Posted by MV, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Jan 20, 2011 at 3:53 pm
The decision that the city council have been taking are absurd. Approving 100s of apartments, re-developing an already developed downtown while the schools are degrading every year. Two of the mountain view schools are under state supervision. They closed salter school a while back.
Simple, the money is not being well spent and bad decisions are being made for the city of mountain view. I am not going to be running but I will support whoever can run against these morons.
Posted by Political Insider, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jan 20, 2011 at 10:34 pm
The city made wise use of RD funds and made downtown a better place to live. I love living downtown. If the school had used the money they would have wasted it. During the 80's and 90's the the district went thru a lot of Principals and teachers who left because the school district wasted money and had poor leadership from the supt. Recall that the district asked for a tax increase for more funding and then shut down Slater school. The past 2 supt's have been horrible.
My sources tell me the ADM will use the money to increase ADM saleries and provide higher fringe benefits. None will go toward capital improvements.
Posted by RD=raiding district, a resident of the St. Francis Acres neighborhood, on Jan 21, 2011 at 7:30 am
@political insider. Bottom line is that the School money is NOT the City's money, the City is robbing our kids. While the development agency has done great things for downtown, some elementary schools are under state scrutiny because of No Child Left Behind. City should stop raiding our schools for play money especially if it comes to subsidizing a supermarket.
Posted by Political Insider, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jan 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm
The city is raiding nothing. They had a perfect right to form a district. One reason the school didnt complain in the past is that they were financed by ADA. Now that they are basic aid, all of a sudden the city is stealing money from the school district. A transfer to the school district will only lead to more wasteful spending. My sources tell me this is a behind the scene effort by the teachers union to get more money for themselves at the expense of educating children.
Posted by localmom, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Jan 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm
Big surprise!! The City would rather stay fat and happy and allow the school district to bloat class sizes in elementary school from 24 to 28 students/room; cut writing programs, keep the parents scrambling to pay for music and art (what little there is), limit electives to ONE per child/year in middle school..etc. In about 2005 the district let go of its 2 credentialed PE teachers and never re-hired them; they have used YMCA temps for years to save $$, and the kids get PE 2x/week if they are lucky ALTHOUGH the state insists it should be taught every day. So, let's groom those Shoreline golf links for the fat cats!!
Oh BTW Mr. Goldman is thinking of opting OUT of Federal Title 1 funds because they impose testing and monitoring requirements on his schools, 2 of which have fallen into "program improvement". That does not mean they are taken over by the Feds, that is the next lowest category, however they are in danger of having the entire staff replaced if they get worse. IF MVW school district refuses the funds, guess what! Those 2 schools are no longer in PI, because they are no longer forced to comply w/No Child Left Behind!! But they will be out millions of dollars that those children sorely need for their education! So this is a blatent move to duck superivision for failing schools, and deprive children of the most basic resources. FOR SHAME!!! Parents, please send a message to the Board and Mr. Goldman that the schools will be in serious trouble w/o those funds. And tell your City Council members they are STEALING from your kids' futures!!
Posted by Jim Pollart, a resident of the Whisman Station neighborhood, on Jan 23, 2011 at 8:45 pm
Many thanks to the Voice for last week’s editorial (“Redevelopment Districts in Limbo”) which focused attention on the two redevelopment districts in Mountain View; the Downtown District (which covers downtown) and the Shoreline District (which covers Shoreline/North Bayshore, home to Google, Microsoft and other high tech companies).
To understand why these redevelopment districts are important, you need to understand their history and their impact on school funding. These districts were created in 1969 to promote redevelopment within their boundaries. At that time, the downtown was blighted and Shoreline was a garbage dump. To finance redevelopment, the districts were authorized to keep a large share of future property tax revenues, with the idea that the money would be reinvested within their boundaries.
