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Town Square

Who donated funding for the MI feasibility study?

Original post made by pat on Jan 4, 2007

On January 3rd, the PA Weekly published an editorial: Make 2007 the 'Year of Openness.' It begins by saying, "Both city and school district leaders need to re-commit to idea of open communications and meaning of 'public servants'."

Full article at:
Web Link

I've been trying to find out who donated $66,000 to PACE for the MI feasibility study. One person points me to another who points me to another, but I never get what I'm looking for, i.e.,

- Who were the individuals/organizations who donated money?
- How much did each individual/organization donate?
- Are all donors residents of the PAUSD?

What I have learned is that even PAUSD board members – in their roles as public servants -- do not know where the money came from, nor do they seem to care.

I understand "public-private" partnerships. But there must be a distinction between accepting anonymous donations for approved school programs vs. donations to promote new programs that are not on any priority list.

In my view, it's unethical to accept money from unknown sources to push any program that will benefit only a few -- particularly when it diverts resources from existing priorities that the school district told us were in danger of being cut if Measure A wasn't passed.

If programs and subject matter are available for purchase, funding sources MUST be disclosed. I deeply resent the notion that anyone with enough money has the power to control PUBLIC school programs, determining how many children will get what kind of education -- at the taxpayers' expense.

As the Weekly editorial concludes, it is indeed "time to end this longstanding slight of the public's right to know."

Comments

Posted by Board Observer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2007 at 9:57 pm

The key distinction between donating to

1) a sports team, a basketball floor, stadium lights, improvements to the music room, donations of costumes, instruments, art supplies, etc (as booster clubs do), compared to donating

2) a "study" to be used as the key single piece of unbiased input, to be relied up by the Board of Education to make a decision to approve or decline a very narrow special interest program that will take up as much as 1/2 of an school for the forseeable future, and have a significant impact on the entire district

is materiality and potential for abuse. The first set of examples are donations to programs already in existence, they have non-material impact on district operations, and do not put recipients or donors in a real or percieved position of doling out favors or receiving special consideration. There is no danger of conflict of interest.

Whereas the second one does.

The district is putting itself and its donors in a precarious position by not being clear and transparent with who its taking money from on its material decisions, or refusing such funding. It is basic standards of business conduct. Perhaps the board could ask around to some of their local established corporate contacts to see if they can get a quick tutorial on this concept. Or perhaps they can read the papers...

Thanks for asking again. This has been a long standing, unanswered question.


Posted by UL, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 5, 2007 at 1:07 am

The source of a donation to a public school district is public record under Section 6252 of the state government code. If the district refuses to disclose the identity, submit a written request -- the district has 10 days to respond.

It's unthinkable to me that a policy making board would rely upon a study funded by a proponent of a particular policy.

How the board has handled this MI will be helpful in the fall school board election. I'm sure it will add candidates to the field.


Posted by Simon Firth, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 5, 2007 at 6:33 am

Surely, the source of the money is clear: PACE.

It's who's finacially backing PACE that PACE won't reveal. Would a letter to the district force them to reveal that?


Posted by Pauline, a resident of Juana Briones School
on Jan 5, 2007 at 7:29 am

Wow! Interesting stuff! I am so glad so many people are getting involved and knowledgeable.

Thanks from the other 90-95% ( depending on how you look at it) of the elementary school kids, not to mention from the taxpayers who believe that a tax funded program should be for ALL qualified kids, not for just a few lottery winners who displace OTHER kids from their closest school.


Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 5, 2007 at 7:56 am

Pauline,

Do you not agree with the fact that this program is not funded by taxpayers? As spelled out in the district alternative program policy and the feasibility study and by PACE's donation, all extra Mandarin materials are being paid by supplemented funds. All the taxpayer money is going toward the children of taxpayers. MI students are PAUSD students, remember?

Oh yeah, you don't believe the study, and don't believe the board will enforce it's policy, and don't believe that business services will honestly keep the donations and expenses separate and ...


Posted by palo altan, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 5, 2007 at 8:48 am

Paly Parent,

That PACE did supply the funds does seem odd. If you take a look at the conditions under which Traffic Calming are handled by the city: Web Link

It explicitly states: "Resident funding will not be used to speed up the qualification and study process or to qualify otherwise unqualified projects."

