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If I found $150,000 to spend on the schools, I would...

Original post made by Terman dad, Terman Middle School, on May 14, 2013

The school board's answer is "hire a public relations person"! What's yours?
My ideas: better school lunch, tutoring for kids who can't afford it, more supervision at lunchtime and recess, art supplies for kids, materials for our science classes...

Comments (20)

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Posted by Jordan Mom
a resident of College Terrace
on May 14, 2013 at 8:03 pm

...expand the Connections program from JLS to other schools.


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Posted by Good Point
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 14, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Right, good point. Reminds me of the old bumper sticker, wouldn't it be great if schools had all they needed but the air force had to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber. Good hippie logic there. Heck, let's fire all the administrators and run the schools as a co-op - we could have great school lunches that way ;-)


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Posted by Gunn student
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 14, 2013 at 8:38 pm

...fix up the Bat Cave, it's depressing.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2013 at 9:59 pm

School buses that got all the kids to their schools.


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Posted by village fool
a resident of another community
on May 14, 2013 at 11:41 pm

I wonder if your question is possibly about more than $150,000? Teachers, for example, are very visible. I wonder if there is a way to measure the administration structure/added value? efficiency? possible overlaps? Is there any external data that can be used? Maybe the # of teachers who were promoted to newly created administration positions? Maybe the % of the budget does not go to those serving the students directly?


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Posted by Hayes mom
a resident of Walter Hays School
on May 15, 2013 at 9:36 am

Foreign language in elementary school.


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Posted by more for Elementary
a resident of Walter Hays School
on May 15, 2013 at 9:47 am

Esconidido, Walter Hays and Ohlone are the only schools where the kid to Admin ratio is over 500 to 1. It's ridiculous. All of those schools need an assistant principal. Hays has 560 kids this year, and also houses the most special education classes. My understanding is that Escondido and Ohlone are operating at numbers close to that. The other schools - elementary, middle and high all operate on a ratio closer to 300 :1. Elementary Education is completely ignored by the District.



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Posted by Teacher
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 15, 2013 at 11:18 am

More special education teachers to assist full inclusion.


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Posted by qed
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 15, 2013 at 11:44 am

Spend it on a communications officer to deal with the increased workload caused by special interest groups.


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Posted by PA resident
a resident of JLS Middle School
on May 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm

I'm afraid "special interest groups" means "parents" for qed.

My vote: I'm with teacher. Full inclusion is a good idea if done right, but teachers need training and support to serve students with special needs and the regular student population in the same class. There hasn't been enough of either. If we have extra money, and apparently we do, let us spend it where it directly benefits students.


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Posted by qed
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 15, 2013 at 3:14 pm

"I'm afraid "special interest groups" means "parents" for qed."

I'm afraid "PA resident" doesn't understand the difference between individuals and organized special interest groups.


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Posted by PA resident
a resident of JLS Middle School
on May 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I see that qed had some bug in his bonnet that I don't quite follow. But I want our tax dollars spent to help our students.


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Posted by Suicide prevention
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 15, 2013 at 3:34 pm

More QPR training!!!


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Posted by qed
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm

PA Parent, you are confusing individuals with special interest groups. Calling these special interest groups "parents" is the same as claiming the NRA has no lobbying capabilities.
I'd love these tax dollars to be spent on our students, however the district is spending over $150,000 today dealing with requests, emails, communications by these special interest groups. It's a zero sum game. Why not formalize this into a position as it once was. If the amount of requests drop down, the position becomes redundant as it once did.


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Posted by Que?
a resident of Escondido School
on May 15, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Elementary school foreign language for all definitely.


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Posted by HRH
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 15, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Hi qed, care to substantiate the claim that "the district is spending over $150,000" on communicating with "special interest groups"?
The only "requests" I can think of that you are talking about are public records act requests. Looking at the list of requests (at Web Link), it seems that it is the media that is requesting records. Is that the "special interest group" you are talking about? Other than from the media, looking back at least six months I see requests for an organization chart, some grade data, and some survey data. Not $150,000 worth. Maybe $150.
The public records act requests that the district are seeing are almost all related to the civil rights violations that district staff got us into. Blaming that mess on parents and "special interest groups" seems disingenuous at best.


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Posted by Green thumb
a resident of Nixon School
on May 15, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Thanks for this thread! These are all great ideas! I hope school board members are reading and rethinking!

I vote for gardens in the schools. Think of the great gardens we could create for kids with $150,000 to work with!


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Posted by Linguist
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 15, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I would offer more foreign language options, such as Polish and Portuguese (Brazilian).
I would certainly offer them at the elementary level, even kindergarten.


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Posted by Short Memories?
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 15, 2013 at 9:40 pm

I wonder if many people remember the FLES task force a few years back that looked into foreign language in elementary schools. They presented the cost and impact assessment on their recommended option, and the price tag and disruption made it dead on arrival. The board politely listened and I believe that was the end of it. Sounds like a great after-school option for those parents who want it.


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Posted by Linguist
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 16, 2013 at 8:45 am

I personally do not remember FLES, but I am sure it was a good idea. Cost,of course, is always an issue, but this would have been worth it. Sometimes you just have to shell out, and I for one wold have been willing to dig into my pockets, had I known.

An after-school program would have worked well for my son, and I would have been very supportive of such a program, had I known. I think the word just did not get out and get circulated very well.


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