Now fast forward forty-two years. Today, both Downtown and Shoreline are fully built out, and are the cleanest, most vibrant sections of town. By any measure, both districts have been extremely successful. But, though their work is largely completed, the districts continue to keep almost all property taxes within their boundaries. As a result, these districts have become cash cows for the city, generating millions of dollars of excess cash every year.
For example, at the end of this fiscal year, Shoreline will have a $31 million cash balance in it’s operating fund. Money from Shoreline is being used for projects located miles outside of the physical boundaries of the District. The Downtown district has $5.5 million in available cash, and is considering using $2 million to subsidize a downtown grocery store.
Now here’s the rub. Roughly forty percent of the property taxes from these districts would normally go to local schools. So by keeping those property taxes, the districts are taking money directly from our schools. The amount of lost school funding is staggering. This year alone, Shoreline and Downtown will divert over $10 million in funding from our schools. Those lost property taxes, combined with state budget cuts for education, are forcing Mountain View’s schools to make drastic cuts in basic programs and services—cuts that affect every child, every day.
The Downtown District is scheduled to sunset this year, but the city council is considering a further two-year extension. Even more worrisome, the much larger Shoreline District is currently set up to live forever.
The good news is that our city manager and city council have recently decided to take a fresh look at both redevelopment districts. But because the districts’ funds are controlled and managed by the city, there will be powerful incentives among city leaders to stick with the status quo.
We are a group of parents who have mobilized to lobby the city council to share more Shoreline and Downtown funds with our schools. Our goal is to organize a large group of school supporters for this effort. We need your help to persuade our city council that the time is now to wind down our obsolete redevelopment districts and shift more property taxes to our schools.
In their editorial last week, The Voice predicted, “As it becomes clear how little the city needs these special tax districts there will be increasing pressure to dedicate the money to schools.” That’s where we come in. It will be a challenge, but the amount of money at stake is huge.
If you are a school supporter, we need your help. Please visit our Facebook page at ShareShoreline or send us an email at ShareShoreline@gmail.com. We will send you information on how you can help, and we promise we won’t share your personal information with anyone.
This is one of the most important issues for our schools in many years. If you ever considered getting involved to support our schools, the time is now. Keeping our schools strong is vital to the success of our city. Not only do our schools need to deliver the workforce of tomorrow, they must also turn out curious and caring young adults with visions for the future. Let’s help keep schools strong…by keeping them well-funded.
Posted by downtown resident and school parent, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jan 23, 2011 at 10:38 pm
I get ashamed reading disrespectful language about our city and school leaders. I might not share opinion with some, but can easily retain the respectful tone, a tone with no anger and foul words. One never looses a voice to express contrary opinion, so why such disrespect? So easy to hide behind no names....
Posted by "Just Think About It", a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2011 at 1:19 pm
The cost to operate the schools is going to continually increase. This ca be attributed administration and teacher salary increases. It wouldn't matter how much the schools got there still wouldn't be enough. You just had your chance to change a number of the council but elect to complain about how you are not represented. The direction this city is heading will have charter schools, out sourced city managers, police and fire departments.....................Just Think About It.....................................................
Posted by Kristine, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Jan 30, 2011 at 5:33 pm
This is exactly why I'm a fan of homeschooling. All the knowledge, non of the bankrupting bureaucracy. America has the most expensive K-12 schooling in the world, and frankly, little to show for it. The Smartest kids usually at the end of the day have proactive parents. And no amount of wonder teachers can replace that.
Posted by Ned, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2011 at 6:56 am
Gee, Kristine, it must be nice to get to stay at home and home school and not have to worry about an income, supporting your family, or getting to work on public transportation or making sure your kids go to a good, well-funded school.
Posted by Sam Player, a resident of the Gemello neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2011 at 9:35 pm
Come to the City Council meeting on February 8th at 6:30 and show your support for changing the way these property taxes are distributed. This RDA was a great idea 42 years ago, but times change and the schools need these property taxes a lot more than the Shoreline RDA needs its current cash surplus that totals tens of millions of dollars. Visit Web Link to learn more and see how you can help.