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New trend? Kindergarten enrollment rates drop

Original post made on Apr 15, 2013

Officials with the Mountain View Whisman School District have reported a significant drop in the number of kindergartners registering for school.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, April 15, 2013, 10:51 AM

Comments (15)

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Posted by john doe
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 15, 2013 at 11:48 am

some will move away because of high cost living.

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Posted by Fred
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2013 at 11:57 am

I seriously question Mr. Goldman's level of intelligence.

All apartments in Mountain View are virtually 100% occupied. Demand and rents are sky high. How can you say people are moving out, as if the city is being deserted? And to cite U.S. birth rate for a local problem is also out of reasonable conjecture. I'm very surprised that a superintendent can be so amateur in critical thinking.

There might be a demographic change, due to the influx of young and highly educated professionals who have not yet started families. But that will be temporary, if true, since they will eventually mature.

A simple lookup at wikipedia shows Mountain View population has grown from 70,708 to 74,066 between 2000 and 2010. There is no way that today's population is less than that of 2010, given the economic boom.

Maybe the school district needs to consider finding a superintendent who can at least spend 5 minutes to check some facts before speaking out.

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Posted by another answer
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 15, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Parents are choosing private schools over public.

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Posted by Rex
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Let's not be too critical of Mr. Goldman but suffice to say that predicting enrollment is far from a science and more an art. Look at the bright side, this solves LASD big enrollment issue - send the children to MVWD. Problem solved.

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Posted by Mv parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 15, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Don't many incoming kinder kids have sublings already in the district? Are upper grades also declining?

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Posted by gcoladon
a resident of Slater
on Apr 15, 2013 at 2:51 pm

gcoladon is a registered user.

Rex, I think that only swaps one problem for another. Don't you think the people who bought homes on the assumption they'd be in one school district in one neighborhood school's attendance boundaries would be displeased to find out they're actually in a different district with a different neighborhood school next year?

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Posted by gcoladon
a resident of Slater
on Apr 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm

gcoladon is a registered user.

Is "Sept 1" supposed to be "December 1"? Otherwise this set of changes doesn't make a lot of sense.

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Posted by @ Fred
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 15, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Read a little more of the article before responding.... Mr. Goldman said that people were leaving because rents were high AND since there are people who are willing to pay the rents, openings are highly competitive.
So, the City is still occupied, but not by as many families as rents are pricing them out.

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Posted by @gcoladon
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 15, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I believe the article is correct.
In 2012, kids had to be 5 by Nov 1 to begin kindergarten.
In 2013, kids will have to be 5 by Oct 1.

That means that any child who is 5 in October will not be eligible for kindergarten. They will have to wait a year. I think he is saying that there are about 50 kids who would have started but cannot due to the new eligibility date.
Does that make sense.

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Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Birth rates in the US have dropped by 8.3% in the last five years. It seems reasonable that the Mountain View birth rate has also been declining. I haven't seen any evidence to the contrary.

Also, local tech companies are hiring aggressively, bringing new people to Mountain View every day. It seems reasonable that a disproportionate number of the new hires have no children, as childless people are more likely to move for a new job. As tech companies pay well, rents rise and some existing families elect to move out.

Anecdotal evidence suggests rents have increased significantly, but I have no hard data to back that up. Does anyone know?

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Posted by SP Phil
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Fred, you can disagree on facts and their interpretation, but this does not justify a riff on someone's "level of intelligence." Please just say you disagree, and make your point. People in Mountain View are well educated and will appreciate your contribution if it is stated respectfully.

While Mountain View apartments may be at 100% occupancy, the people who are moving away are often low-income families with children. Case loads of local nonprofits serving these low-income families are well aware of this: Families previously getting emergency assistance and food are finally moving out of Mountain View and out of the Bay Area completely as rents soar.

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Posted by Si
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 15, 2013 at 8:47 pm

And moving back to Mexico.

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Posted by SP Phil
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 16, 2013 at 8:45 am

There are many families in need in our area, and their demographics may come as a surprise to many.

Here is a link to information on emergency assistance at the Community Services Agency of Mountain View, Los Altos, and Los Altos Hills: Web Link

Note that for Santa Clara County a family of four in would need an income of at least $55,633 (2011) to be 'self-sufficient' and then consider the availability of jobs providing that level of income, even when split into two salaries.

The demographics of those in need are changing. These people could be your neighbors, even your acquaintances, and they are not all "moving back to Mexico."

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Posted by Fred
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2013 at 10:03 am

I was harsh in my words because the quotes came from the superintendent, whom the community entrust with the education of our children. It is his job to deep dive into the data and figure out what's going on, instead of giving amateurish excuses and subtle blames.

A sudden drop in enrollment which has been "steadily rising" in recent years cannot be simply explained away by a slow drain of low-income families.

Could it be some new private schools opened or expanded this year? Exactly what school(s) did the drop come from? What ethic groups? What neighborhoods? What is the distribution of birthdays look a like? Is it because a disproportionally large number of births in 2008 fall into the last three months? What is the percentage of kids born when their parents did not reside in Mountain View?

These are all questions (and probably a lot more) the superintendent should investigate as part of the planning process. It is his job.

His quotes in the article won't even pass a high school debate selection.

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Posted by Frank
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 17, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Isn't the district sending a bunch of kids directly to first grade? That would lower kindergarden enrollment but raise first grade enrollment.

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