Palo Alto Weekly
Letter to the Editor
Published February 17, 1995

Our taxes, our schools

In recent years we have watched the Palo Alto Unified School District relentlessly supplanting our heretofore excellent math curriculum, with the State Math Frameworks. In just a few years, this has lead to a significant drop in computational skills for students who use them. This was acknowledged by Superintendant Brown when he offered an elective in computational skills this month.

However, worried parents desiring information about alternatives to the Frameworks have been routinely ignored or patronized at every 'open' meeting since October 94. It is noteworthy, by the way, that the State requires so many minutes of AIDs to be taught each year but has no similar requirements for mathematics.

The interesting thing about all this is that while the average expenditure per student in California is $4,200, each Palo Alto student costs $6,900. Of that amount the State contributes just 15%. Who then, contributes the other eighty-five (85%) percent?

We do -- Palo Alto Property Owners. It is we, not the State, who pay for the Palo Alto Schools.

Yet the district continues to embrace the State frameworks with great enthusiasm and equally great expense. So what is the or else for not doing frameworks? No more money from the State.

So?

So the District is coming to us -- not the State, mind you, but us Palo Alto property owners -- for $140 million ($140,000,000) more on June 6, 1995. Personally, I think it would be nice if our employees put choice-in-mathematics back in the schools before then.

By the way, you know that 15% mentioned above? Thats ours too.

Michal Anne Plume
Cowper Street
Palo Alto