Town Square

Grant money helps LAHS science class

Original post made on Jul 22, 2009

Students of the Los Altos High School environmental studies class will have access to more advanced equipment when they return to school next month thanks to a $500 grant to the class' teacher, Greg Stoehr.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009, 11:19 AM


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Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Reminder - Microsoft Research and Google headquarters pay NO PROPERTY TAXES to support education in the MVLAHSD. The Shoreline District only contributes taxes from less than $190 M of the $3 Billion in Assessed Valuation from North of 101 (plus about $1M in funds at their option). i.e None of the property of Google and Microsoft is assessed by the schools - all their buildings were built after 1969 AND ALL these PROPERTY TAXES go to the City (Shoreline Regional Community Park District) = City Council.

So, $500 is nice, but > $5,000,000 a year in tax support would be MUCH better. In science that's called a 4 order-of-magnitude improvement!

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Posted by Resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 31, 2009 at 9:24 am

Steven, that's all true, but my understanding is that the State Legislature actually passed a separate piece of legislation for Shoreline. Without the special tax district, we wouldn't have the park, the amphitheater, and possible even the business district there.

You can blame the city council, but it's not like they had anything to do with it, for one. For another, I don't think they can spend the Shoreline funds anywhere but Shoreline.

I do wish that the shoreline district could share a little more of their surplus with the schools than the $800K they are currently sharing per year. But--if the schools want it, lots of other entities in the city are just as deserving and I'm sure are always asking for a piece of the pie. I for one don't want Shoreline's money to be reduced to the point that the Shoreline area ends up degrading because of lack of funding. School funding, all of California's funding, is a much bigger problem than the Shoreline district. Robbing Peter to pay Paul might just make both impoverished.

I understand your point, and I get frustrated also.

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Posted by localmom
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 1, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Hi Steven et al, MVWSD is now basic aid and some of the local property taxes would stay in the district (as opposed to getting a limited, per student handout of about $7K/year from Sacramento as it has every year since the establishment of the district up to and until 2009). This means that only a teeny, tiny fraction of any monies paid by Google, etc as property taxes would go to the schools anyway. It is negligible. I agree that they need to step up to the plate and DONATE! That is why the organization known as Mountain View Educational foundation (MVEF) exists, it is a 501c3, all donations are tax deductible and go to the district to support K-8 programs. Check it out on the web. However the large corporations have so far side stepped this with a few large "gestures". It is very sad that funding is so skewed in CA, this is a statewide problem not particular to MV, and businesses are let off the hook. Shoreline district does offer an additional layer of protection in our community which I agree should be revised. Kids need excellent schools far more than rock concerts and golf courses. However the major difficulty these large corporations will face in 10 years will be a shortage of locally available educated workers!! This is a tragedy, and we should all advocate for better education, which costs $$. Also see epodunk (type in city name, click on public education/district/fiscal) for funding comparisons around the country. We are rock bottom.