Thu10022014

Letters to the Editor

Message to LASD trustees differs

I would like to join the nonprofit group Each Student Counts, recently formed by advocates of Bullis Charter School, in urging Los Altos School District taxpayers to contact district trustees. However, the message I recommend that taxpayers convey is appreciation for the responsible stewardship the trustees have over our taxpayer dollars, including parcel-tax funds. If you investigate a little, you will find that the district has a higher API score than four of the five districts mentioned in the charter school group’s ad (Town Crier, May 28) and spends less per pupil than three out of the five. That is a record to be proud of.

I am puzzled by the question posed in the charter school’s ad: “Why Do LASD Taxpayers Pay More?” I spent about five minutes doing a little research and math to answer this question. The answer is so that we can maintain the highest-quality education in the state despite receiving less money per pupil from the state than many districts. The real question to me is why the charter school advocate group couldn’t answer this question for themselves. Their focus on comparing parcel taxes is incomplete and very misleading.

Maybe “Each Student Counts,” but charter school advocates seem incapable of doing a little math for themselves.

Daniel J. Burns

Los Altos

Council, school district promote unity

We want to express our thanks to the Los Altos City Council and the Los Altos School District trustees for openly, jointly engaging on the issue of identifying new school sites. In the past and for many years, the council and district met regularly and developed personal relationships, which helped resolve issues. We believe the community would appreciate a return to friendly cooperation. Enrollment growth in the district has been substantial. Real solutions and leadership are needed.

Thank you for listening to the voice of the community and coming together again; we hope your talks will be substantive and productive.

Elena Shea, president of the

Huttlinger Alliance for Education,

and Roy Lave, Executive Director Emeritus of the Los Altos Community Foundation

What is the agenda of Each Student Counts?

I read Traci Newell’s article on the new organization Each Student Counts (“New nonprofit aims to elevate schools dialogue,” May 28) with interest.

We already have top-rated schools in Los Altos, so why the need for an organization that “builds the best public educational system for all children living within the district”? As I read further, it sounded like this organization is another marketing tool for Bullis Charter School, this time trying to elevate their status by tarnishing the reputation of the Los Altos School District.

How ironic that parents who want the best education for their students behave like bullies. Isn’t this just the type of behavior we don’t want to instill in our children?

Then I noticed the onerous advertisement this organization placed in the Town Crier a few pages later, questioning why we pay a higher parcel tax than some of our neighboring communities (which, by the way, will be reduced to $597 a year in 2017, unless it is voted on again).

All I have to say to these folks is look at the difference in your property values compared to the neighboring communities. I would much rather pay a few hundred more in parcel taxes each year and have the stellar Los Altos School District, which keeps our property values soaring and draws more new families than we can house.

As the ad suggested, I will contact our elected school board officials, but I will be sending them my appreciation for their tireless service on behalf of all students in our district.

Ann Wolff

Los Altos

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