MI Charter School in MV best move?
Original post made by Language Lover, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 26, 2007
1) Mountain View is currently facing declining enrollments; they even recently closed a school. They have space. Palo Alto is overenrolled and facing more enrollments with lots of new housing coming on line soon.
2) Mountain View, as expressed in a previous post, has a surplus of city funds. Palo Alto has a deficit.
3) Mountain View has a Spanish Immersion program which, unlike Palo Alto's choice program with limited enrollment, expands to take everyone who wants to be in the program, including students from Palo Alto. A Mandarin Immersion program could similarly take students from the MV district and Palo Alto.
4) A Mandarin Immersion program would attract new students and be a boon for the reputation of the Mountain View school district, which suffers some relative to Palo Alto and Los Altos schools (probably not deservedly as much as it does).
5) Palo Alto families interested in MI could go there for elementary, then continue in Palo Alto schools for middle and high school if they wished. By then, maybe Palo Alto would at least have summer immersion here, and a comprehensive language plan for all kids, including elementary kids who currently have no language instruction in neighborhood schools, through high school.
6) Because MV doesn't suffer the space, facilities, and monetary constraints of PA at the moment, an MI charter school in MV could start with grades beyond just K/1 -- it could start with prepared kids up to grade 2 or 3, meaning the kids of several of the interested PA PACE families who are now too old to start in K/1 would get the benefits of an MI program after all.
7) Mountain View schools are funded differently (I know nothing about this, I am remembering a discussion about charter schools and the different ways schools are funded in this area). From the previous post, it seemed that Mountain View was a better choice for a charter school than a basic aid district like Palo Alto because of the way the schools are funded.
8) Mountain View school district as a whole is probably a better fit right now with the mission of charter schools.
9) There is a lot of support in Mountain View for this kind of language instruction.
10) Palo Alto is facing space problems, and if PACE is right in their assertions about MI, this would free up some spaces in our elementary schools for now (though this is somewhat debatable -- are the people most likely to go now sending their kids to private schools?)
11) Mountain View is nearby.
12) Best of all, PACE gets the MI program it wants, without limitations -- even better than they would get here in PA -- no more controversy in Palo Alto, and we can direct our energy to strategic planning, and getting the kind of language program that offers the best language strategy for ALL of Palo Alto's children, and is more flexible for the future.
I would love to hear any comments, including from Mountain View Language Lovers.