Has anyone ever tried to determine how many students in PAUSD live in rental properties? The answer matters because PAUSD is a basic aid district, and thus gets almost no funds from the state for additional students. Although I have no data, experience with my children’s classmates suggest that the number is 10-20%. About half of Palo Alto’s housing units are rentals.
For example, a recent advertisement lists a 4 bedroom rental in Palo Alto at 833 La Para (Web Link) for $5500/mo. This property generates $900/year in property taxes (Web Link), yet burdens the fixed pie of the school system with at least 3 extra kids. Multiply this problem several hundred times and you should understand my concern.
I see a problem that dwarfs all of the red herrings raised by the anti-parcel tax crowd, e.g., false residency. Prop 13 may keep a few seniors from eating dog food (or moving to Arizona--far worse), but it seems to have evolved into a particularly nasty form of parasitism benefiting landlords in basic aid school districts. Is a legislative fix possible? Of course, Palo Alto could always stop being a basic aid district. Is that the sound of falling housing prices I hear? Lookout below!