Posted by localmom, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Jun 18, 2010 at 10:16 pm
Please vote NO on this one. I'm sorry but we are already paying for a nearly 1/2 a BILLION dollar bond ($450 million) which is very costly on our property tax bill already, so that the students at FH-DA can enjoy state-of-the art football stadiums, arts facilites, and parking garages. Meanwhile, has anyone taken a look at our K-12 facilities lately??? They are SORELY lacking. Although I object to raising a bond issue for them, as they were renovated very cost-effectively w/in the last 10-years, they are living WITHIN OUR MEANS. What we DO need is a higher parcel tax for K-12. Our spending in CA is 49th in the country. That is NOT true of the junior colleges. In fact, the state spending for JCs is among the highest in the country, and the students' portion which they contribute is THE LOWEST nationwide. In summary, if FH-DA is lacking in funds (not for facilities, they have massive bond funds still), they need to raise tuition. K-12 cannot do that. Please vote NO and save our elementary education. We need to support and increase parcel taxes for our most vulnerable students, whose families are not able to contribute or pay tuition.
Posted by Steve Hill, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2010 at 9:22 pm
I am a member of the Wagon Wheel Neighborhood Association, and have asked that we be added to the lists of neighborhoods on this web site ... for years. We are a recognized Association!
Having said that, I received a poll phone call, and I generally agree with paying for education. I wish that I had asked at the time, but if it is a FIXED parcel tax of $69, which is the impression that I got from the questions on the poll, I really object to my having to pay the same amount as a single dwelling homeowner in Old Mountain View. I live in a small condo, and this would be a most regressive tax.
Spread the pain appropriately, or I am afraid that I will have to vote "no".
Posted by Kevin, a resident of the Whisman Station neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2010 at 9:27 pm
The article said:
"... it's also critical for our social and political development to have an educated population."
Sadly, *most* people who grew up here moved to somewhere else, and this trend is likely to continue.
That is to say, if *we* pay for the education of these folks our community will not benefit from them being "educated".
As for turning students away for lack of funding, there is always student loans. If getting a big loan debt sounds unreasonable to folks, maybe their career choices aren't so good after all. Many, many of us had to get student loans -- and big ones.
The campuses were pretty old and in need of repair and upgrades. Sorry, that costs money, but it needs to be done.
The CCs are raising tuition, I believe. As for telling kids to take big loans just for community college -- that's kind of nutty. I'm sure some kids are taking some loans now, even with the low rate of tuition. But @Kevin, I don't know when you got your student loans, but in the past "big" loans weren't nearly as big as they can be now. Kids to have to finance their entire college education on loans often come out with as much as $60,000 of debt, right at the start. Hard to pay that off if you can't even find a job right away, then on an entry-level salary, especially if you need to pay rent, buy food, car loan, gas, etc. No way people of my generation had that kind of debt load, unless they went to Med school or something. You say if they can't afford that because their choice of career might be a teacher, for example, which won't pay enough to pay off the loan in a reasonable time, then they should adjust their career goals. To what? Lifetime fast-food employee? No one complained about the low tuition when the state was fully funding the CCs, but if we are asked to directly fund, at $69 per year, the education of kids who live in our own neighborhoods, we scream poormouth.
Posted by Seldon, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Jun 23, 2010 at 12:58 pm
I consider this parcel tax like all others, an opportunity for me to contribute directly to programs and the infrastructure of my community, that may have direct or indirect benefits to quality of life and or property values in this area. There are few opportunities to contribute this way, as compared to general taxes which are susceptible to political interference and diversion to things I don't wish to support at all.
The real question here is whether this particular parcel tax is desirable and affordable, and to me, it is.
Spending an additional $69 annually on top of a property tax bill that is orders of magnitude larger invalidates the affordability of this parcel tax...I can find somewhere in my budget to shave $69 over the year.
