As a tax paying senior in Palo Alto, I’m wondering what the PAUSD is doing with my voluntary Measure A Parcel Tax Assessement of $473 per year. During the election, they claimed to need it to raise teachers’ salaries, hire classroom assistance, reduce class sizes, and reinstate various programs. Now, they apparently don’t feel the need to follow through on those promises, but are instead moving forward with a highly specialized private school “Choice” program to offer Mandarin to only about 240 students. They claim they will get outside funding for the startup costs, but it seems to me they are instituting a long term program that permanently increases the overhead structure of the district. Why are they going forward with Mandarin Immersion without first taking care of the basics? Personally, I’m not willing to fund private school education for a few lottery winners in the district, and so if they move forward with MI I’ll have no choice but to opt out of the Measure A parcel tax. Do tax payers in this community care if the school board implements designer enrichment programs on a whim instead of making reasonable business decisions with our tax dollars, for long term health of our district? Afterall, our high Palo Alto property values are almost solely driven on the quality of our schools. Why should we let a special interest group, with the help of a few elected board members basically hijack one of our schools and install a private school program?