You would hope similar conditions applied to any PAUSD "choice" approval. How can it be acceptable for parent funding be used to speed up qualification and study process or to qualify otherwise unqualified choice programs?
No, I do not agree that this program is not funded by taxpayers. The board's approach/decision should not be affected by "donated" funds that then are considered "requested" and set an expectation of approval. Once approved, if the interested parties then wish to donate to enable earlier implementation then fine but no "funds" should be given before approval. Likewise, the offer of "donations" subsequent to approval should not affect the decision.


Posted by Simon Firth, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 5, 2007 at 9:25 am

Palo Altan -- you describe PACE's funding as 'parent funding.' I think one of the problems with PACE's secrecy about the source of its money is that it's not at all clear that PACE's money comes either from parents of students in Palo Alto or even from anyone in Palo Alto at all.

I wish they would at least reveal the names and amounts donated by those parents or residents happy to known as PACE supporters. There must be some, surely.

Too much of this whole debate – from the secret petition offered by PACE to prove its community support, to the details of where PACE gets its funding, to the feasibility study shorn of supporting data, to the anonymous postings on this forum FROM BOTH SIDES—has taken place in an atmosphere of obfuscation, anonymity, and secrecy. I've made it a policy to always comment on this topic as the real Palo Alto resident that I am. With very few exceptions I have no idea whether the posters on this forum are all one person or many. It's not healthy at all.

Back to the source of PACE's secret donations: even if we do, belatedly, get this information, I'm not persuaded that it was right of the district to accept their money for the reasons stated above. And even if all of its money comes from residents, that doesn't make MI as proposed a good idea.

You can't fault PACE for trying to do what's done, though. But we can, and should, expect better of the Board. As things stand, any decision for MI is going to look tainted to a lot of people kept on the outside of this PUBLIC school district's decision making.


Posted by Guess Who Again, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2007 at 11:06 am

Paly Parent, no we certainly do not agree that the program will be cost neutral, and will not be funded in part by general district funds.

The study failed to articulate full costs of start up that would be incurred in the form of time spent by district staff including Becky Cohn Vargas, Marilyn Cook, Norm Masuda, Gary Prehn, etc. This was ~admitted~ to by Becky Cohn Vargas in the 12/12 meeting. Expect a fuller accounting of start up costs in the next pass.

They also have not accounted for incremental costs in other staff overhead departments that will be spent on MI, such as HR, Assessment, Finance, etc. They have also failed to quantify how this program will create new enrollment growth (specific and particularly for MI only), and how the district will be compensated for that.

By the way, how much does the Spanish test used by SI cost the district? Did SIPAPA pay for that? How much? How much will the Mandarin version cost? Why isn't that in the study? That's startup ~and~ ongoing cost...

Also, the feasibility study clearly states (and Margracille confirms in posts along the way) that MI will enjoy district funding of 'unforseen costs' through regular district sources such as SIP, PTA, PIE, etc. So anything they fail to list in the study - the tax payers will pick up the tab.

It also says its up to the site principal to figure out how to make sure the program costs are fully covered within his normal sources of funds. (In other words, if PACE falls short in their funding promises, then the principal can't 'starve' the MI program for its needed expenses even if it cuts in to his funding purse for his site.

And by the way, is the principal of this site going to be expected to forgoe (for example) science teachers, or reading specialists or classroom aids, if MI fails to cover its own incremental costs through bake sales and Hobee's nights? Is the principal going to be expected to funnel an equivalent 'per pupil' ratio of all his discretionary funds to the MI program - no matter what, thereby destroying his ability to make decisions for the school? What if the school needs a new field? A new play structure? A science teacher? A reading program? An Art room? A refurbished blah blah blah... For all? Tough, he won't have the necessary flexibility because MI "GETS THEIRS FIRST".

The feasibility study has FAILED to meet the choice program guidelines as it has actually failed to make an affirmative statement confirming that this program will be cost neutral.

Borrowing from a famous request from Mandy (and one that was brought up by an audience speaker in the 12/12 meeting) How will this district be indemnified against the financial risk of cost over runs and revenue shortfalls? (That means, ~someone~ (Margracille?) takes out an insurance policy or puts up the equity in their house, or starts an escrow account or something.)

When we have that indemnification, then we can move on to the debate on the rest of the issues with MI. The cost neutrality is just one.




