, per the goals of the Educational Blueprint."
    If LAH Council endorses the parcel tax, it's conditional at best; and, a lack of endorsement in reality since the parcel tax language does not reflect these conditions.

  2. In the spirit of full disclosure, Ms Medlin has children at BCS, and spoke in opposition to the endorsement on the basis that the proposed parcel tax does not directly share revenue with BCS.

    I will post the full text of the endorsement later today.

  3. Yes, in full disclosure, i have two boys at BCS, and I would have opposed the parcel tax regardless of whether LASD shared the proceeds with BCS or not. I do not see the parcel tax as a charter school issue. It's a taxation issue. Even if LASD shared, on a pro rata basis with all public school kids living in the LASD district (which it chooses not to do), I believe there are a lot of things LASD must and can do it put kids before union interests.

  4. So, please go back over the record and review the LAH presentation. I did not base my opposition at all on the position that LASD doesn't share proceeds with BCS. I clearly stated that I opposed the parcel tax solely on the basis that LASD can do more for its kids... the LASD libraries were my example. I did disclose to the LAH council that my boys go to BCS (so that there was full disclosure) but it seems you presumed, wrongly, that that therefore was the reason for my opposition. It was not, as stated above.

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  6. @No

    I'm sorry, I don't permit anonymous postings on my blog anymore. I believe we are all best served when we know the identiy of the speaker.

    If you'd like to contact me directly, my email address is doug at smith4lasd dot (you konw the rest)

    You'll need to email me from an address to which I can reply. If you simply try to comment through the site, it doesn't show me your email address. FWIW, if you want a detailed reply, you'll need to reveal your actual identity.



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