January 2018

Post image for Second community meeting on long term financial planning for Menlo Park schools takes place on Feb. 6

Menlo Park City School District Superintendent, Erik Burmeister, invites members of the MPCSD community — future, current and former district parents, as well as all taxpayers and interested community members — to provide input regarding the district’s long-term financial planning. On February 6, 2018 at 6:00 pm in the Boardroom at 181 Encinal Avenue, Atherton, the second of two community input sessions will convene. The first session was held on October 24, 2017.

At this point in the long-term planning process, the district has more information on its financial position and seeks community input on what should be prioritized based on current financial models. The Board and district staff are currently considering a myriad of questions related to long-term financial planning. The Board welcomes public response to these and other questions related to our financial planning:

  • How should MPCSD respond to the latest enrollment projections that show a flatter growth rate as a result of lower birthrates and increased cost of housing?
  • As a community-funded district, MPCSD is dependent on increasing property tax growth for increased funding; increased enrollment does not bring in more revenue. When property tax revenues increase beyond the budgeted amount, how should MPCSD plan for those funds?
  • What impact is local housing development and growth of Stanford University likely to have on MPCSD and how should the district respond?
  • To what degree does increasing salary and benefits of teachers and staff encourage staff to stay in the area and remain teaching and working in MPCSD?
  • How should MPCSD compare to our neighboring districts in terms of quality of program, class size, salary and benefits of staff, and workplace culture and climate?
  • The MPCSD will embark on drafting a Compensation Philosophy that will inform future planning. What should our long-term compensation philosophy include?
  • What impact is the state’s increasing pension burden likely to have on MPCSD in the short and long term? How should the district respond and plan?
  • In years with stronger economic growth, school districts often receive additional one-time funds from the state. When one-time monies are provided to the MPCSD, how should the district spend those funds?
  • Under what conditions would MPCSD need to request a renewal and/or increase of its current property tax level prior to the 2023 expiration of Measure X?

As a community-funded school district, MPCSD depends on a combination of property tax revenue, parcel tax revenue, and educational foundation gifts to provide the world-class education for which it is known. With a 40% student enrollment increase over the last 12 years and new housing development in the area, as well as increasing staffing and program costs, MPCSD staff and elected Board members are dedicated to ensuring sound fiscal planning.

MPCSD remains grateful for the community’s support of the March 2017 Measure X parcel tax. Measure X revenues combined with $2.2 million in cuts have temporarily stabilized the district’s budget. The community-wide conversation we are engaged in will inform how MPCSD prioritizes its programs, staffing, and resources in the longer term.

High-level financial information will be provided prior to public comment. Superintendent Burmeister plans to present the results of the Long-Term Financial Planning Initiative at the regular Board meeting scheduled for June 5, 2018.

In addition to the public input sessions, interested individuals may submit comment to the district by emailing info@mpcsd.org or visiting our monthly information table at the Menlo Park Farmer’s Market on one of the following dates: Feb, 11, Mar 18, Apr 22, or May 20 (dates subject to change). For more information, please contact Parke Treadway, Public Information Officer at info@mpcsd.org.

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Mission Hospice & Home Care celebrates 39 years of service

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On Sunday, January 28th, more than 200 people gathered at the Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club in Menlo Park to celebrate Mission Hospice & Home Care’s 39 years of service to the local community and the successful completion of its $6 million Hospice House Campaign. In Fall 2015, Mission Hospice launched the campaign to […]

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Jim Lyon talks about the Buck’s Collection at Next First Friday on Feb. 2

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Have you ever wondered about the collection of items that are at Buck’s Restaurant in Woodside? Even if you haven’t gone there, you probably have heard about the eclectic and wonderfully interesting displays! Come to Woodside’s Next First Friday and hear author Jim Lyons speak of the book he wrote about the collection. This is […]

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Birthday celebrations with Atherton roots abundant at Harry’s Hofbrau Tuesday night

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Actuarily speaking, “the longer you live, the longer you’ll live.” Lou Matis, who has lived in Atherton for the past 47 years, is case in point. We thought we were celebrating something special when we attended Lou’s 100th birthday at Harry’s Hofbrau four years ago. But here we were again Tuesday night (Jan. 30) when […]

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Menlo Park Library celebrates World Read Aloud Day on Feb. 1

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February 1 is World Read Aloud Day, when readers of all ages celebrate literacy and the “pure joy and power of reading aloud!” The Menlo Park Library will celebrate by reading aloud from some of our favorite picture books. Feel free to come early to read with your young one, or to stop by for […]

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Menlo-Atherton Girls Wrestling Team ranked 1st as they head to CCS Tournament

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Feb. 7 update from the M-A Chronicle: “The M-A girls wrestling team brought home the Central Coast Section (CCS) championship title for the second year in a row this past weekend, concluding another fantastic season. The team had six wrestlers qualify for state championships: four individual champions with sophomore Anna Smith and juniors Lauren McDonnell, […]

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Deadline for Bank of America’s Student Leaders program is Friday, Feb. 2

Local high school juniors and seniors looking to gain real world experience while making a difference in their community are encouraged to apply for Bank of America’s Student Leaders program, with the deadline to apply coming up this Friday, February 2. Student Leaders receive a paid summer internship with a local nonprofit and attend the […]

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Spark Green 2018 climate action campaign runs from Jan. 29th through March 2nd

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Today is the launch day of Spark Green 2018, which aims to double participation in the Menlo Green Challenge, an online program that empowers residents to take climate actions. “Last year, almost 400 households signed up for the Green Challenge and they have reduced over 100 tons of carbon emissions!” emailed Menlo Spark Executive Director Diane Bailey. […]

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Midpen offers public sale of green bonds to fund Measure AA open space projects

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The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District will offer approximately $50 million in “green bonds” for sale to the public on February 1, 2018. Proceeds will fund voter-approved projects that preserve, restore and provide access to the more than 63,000 acres of natural open space Midpen manages on behalf of the public. The sale of these […]

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“More Than a Word: A film about Native American-based mascots…” screens on Jan. 30

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“More Than a Word: A film about Native American-based sports mascots and the Washington R*dskins” analyzes the controversy over the Washington football team and its contentious name. Using interviews from both those in favor of changing the name and those against, the film presents a deeper analysis of the many issues surrounding the matter. The […]

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Judy Adams’s call to action for Guild Theater preservation

Thumbnail image for Judy Adams’s call to action for Guild Theater preservation

Guild Theater advocate Judy Adams brought this to our attention: “Menlo Park’s annual “goal setting” public meeting gives residents an opportunity to express their views on what goals the city should work towards in 2018. Each speaker will have three minutes to make a statement. “If you signed the Save the Guild petition  (as 4000 […]

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