Posted by k, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 5, 2007 at 11:08 am

I strongly agree with UL, "It's unthinkable to me that a policy making board would rely upon a study funded by a proponent of a particular policy."

I'll add that the feasibility study seemed vague and sort of casual. This is what the BoE uses for the main report on the subject of MI???


Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 5, 2007 at 11:41 am

Whoever you are,

It's painful to repeat myself, (but you don't mind repeating yourself, so here goes)

MI students are PAUSD students, remember?

As PAUSD students, they will receive the same fair share of SIP, PTA, PIE, etc. that every student receives in the district. Are you denying them that?

If the principal, for example, wishes to spend SIP money on classroom aides, some of them might be Mandarin-speaking. Do you have a problem with that?

If instead of buying English Dr. Seuss books, the principal buys Mandarin versions of them (translated into over 70 languages), do you have a problem with that?

Where's the insurance policy for the SI indemnification? You might buy earthquake insurance, but that doesn't mean everyone else should.




Posted by Simon Firth, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 5, 2007 at 12:17 pm

Paly Parent -- Isn't Guess Who Again's point precisely that in the MI program as it is proposed MI students MAY WELL be allowed to receive more than their fair share of the host-school's discretionary funds?

This would happen in a situation where the MI parents have not been able to raise the amount of EXTRA per-pupil money that the study is assuming the program will always need them to (and is hoping they will always be able to) raise.

It doesn't seem unreasonable to expect that in some years (especially a few years in, after the first wave of MI-booster-parents have gone through the program) that this situation may indeed occur. In that case, it sounds like the school housing MI will have to dig into the pot it has been given to support ALL students in the school to fund the MI shortfall, meaning less per pupil in the rest of the school compared to other local elementary schools not housing MI.

Do I have this wrong? I hope so.

If Guess Who Again is right, that seems unfair. Surely there needs to be a way to ensure the rest of the school's parents don't get stiffed if MI doesn't raise its promised extra cash per student.

You could indemnify the MI program against this, by requiring they have an endowment, perhaps. Or the central district could commit to bailing MI out whatever happens.

The district seems to feel (rightly, I'd say) it is important that MI is cost-neutral and so they don't seem to want to give the program a central-funded blank check. But they need a better alternative. If their only indemnification plan is to stiff the parents of the non-MI students at the MI-hosting school, that not only seems unfair, but it certainly won't help MI be welcomed at whatever location it is placed.

As for SI – it's impossible to know whether it needs the same sort of indemnification because the school district releases no figures about the full costs of program or how Escondido makes up for any shortfall in SI's needs. Isn't that another piece of information that not just the School Board, but the public should have in its possession before it can make a rational decision on MI?


Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 5, 2007 at 1:47 pm

Simon,

Let's get some perspective on this. The feasibility study estimates that each new class will cost $11K. If there's two kinders this fall, that's $22K. Not a huge risk, if the parents or PACE do not come through. If that's about $600 per child, I believe it's managable.

Since it'll be donations, not mandatory tuition, some families will not volunteer to donate, and that's OK. It seems that PACE's community support and fund-raising could make that up, no problem.

And it's not for Cadillacs for each MI student, just a VW made in China:

The first foreign car manufacturing firm setting foot on Chinese tribal turf was the German Volkswagen AG 30 years ago, a strategy which proved profitable: after setting up an array of joint ventures, VW now dominates the Chinese domestic car market with roughly half of market share.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2007 at 1:53 pm

Paly Parent

MI students are PAUSD students - they get their fair share of funding. Correct, and I agree. But, they DO NOT get more than their fair share of funding when the district starts a new program, specifically for them, that incurs incremental costs. The district, nor the site, should not be asked to fund a ~dime~ of incremental costs related to MI. Since the feasibility "study" was untruthful in the full extent of incremental costs, we can expect to be left holding the bag for this risk.

Also, to the extent that MI will attract students who would not otherwise have been PAUSD students - those also are incremental costs that are a new incremental financial burden to the district - tax payers should not be expected to bear this burden either.

The Principals may wish to buy classroom aids who are mandarin speakers or Dr. Suess books in Mandarin. Fine. I care not a whip what they buy. But the site council may. It depends entirely on what that site needs most, not what MI needs most.

