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San Carlos School District to Place Bond Measure on Ballot

San Carlos voters will be presented with a $72 million bond measure that the school district says it needs to update facilities and add space for expanding enrollment.

In one of the highest scored academic school districts in the state, San Carlos must be ready to find room for a growth of 600 students over the next four years.

In the three years Superintendent Dr. Craig Baker has been on board, the school population has increased by 10 percent and is now over capacity.

The school district board voted Monday to place a $72 million bond issue on the November ballot in hopes of raising funds necessary to accomodate the extra students and to update facilities and programs.

According to a report Baker delivered to the city council last month, Tierra Linda Middle School and Central Middle School with be most impacted, as those schools have the space to expand.

"We are one of the lowest funded school districts in San Mateo County," Baker said last month. "We need new rooms, new schools. We need tech, science and computer labs and we need to repair and upgrade throughout the system."

The school board spent significant time exploring the possibility of floating a bond measure, including commissioning a study in March to understand the feasibility of such a measure.

The study revealed overwhelming support for the idea. Data taken from the San Carlos School District website showed:

* 71.6% of voters have a favorable opinion on whether SCSD is providing quality education for kids.

* When asked at the beginning of the survey if they would vote for such a measure, 62.3% said probably or definitely yes.

* Almost all of the potential features of the measure got significant support, including protecting quality of instruction, making needed repairs, upgrading classrooms and technology, and making safety improvements.

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Marc Parent July 18, 2012 at 02:51 PM
What the article fails to state is that there are a good many of these students are from Out of District locations. For years there has been a shortage of students at Heather School allowing for the District to Bus students from out of the district to the quality schools that are supported by the community in San Carlos . So much so that many parents re instituted the bond measure that was set to expire. Now Dr. Baker, in his infinite wisdom has taken on the task to tax the parents of San Carlos, yet again, under the guise of 10% increased enrollment (note that the 600 student increase is not from San Carlos Residents), rather from "Tinsley" students where Mr Baker intends to flex his political muscle by using our children as leverage. The school population of San Carlos remains mostly flat witha nominal increase and decreas from year to year as was stated many times before Mr Baker arrived. Spare me this tax on false pretenses please. Further I have still not seen where Dr. Baker and his big fat salary have given to the SCEF in any meaningful amount. I would hope that the Patch (Mr Eymer) learns more of the issues before writing this clearly pointed article, in fact I would reccomend he check his sources like a real reported should and locate the truth prior to writing such an article.
Rick Eymer July 18, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Marc Parent, Thank you for a detailed response. If I may ask your source for your statements I would be happy to look into them. For example, who said "The school population of San Carlos remains mostly flat witha nominal increase and decreas from year to year as was stated many times before Mr Baker arrived."? Is there a study? A state of the city archive? Are you suggesting that the population of San Carlos will remain stagnant over the next four years and no families will be moving in? Or that new families merely replace the aging ones? I am neither for nor against the bond measure. Perhaps what is needed is a clarification of how "allowing for the District to Bus students from out of the district to the quality schools that are supported by the community in San Carlos" is being defined. I would further suggest, based on this statement, that perhaps what is needed is a different way to pay for those "out-of-towners." When Dr. Baker made his presentation to the city council, he had sources, documents and supporting evidence. This could lead to a great discussion. Please, point the way to your sources.
Seth Rosenblatt July 18, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Rick -- I can clarify, and I don't know where "Marc Parent" gets his information. it is incorrect. The fact is that the recent increase, as well as the projected increase, is entirely from students within San Carlos, and the number of out of district students (which only amounts to just over 200 kids) has been dropping every year. The school age population in San Carlos is exploding, and as almost every real estate agent will tell you, the #1 reason these young families move to San Carlos is because of the schools.
Rick Eymer July 18, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Seth, Thanks for the update. I believe Dr. Baker did address the out of district concerns. I just didn't have it in my notes. I can certainly understand the reasoning for wanting more information before deciding whether to commit to such a large bond measure, which is why I like the discussion. I am directly affected myself, having owned a home in San Carlos for over 20 years and watching my niece and nephew go through the San Carlos school system from K-8.

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