Other Voices: The right step forward for local schools

As we ring in the new year, the Los Altos School District and the city of Mountain View are on the cusp of achieving a huge victory for local students and the fast-growing north of El Camino Real neighborhood. If successful, this bold collaboration will achieve a new school and park to serve current and future generations in our communities.

As parents and local leaders who have been involved in the community-driven process that led to this plan, we’re fully supportive because of its positive educational implications and lasting community benefits. Every child who resides in the Los Altos School District receives a world-class education. We are thrilled at the prospect of bringing an excellent school to this fast-growing neighborhood.

The unique partnership between the city and the district paves the way for the district to formally pursue the acquisition of a much-needed 10th school site. We want to voice our unwavering support for this plan to provide a long-term solution to student enrollment growth. This is a carefully considered solution to a complex problem facing our region.

We commend the district for its diligent and thoughtful pursuit of a comprehensive answer to school overcrowding, and the city of Mountain View for its partnership in this process, which makes the new school and park possible. We may never have an opportunity like this again. This is the right path forward for our students and our community.

Acquisition of a 10th school site has always been the community’s preferred answer to fundamentally solving the district’s current issue of housing 10 schools on nine sites. As our community continues to grow, student enrollment growth will continue to be a challenge. Given the scarcity of affordable land in our community, the district’s ability to identify a viable piece of land and the city of Mountain View’s collaboration in helping them obtain it, should be universally applauded. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

This plan exemplifies the type of smart government we should expect from our local leaders. By teaming up, the district and the city of Mountain View are able to tackle two of the biggest issues that sustained growth and development have created in our shared communities. A solution is now possible thanks to the tens of millions of dollars of cost savings associated with this win-win partnership.

We understand that the ink on this deal is not yet dry and that the official land acquisition will be a complex process. The Los Altos School District has pledged to continue working in collaboration with the city of Mountain View and the rest of its community in an open and transparent process to determine the type of school for the site. We know the district and the Mountain View City Council will agree that the best solution is one that is focused on local students and their success. Since 2012, the district has put its community at the helm as it has sought a community-driven solution – and we know this trend will continue.

We thank the Los Altos School District and the city of Mountain View for partnering in what is the right step forward for our children and our neighborhoods.

Contributors to this column include Nancy Morimoto, member of the Greater San Antonio Community Association; Jeff Fixler, member of the Enrollment Growth Task Force; James Reilly, member of the Facilities Master Plan Committee; Vaishali Sirkay, president of the Los Altos Mountain View PTA Council; and Jeremy Minshull, chairman of the Measure N Citizens Oversight Committee.

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

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