However, the feasibility study goes one step farther and says the principal will have responsibility to ensure the MI program gets what it needs. Well, what if that is an unreasonable burden on the site funds? What if MI needs 1-2 aids per classroom whereas normal classrsooms get 1/2 aid per classroom? What if it needs 80 Dr Suess books in Mandarin and the site principal would have other wanted to spend that money on new picnic tables.

The feasiblity study has not made a 'cost neutral' statement. Perhaps the feasibility study should clear up the confusion about what the district and the site principal will and won't be expected to pay for MI incremental costs. Perhaps the feasibility study should articulate a checks/balances system to ensure MI is not siphoning "its share" off the top and tying the hands of the site council and/or the principals.

Where's the insurance policy for SI? Great Questions. And I'll go one further. Where is the reporting for SI? Where's the accountability for SI? Two wrongs don't make a right. The board has a perfect opportunity (if they approve MI) to set up proper accountability for MI that they failed to set up for SI.

Then don't worry, we'll go back and expect the same accountability system to be set up for SI. (If not at the same time.) Wronging tax payers once, isn't a good reason for wronging them over and over again.

But this is perfect example of how the choice program policy guidelines are lacking and need serious improvement before we go down this 'choice' path (again).




Posted by Janet, a resident of JLS Middle School
on Jan 5, 2007 at 4:11 pm

After Mandarin, then what? How about Cantonese? Some of our elderly Cantonese neighbors can't communicate with their Mandarin-speaking neighbors who live across the street. How about Japanese? I hear that "French Immersion" is waiting in the wings. Palo Alto has a growing number of residents from India. Will they want their language and various dialects 'immersed'? How about Farsi and other Middle Eastern languages? It's popular now in colleges. Certainly there would be enough Palo Alto children who might want Hebrew. This is an English speaking country, and from what I hear, we need, you know, "Speech Immersion". It's like, you know, I mean, how did these young 'uns like learn, you know, to speak this way? From the thank you notes I get from high school graduates - if I get them, they certainly can't write 'cursive'. English is universal language of business, and young people in other countries are learning to read, write, and speak English far better than our own young people, you know? Mandarin is for the exclusive few. We must pay attention to excellence for all of our students. You know?


Posted by Janet, a resident of JLS Middle School
on Jan 5, 2007 at 4:13 pm

After Mandarin, then what? How about Cantonese? Some of our elderly Cantonese neighbors can't communicate with their Mandarin-speaking neighbors who live across the street. How about Japanese? I hear that "French Immersion" is waiting in the wings. Palo Alto has a growing number of residents from India. Will they want their language and various dialects 'immersed'? How about Farsi and other Middle Eastern languages? It's popular now in colleges. Certainly there would be enough Palo Alto children who might want Hebrew. This is an English speaking country, and from what I hear, we need, you know, "Speech Immersion". It's like, you know, I mean, how did these young 'uns like learn, you know, to speak this way? From the thank you notes I get from high school graduates - if I get them, they certainly can't write 'cursive'. English is universal language of business, and young people in other countries are learning to read, write, and speak English far better than our own young people, you know? Mandarin is for the exclusive few. We must pay attention to excellence for all of our students. You know?


Posted by Janet, a resident of JLS Middle School
on Jan 5, 2007 at 4:14 pm

After Mandarin, then what? How about Cantonese? Some of our elderly Cantonese neighbors can't communicate with their Mandarin-speaking neighbors who live across the street. How about Japanese? I hear that "French Immersion" is waiting in the wings. Palo Alto has a growing number of residents from India. Will they want their language and various dialects 'immersed'? How about Farsi and other Middle Eastern languages? It's popular now in colleges. Certainly there would be enough Palo Alto children who might want Hebrew. This is an English speaking country, and from what I hear, we need, you know, "Speech Immersion". It's like, you know, I mean, how did these young 'uns like learn, you know, to speak this way? From the thank you notes I get from high school graduates - if I get them, they certainly can't write 'cursive'. English is universal language of business, and young people in other countries are learning to read, write, and speak English far better than our own young people, you know? Mandarin is for the exclusive few. We must pay attention to excellence for all of our students. You know?


Posted by Curious, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2007 at 11:47 am

Does SIPAPA mingle their funds with the Escondido PTA? I would hazard a guess that if implemented at Ohlone, PACE would disolve because they are no longer needed - they will be doing things the "Ohlone Way" as a part of their condition for moving onto the Ohlone site. And the SSC would de facto oversee the MI program as well. So, as an example, if PACE wanted to buy new computers for their classrooms or Dr Suess books, could they fund-raise privately for those or would they have to ask the Ohlone PTA or SSC for funding those things?