I disagree that most people relocate out of the area. This may have been true 30 years ago, when the general population did not possess the skillset that high tech, entrepreneurial companies that now make up Silicon Valley. Today, job creation and job growth is happening in exactly those industries that this area is continuing to build, so its more likely people will be staying here for work, rather than moving out. I don't confuse the exodus created by the Financial Crisis with the long term trend of job retention and growth in this area.
In fact, the Community Colleges play an integral role in preparing those folks living here now to learn the necessary skills needed by companies here. Looking at a current class schedule or program from any one of the community colleges here shows that they have been developing specialized programs in green technology, nanotechnology, computer science, and biotechnology to address this need. Its the Community Colleges, along with our esteemed 4 year universities, that provide the entire spectrum of blue collar and white collar jobs that these industries will hire for.
If we're looking to ensure a vibrant economy by developing the diverse, and talented local young adults we have here already, then strengthening our Community Colleges makes a lot of sense.
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Jun 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm
"yes, I suppose those many Golf classes $64 I took at Foothill for peanuts of a fee, a free coach, and unlimited driving range time with unlimited balls will definitely help me work in Silicon Valley."
You better believe it does. Every boss I've had at a high tech company likes to golf, and the opportunity and networking exposure you receive by being on the green pays dividends over the years.
However, in your case, I suggest you spend your $64 dollars on other courses, like this one:
Posted by Etienne R. Bowie, a resident of another community, on Jun 29, 2010 at 5:17 am
The thing that everyone is missing here is that raising tuition actually does not help. Community Colleges are built on public funding, and faculty and staff are hired depending on the funs the college has at hand, determined by the current budget. If you raise tuition basically you would drastically decrease the number of students going to college. Than cutting the amount of funding the college and district will get. The parcel tax helps stabilize the current school system, so teaches don't have to get laid off. Without teachers it doesn't matter how much you charge the students they won't have room for them. They have a cut off number of how many students they can have at a time, because it is based on funding. It doesn't matter how many students want to go to school, they won't let them go, because they just can't afford another teacher. Now, imagine what happens if you raise tuition less students plus less classrooms. Than think of a student with no job, no school, and no money--you'll have to pay for him when he gets welfare, and benefits. Trust me, when you invest in our successors to our current system don't we want them to be completely competitive on the global job and business market. We need to stop being big time consumers in America, and star reinvesting into our infrastructure in America, and education is on the top of that list.
Posted by Natalia Zarub, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Jun 29, 2010 at 4:52 pm
Hello dear Neighbors,
Please DO NOT SUPPORT the Foothill-De-Anza parcel tax.
Your tax money will subsidize Chinese and other so called "International" students, who use these colleges to get their education and than further advance their education at your expense.
I have been attending Foothill college since 2005. It is very difficult to enroll in any class because I have to compete with thousands of Chinese International students for a seat in a class.
This Spring I was able to enroll in a MATH class at the Foothill college. The class had 50 people 40 of whom were "International" students. Because of the class size I did not have a chance to talk to the Math Instructor neither during the class nor during his Office hours. I had to wait in line formed by tens of International students to see the Instuctor during his office hours.
I work full time and did not have the luxury to spent hours waiting for my turn to see the Instructor unlike the Chinese students in my class. I had to go to work instead, and make money to pay all the California taxes used to subsidize education of Chinese students at the Foothill college.
I know foreign students pay slightly higher fees than California residents, but the fees are still extremely low and do not cover all the costs. Administrative salaries, new recent multimillion dollar Foothill campus reconstruction are still subsidised by the taxpayers.
When my child, a MV High School student applied to Foothill college, she was turned down.
Foothill college did not allow her to take a Physical Education 1 unit class during Summer 2010, even after she has submitted Permission Form signed by school district administrator and school principal and the high school enrollment was below the 5% statutory limit as defined by Section 76001(i) of the California Education Code.
