Community engagement and input for MPCSD financial planning begins February 22

by Parke Treadway on February 21, 2021

In January 2021, the Menlo Park City School District’s Board decided to place a parcel tax on the November 2021 ballot to replace Measure X, which has provided four years of financial stability to the district. When Measure X passed, it was part of the Board’s plan to create a four-year runway of stability while it pursued options for longer term financial sustainability. With the end of this school year in June, the runway will come to an end. The Board seeks to provide the district with a measured and sustainable financial path as it practices student-centered stewardship that achieves efficiency without sacrificing quality.

As the district considers its financial future, the Board is currently in conversation about $1.5-2M in potential cuts to the district’s budget. Many possibilities are being considered, including reducing overall administrative roles at the district level; modifying the music, drama, and world language programs; tightening class sizes; and making other efficiencies in classified positions. A full list of proposed reductions is available in the February 11, 2021 Board meeting packet, here. 

It is important to note that cuts are part of the overall strategy, and the district also needs to replace Measure X in order to maintain its quality program. The MPCSD community has affirmed its support of schools many times by passing parcel taxes and generously donating to the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation. Parcel taxes and philanthropic giving together make up approximately twenty-five percent of the district’s budget.

To inform the Board’s decisions, the public is invited to share its input around cost savings and the replacement parcel tax. There are many opportunities to make your voice heard, at full Board meetings and at special Community Engagement Sessions with Superintendent Burmeister and Board Members. Please join MPCSD over Zoom:

  • Community Engagement Session: February 22, 7:00-8:00 pm RSVP here
  • Community Engagement Session: February 25, 10:00-11:00 am RSVP here
  • Special Board Meeting Thursday, February 25, at 5:00 p.m. (Agenda and Zoom link posted at www.mpcsd.org 72 hours prior to the meeting.)
  •  February 27, 9:30-10:30 am RSVP here
  •  Board Meeting Thursday, March 11, at 5:00 p.m. (Agenda and Zoom link posted at www.mpcsd.org 72 hours prior to the meeting.)
  • Special Board Meeting Thursday, March 25, at 5:00 p.m. (Agenda and Zoom link posted at www.mpcsd.org 72 hours prior to the meeting.)
  • Board Meeting Thursday, April 15, at 5:00 p.m. (Agenda and Zoom link posted at www.mpcsd.org 72 hours prior to the meeting.)
  • Board Meeting Thursday, May 13, at 5:00 p.m. (Agenda and Zoom link posted at www.mpcsd.org 72 hours prior to the meeting.)

Read more at MPCSD’s new Community Engagement page. A volunteer committee is also forming to support the parcel tax campaign. To inquire about joining the Friends of Menlo Park Schools committee, please complete this form: bit.ly/FriendsofMPCSD.

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