Posted by Nico, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 6, 2007 at 12:25 pm

This is not my area of expertise, but I will try and address the PTA/SIPAPA/PACE question with what I have heard. At Escondido, there is both SIPAPA (a SI parent organization) and the Escondido (whole campus) PTA. I think in the early years of SI, SIPAPA headed up fundraising for specific SI needs, mainly books. (In the MI example that would be the $10K-$11K/year start-up costs, I think.) After the program is 6 years old however, it has all books and libraries for K-5, and then this fundraising (and the need for fundraising) goes away. Currently the Escondido PTA represents SI and "neighborhood" kids. There are people from both programs active in the Escondido PTA and they work together to set priorities for fundraising. The PTA now has the leadership role in fundraising for the whole campus. I think this is important for the integration of SI into the campus life. SIPAPA only asks the SI parents to donate an additional $20 per student for specific SI needs, but that is all.
I think to answer your question about something like computers (that all classrooms have and/or is no way specific to MI); it would be up to the PTA to decide if they could afford the computers and if MI would get the computers. I think if it were for something like a book in Mandarin, that only MI would use or have (and that the non-MI kids wouldn't feel bad that they didn't get), then MI parents would figure out how to fund that. I think it is everybody's best interest to be absolutely fair and equitable.
Maybe a PTA member on this list can clarify though? Does the PTA buy computers? That seems like it could lead to some inequity across campuses. My kids aren't in school yet so I am new to the PTA, PiE, and parent-fundraising distinctions.


Posted by natasha, a resident of Meadow Park
on Jan 6, 2007 at 1:43 pm

Nico, a straight answer to your sincere question: even though PiE divides up the funds evenly on a per student basis, I can assure you that there is a significant disparity in what the various schools offer, whether after-school electives or resources. I know that my kids had few after school choices at their school and ourfriend's child across town at Addison even had an after-school keyboarding class. Maybe the disparity isn't as great as it was pre-PiE, but belive me, it still exists. Parents can still give the minimum to PiE and donate to their own schools directly. I believe the only restriction is that the money they donate cannot be used for extra staff. This means you can donate to your own school or classroom.


Posted by really mad tax payer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2007 at 2:28 pm

Guess what - PIE can go pound sand as far as I'm concern. I'm not going to give my $ to PIE so that even 1/5000th of it can go to a wasteful, frivoulous, low to no value add, luxury, experimental, program that PAUSD does not need, and the majority of constituents do not support. I'd rather buy my teacher a bubblegum ball, than give a quarter to MI. And I won't.

Oh, and I'll fight actively and aggressively to ensure that the board isn't given any more parcel tax or bond money, to mishandle, than they already have.

I wonder how many senior citizens would be happy to excercise their option to opt out of measure A parcel tax when they see the Board use their good money in such a wasteful way. Many can see the value to their real estate of good schools. I bet they'll recognize wasteful board mismanagement of their money soon enough.

Board: Do you feel lucky?


Posted by teresag, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 6, 2007 at 2:57 pm

Just a quick response to the question about SIPAPA and the PTA at Escondido. I'm co-prez of the PTA and can confirm that the PTA represents all students at Escondido. We raise funds to benefit all kids - SI and traditional program. SIPAPA doesn't fundraise on our campus (I'm not sure if they do at Jordan.) And one other note, my co-prez is an SI parent.


Posted by Curious, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2007 at 5:10 pm

teresag:

Thank you for the info, I appreciate it. Did SIPAPA ever fundraise off-campus? Did the PTA ever fundraise for SI items? Just curious.

Thanks


Posted by Curious, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2007 at 5:23 pm

Just found this on the SIPAPA website:

SIPAPA is the parent support organization for the Spanish Immersion program in the Palo Alto Unified School District. Founded in 1995, SIPAPA provides volunteers and supplemental Spanish language classroom materials, runs book fairs and workshops, plans cultural events, *organizes fundraisers* and a variety of activities intended to deepen the immersion experience for families and teachers in the program.

Now I'm really confused.


Posted by Question for Sipapa, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2007 at 5:36 pm

Sipapa folks - does PAUSD currently run a Spanish Immersion summer school program? How does that work? Is it entry level? 6th grade level? (etc.) What is cost to parents? any other details?

