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$1 Million for our Schools

From: Teresa Reif <"Teresa>
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2018 15:30:16 -0800

Dear City Council Members,

 

As a parent and taxpayer in the Menlo Park City School District, I am
writing to express my support for Councilmember Mueller's suggestion that
the city give $1 million of its ERAF surplus to MPCSD as mitigation for the
cost of the increased school enrollment expected from the Stanford housing
development.

The development is expected to generate approximately 39 new students
beginning in the 2019-20 school year. As a community funded district, MPCSD
does not receive any more funding when more students enroll. Our tax base,
while generous, must cover any and all enrollment growth. Stanford's
non-profit status means it is not required to pay property taxes on these
residential units, thus the only source of funds for these residential units
to the school district--property taxes--will not be generated even though
the district will see an increase of approximately 39 students.

 

The cost of educating the anticipated students will be $663,000 annually. If
a tax-paying developer built a similar project to Stanford's, the property
taxes generated would cover about 60% of that cost. Wishing to hold Stanford
to the same 60% benchmark, MPCSD would need to receive $400,000 annually
from the development. Stanford and the City negotiated a one-time gift of
$1.5 million to the MPAEF to help offset the ongoing costs to the district
which will be deposited into the MPAEF endowment, the roll-off earnings of
which, at a 7% rate of return, will generate approximately $105,000
annually. The annual property tax income to MPCSD on the office and retail
space of the project is estimated to be about $225,000, meaning the district
can anticipate annual revenues from the project to be about $330,000, or
slightly less than 50% of the cost of educating the students it generates.
With a $1 million gift from the City, put into endowment along with
Stanford's gift of $1.5 million, the school district would be on track to
annually generate 60% of the cost of educating the Stanford development's
students, bringing it on par with what typical housing developments
generate.

 

We appreciate the work and support on the district's behalf that the City
Council has already proven willing to offer. We feel that if the City has a
way to further mitigate the gap in funding between what residential units
built by a tax-paying developer would generate for the school district, and
the one-time donation that Stanford made as a gesture towards filling that
gap, the City should not let this opportunity pass.

 

Please consider giving MPCSD a $1 million gift so that when the new students
arrive, as they surely will, the district will be equipped with the
resources to educate them without diluting services and programming for all
students. We all appreciate the value that an excellent school district adds
to our vibrant community, and with your foresight and help, we can maintain
the quality that we all expect.

 

Sincerely,

 

Teresa Reif

Parent of Students at Encinal Elementary School

 
Received on Fri Mar 02 2018 - 16:34:25 PST

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