My kid, who is third generation MVLA school district resident, was not allowed by the Foothill to enroll in a summer PE class in order to improve her failing PE grades. At the same time the class she wanted to take was only 75 % full and most of the students in this class were from China, Hong-Kong and India. I can get you the name of the Instructor and the list of all students in this class as a proof.
Why shall I pay parcel taxes if my own child, a high school student, is not allowed to take a 1 unit physical education class at Foothill college and I, working adult, can not sign up for a class or get a quality instruction due to high "International" student enrollment? It appears that the Foothill community college schedule is designed to accommodate "International" full-time students, while the class schedule is extremely inconvenient for us working residents of the community college district. Most of the classes and office hours are during the day. Foothill has no Saturday classes for working residents of the district, most of the on-line classes have been canceled, despite high demand, and moved to the afternoon to accommodate 'International' student schedule. Foothill Counseling department has dedicated counselors for International students, to help the International students to deal with F-1 visa issues, finansial aid, work permits and etc. These counselors are subsidized by our taxpayer money.
Is anybody organizing to oppose the parcel tax? I have more than enough evidence to show that this parcel tax will benefit students from other countries, while our community residents will get no benefits in return for their taxes. I have been trying to take classes at Foothill college for 7 years. Now I have to take a class at SFSU for $1,400, while the same class at Foothill costs only $104.
May I suggest to rename Foothill College from "Community College" to "International College" and have the parents of those students from Hong-Kong, China, Indonesia, and etc. to pay the parcel taxes to educate their kids?
Posted by Big Al, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jun 30, 2010 at 7:51 am
Natalia nailed it on the head. The disgraced chancellor of SJ/Evergreen college was pursuing the same strategy which supposedly justified trips abroad to attract international students and the higher tuition they bring. We are suckers to keep paying more in taxes for this old trick.
Posted by eteach, a resident of the Whisman Station neighborhood, on Oct 8, 2010 at 12:43 pm
Even though I am an elementary school teacher for the public schools and I have taken classes at Foothill College, I can NOT support this parcel tax. I am in the classroom 35 hours a week with my students. Community college professors are in the classroom with their students 15 hours a week. Foothill sends their faculty each year to a fully paid 3-day retreat at some nice location like Monterey's Asilomar. Foothill also buys their faculty lunch once a week. Since when does this happen in the elementary school? Doesn't seem like the college is lacking for money.
When I was at Foothill, I would look into the classrooms to see what was happening. Halfway through the quarter, most of the classrooms were at most half full. That doesn't seem to me that there is a lot of demand for classes. And, I looked into some of the math and science classes. The students in the math classes were listening to iPods in the back of the classroom and the teacher was OK with this. Are you OK with a tax subsidizing this?
There are also "ghost" classes available where a student can sign up for a course, get units for the course, but there is never any instruction for this course. These classes are available so that a student can maintain full-time student status. This is what a parcel tax would support.
There are full time teachers who teach classes at Foothill and work full time elsewhere. As an elementary school teacher, I am exhausted at the end of the day. I work hard to create lesson plans, grade papers and provide an atmosphere conducive to learning. This job takes more than 40 hours/week. How can full time community college instructors work 2 full time jobs? Try going to the campus on Fridays -- it is like a ghost town at Foothill. No counselors, few students and few instructors.
Shouldn't you be a little outraged at this point? As an educator, I know I am and to expect to continue this game and feast off the taxpayers is a shame! If you don't believe me, maybe it's time to check this out and expose the sham.
Posted by More Criminals for You..., a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 18, 2011 at 5:59 pm
Many of your NO votes have destroyed the dreams of many students who are struggling to make a living in this failing economy.
Last September the district alone had around 5000 students on wait-lists.
Because the The District includes two of the three community colleges out of the 120 community colleges that function on quarter systems, they are the last school to begin with their fall session. At worst you could be shutting down these students last chance at an education during the Fall, the beginning of the year.
If these Potential students cannot get an education, then at worst they may resort to illegal and criminal activities