Thanks


Posted by George Washington, a resident of another community
on Jan 7, 2007 at 12:55 am

Janet,

You may want to consider this Washington Post article:

Web Link


Thinking Beyond English in the Classroom
Fairfax Commits to Study Of Foreign Languages

The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Date: Nov 26, 2006
Start Page: B.8
Section: EDITORIAL
Text Word Count: 613

Copyright The Washington Post Company Nov 26, 2006


Immersion kids have generally tested at the same level or above their monolingual peers in English.


This article is for those of you who don't believe other countries are hopping on the Mandarin wagon:


Web Link
Across Latin America, Mandarin Is in the Air
By Juan Forero
Washington Post
September 22, 2006


Web Link

With a Changing World Comes An Urgency to Learn Chinese

By Lori Aratani
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 26, 2006; Page A01


Posted by Martha, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2007 at 3:21 pm

George Washington never met a propoganda machine he didn't like.


Posted by Starting to get really peeved, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2007 at 4:21 pm

Really mad taxpayer - I'm mad too, but what happens if PIE disbands? Then the disparity between school spending exists again, where some schools have 2 hrs/teacher's aids per day, and for others whose parents can raise more money, the sky's the limit. I have a feeling disbanding PIE would be more problematic for the individual schools that couldn't raise enough funds to pay for support staff before PIE came into existence, than for those in the MI program.

I'm starting to wonder if one way to make our voices really heard is to unseat the board members who are up next for election. This doesn't stop MI from existing, but certainly makes a strong statement.

Also, I can think of a few individuals I would like to see run for the school board!!!!!!! And, for that matter, make continuation of MI after its 3 year review require a vote by the board.



Posted by Really mad tax payer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2007 at 7:36 pm

Yes, you're right. Angering everyone this much carries significant risk for PIE, for future parcel tax, for future bond measures .... Hmmm.

Maybe those schools that like the idea of the existence of PIE ought to start caring more about the implications of letting MI pass... (they may be underestimating the impact if they think they dodged a bullet by having them recommend Ohlone.) And by caring, I mean speaking up, writing to the board, coming to the board meetings, and signing petitions, etc.

And mabye (just mabye) a couple board members will think about the big picture implications of passing an ill-advised cupcake of an MI program.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 8, 2007 at 1:52 pm

If MI is approved, I'll never vote for another school parcel tax again. Obviously the school district doesn't need the money!


Posted by MI Opponent, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 8, 2007 at 8:11 pm

This really is the crux of the matter. If enough people threaten to refuse to vote for another parcel tax, then the Board will have to listen. Otherwise, they can say sweet goodbye to getting more money as and when they require it. They can also say goodbye to being re-elected on the Board, or anywhere else their political aspirations take them. I have read somewhere that at least one member is looking forward to a political career on the City council next. We have long memories and this one episode could possibly be the demise of future plans for our Board members in Palo Alto.


Posted by k, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 8, 2007 at 8:17 pm

I agree - I ALWAYS vote in each election. I will remember how each Board member votes on MI. I support equity and excellence across the district, not piecemeal programs for a select few.


Posted by Uh huh, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2007 at 9:49 pm

Not only will I vote against them, I'll actively campaign against them and any parcel tax or bond fund raising they try to do. If Grace has taught us nothing else, heed this people of Palo Alto...

Money talks.

If you haven't already, sign the petition, write a letter, come to the meeting wearing green. Whatever you gotta do.


Posted by pat, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 31, 2007 at 2:50 pm

Since I started this post, I'll round it out by showing the list of donors. All -- except Hobee's -- are anonymous.

The money from Hobee's came from a fundraising night held at Hobee's Town and Country on 6/6/06. (Hobee's donate 20% of all food proceeds from group affiliates who dine at Hobee's.) The group was headed up by Nico Janik.

Donations for Mandarin Immersion Feasibility Study
January 10, 2006
Donor Amount
Anonymous $15,000
Anonymous $33,000
Anonymous $200
Anonymous $5,000
Anonymous $3,000
Anonymous $5,000
Anonymous $5,000
Hobee's $117.76
Total Donations: $66,317.76

I'm still amazed that no one on the school board or in the administration was interested in finding out who these anonymous donors are.