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Palo Alto per-student funding down by $788

Original post made on Mar 2, 2012

Per-student funding in Palo Alto schools from government sources has dropped by $788 -- or 6 percent -- since 2009, school district budget officials said.

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Comments (16)

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Posted by better than the past
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 2, 2012 at 10:11 am

Sounds like the PA schools are far better off than they were in the 1980s and 90s. My children had elementary class sizes of 32 in grade school in the late 80s and in the late 90s when my son took BC calculus the initial class size was about 50 (more than the number of seats). The teacher told them, that they need to wait til a few get behind and drop so that there will be desks for all. He took the first test sitting on the floor.

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Posted by thinking man
a resident of Meadow Park
on Mar 2, 2012 at 10:26 am

Facebook - overvalued as it is - will none the less give a huge tax increase to the states.
The city of Palo Alto is growing rapidly and there is a huge influx of Chinese and Korean money coming in buying for our excellent schools. Property prices and proeprty tax is on the increase. This should help fill the gap. However these immigrants tend to give less to charity and to PIE etc. - Statistic fact dont censor me - So that will also be down.

And the state as a whole is not yet at the bottom of the boom bust cycle. That will take another year. So there will be a lag before things pick up for the state, and so for the schools. The next few years are going to be tough, after which things should pick up.

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Posted by teacher
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 2, 2012 at 10:36 am

Y U NO say how much is spent per student total?!?

lazy reporter

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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 2, 2012 at 11:34 am

@teacher-- In the article: Per-student funding this year is budgeted at $12,234, down from $13,022 in 2008-09.

One suggestion: freeze raises. PAU has some of the highest salaries in the Bay Area (not the highest, but pretty high).

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Posted by parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 2, 2012 at 11:53 am

Brown's proposed tax is a "bait and switch." The money going to public schools from this tax means Brown will decrease the amount of money going to schools from other sources freeing money for the costly social programs he is unwilling to reform. The net impact will be similar to the way the lottery has worked - giving with one hand and taking with the other. Sounds a bit dishonest to me!

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Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 2, 2012 at 12:01 pm


You are very spot on with what Gov Brown is doing - he continues to fund High Speed Rail (last year spent $139 million), for example.

And where is Joe Simitian and Gordon, in leading to prioritize state spending to protect education? Why do they continue to vote for the pensions and salary increases for goverment workers, especially the high paid administrators?

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Posted by Trudy
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 2, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Chris Kenrick writes, "So far, local budget cuts -- including class size increases -- have remained largely invisible to students."

Is this your "expert" opinion?

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Posted by Carlos
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 2, 2012 at 5:33 pm

One more reason to phase out programs that are a constant drain of economic and academic resources like Tinsley. Something that is completely out of sync with today's reality.

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Posted by Carlos
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 2, 2012 at 5:44 pm

@thinking man,
Would you provide some backup for your claims about certain immigrant groups giving less to PIE? Less than whom? Less than wealthy white families? Less than working class brown people?

Is this information even tracked and available, or are you expressing some kind of biased anti-immigrant blanket statement?

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Posted by no raises
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 2, 2012 at 10:08 pm

it will be a crime if PAUSD gives their teachers a raise this or any upcoming year given these budget issues.

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Posted by Duveneck Parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Neighbor - the school district hasn't given cost employees pay increases in several years - at least three - and it doesn't look like they have any planned in the budget.

Palo Alto has the highest cost of living in the area - hence the high teacher salaries. Shouldn't our teachers be able to afford to live here in our community? My kids' teachers are at school before 8am and often there in the evening. I don't think they should have to commute from Gilroy too. We all work hard and I know that I value that my company pays me enough that I can live close by. I want my kids' teachers to be part of our community.

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Posted by Will
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 2, 2012 at 11:23 pm

common sense is on target here regarding Brown. His tax initiatives are a ruse. More taxes to pay for his ego legacy train. He's made it clear that schools will be targeted for cuts unless he gets his new taxes. That he targeted schools is perhaps a strategic good move, but displays his true colors. That high speed rail needs to be built to stoke his swelling ego, rather than for any rational or practical reason, speaks volumes to the integrity of that man. This article Web Link entitled "Governance by Boondoggle" touches on Gerry Browns drive to truly make California a third world country (and a good bit of anti-tax ranting) in his race to the bottom with High Speed Rail, with public school funding a necessary casualty along the path to progress.

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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 3, 2012 at 10:55 am

I suspect both PiE and the PTA could support the statistics that a smaller percent of immigrants tend to both volunteer and donate to the schools. If you are raised in a culture where neither is expected, it takes time to understand the difference in the customs here. Part of the strength of our schools comes from the strong base of volunteers for everything from PiE to field trip drivers to classroom volunteers.

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Posted by no raises
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 3, 2012 at 11:14 am

@ palo alto mom

there are tons of volunteers in every school district up and down the peninsula. the only way PAUSD is relatively unique is the occasional million dollar donor to create a lacrosse field or put in football night lights.

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Posted by Immigrant
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I really don't like the tone of the discussion here. All of a sudden, a discussion of decreased per pupil spending devolves into a discussion of immigrants.

This comforts the impression I've always had in Palo Alto, as an immigrant myself, and I've lived here for over 20 years. Palo Alto residents born in his country look down on first generation immigrants. How sad for a supposedly tolerant, open-minded community. I've always had this impression when on the school campuses of my children and your conversation here really proves my impressions true.

Frankly, I don't know if immigrants donate to PIE more or less than "natives" and volunteer more or less than "natives".... And is this really a good point to make? Immigrants buy houses and pay rents too. They also contribute to the economy. How can you calculate an accurate number of the dollars they generate for the schools?

However they contribute other things as well, such as a good work ethic and students who want to succeed in school, i.e. a good school environment for all students.

I really find this conversation sad.

Oh, and by the way, I volunteer several hours a week in high school and have volunteered throughout my kids' school career in Palo Alto.

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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 4, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Even within PAUSD there is a huge variance in the amount of volunteers at a school. Logically, if you have a parent that works part time or does not work outside the home, they will had more time to volunteer. Also logically, if you were raised in a family the volunteered a lot, you will be more likely to volunteer. If you were raised in a family where volunteering was unusual, you will probably be less likely to volunteer.

Palo Alto is lucky to have many parents that have the time to volunteer at school (and many parent volunteer at schools outside of PAUSD although their kids are here). Other districts have wonderful parents that do their best, but we are lucky to have a number of family with only one working parent which allows the other parent to volunteer at school if they are so inclined. This is no racist, just economics.

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