Schools supporters dismayed by Council vote | February 28, 2014 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 28, 2014

Schools supporters dismayed by Council vote

Caswell: Loss of $1.8 million 'covenant' payment could pay for 18 teachers

The prospect of local schools losing $1.8 million in annual payments from the City of Palo Alto as part of its lease of the Cubberley Community Center did not sit well with school board members or schools supporters Tuesday.

Members briefly referred to Monday's City Council vote to support eliminating a lucrative "covenant not to develop," one of the guidelines for negotiating a new city lease of the Cubberley Community Center, which expires at the end of this year. (See story on page 5.)

Several school board members said Tuesday they would like to discuss the issue in a future open session.

Noting that $1.8 million could pay for 18 teachers, board Vice-President Melissa Baten Caswell said losing that amount of money "would be really hard."

Nancy Krop, vice-president of advocacy for the Palo Alto Council of PTAs, said Palo Alto's current spending of $13,000 per pupil lags far behind per-pupil spending of other high-performing school districts and states.

"The top-performing states now spend $16,000 to $22,000 per student," Krop said. "New York spends $19,000 per student.

"I'd tell the Palo Alto City Council that we're not rolling in money — in fact, we're millions behind."

— Chris Kenrick


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