September 2018 Agenda Item 04 Slides - Meeting Agendas (CA ...
TOM TORLAKSON California State Board of Education September 2018 Meeting State Superintendent of Public Instruction Territory Transfer Appeal: Ravenswood City Elementary School District to Menlo Park City Elementary School District in San Mateo County SBE Options TOM TORLAKSON
State Superintendent of Public Instruction The San Mateo County Committee on School District Organization unanimously disapproved the proposed transfer from the Ravenswood CESD to the Menlo Park CESD. The SBE may affirm or reverse the County Committees action to disapprove. If the SBE reverses the action, thus approving the territory transfer, it must establish an election area. District Reorganization Procedure TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent
of Public Instruction Determine that the proposed reorganization meets nine threshold conditions (minimum standards). If threshold conditions are substantially met, determine whether there is a local educational need to reorganize districts (i.e., Is there a compelling educational reason to overturn the local decision to disapprove the territory transfer?). Affected Districts and Transfer Area TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Transfer of the Willows Neighborhood TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent of Public Instruction The SBE approved transfer of the Willows neighborhood in 1983, including 287 students, from the Ravenswood district to the Menlo Park district. Ravenswood CESD opposed the transfer partly because transferring a 72% nonminority area out of a 98% minority district and into a 90% nonminority district would increase racial isolation of Ravenswood CESD students. Tinsley Litigation TOM TORLAKSON
State Superintendent of Public Instruction The Willows transfer occurred in the middle of the decade-long Tinsley litigation filed against area school districts to address racial isolation of students. Included was the allegation that previous realignments of Ravenswood boundaries increased student racial imbalance. In 1986, the Court issued a Settlement Order in response to the Tinsley litigationwith a primary goal to reduce racial isolation in Ravenswood and other area districts. Tinsley Voluntary Transfer Plan TOM TORLAKSON
State Superintendent of Public Instruction The Settlement Order included a Voluntary Transfer Plan (VTP) that allows minority students from the Ravenswood CESD to transfer into eight other area school districts (including Menlo Park). Nonminority students from these other districts may transfer into the Ravenswood CESD. The Court specifically charged the SBE with responsibility for monitoring district compliance with the Order, including the VTP. The Tinsley VTP remains in effect. Previous Appeal from the Same Area TOM TORLAKSON
State Superintendent of Public Instruction In 1992, the SBE heard a similar appeal from residents of the same area involved in the current appeal. The CDE recommended that the SBE affirm the County Committees unanimous decision to disapprove the transfer, with the CDE finding that the proposed transfer was directly contrary to the Tinsley VTP. The SBE unanimously affirmed the action of the County Committee to disapprove the transfer. Petitioner Reasons for Transfer TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent
of Public Instruction The transfer area is part of the Willows neighborhood. Transfer will align city and school district boundaries. Neighborhood school is Laurel Upper Campus. Petitioner Reasons for Transfer (continued) TOM TORLAKSON
State Superintendent of Public Instruction The proposed transfer area has no community identity with the Ravenswood CESD or the city of East Palo Alto. Area children deserve a quality public education, which they cannot receive in the Ravenswood CESD. The Pacific Parc community (similarly overlooked in the 1983 Willows transfer) was approved for transfer in 2010 when the SBE reversed County Committee disapproval of the transfer. Menlo Park CESD Opposition TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent
of Public Instruction Transfer reflects continuing erosion of diversity, property taxes, and assessed valuation from Ravenswood. Transfer would encourage unwanted future transfers of city of Menlo Park territory from the Ravenswood CESD. Menlo Park CESD already will face considerable challenges in housing students from future developments. All Ravenswood schools are within two miles of the area. Transfer will result in significant property value increases. Ravenswood CESD Opposition TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent of Public Instruction
There is a historical pattern of transfers that exacerbates the racial isolation of students in the district. The transfer would create a greater divide between the Menlo Park and East Palo Alto communities. An identical territory transfer was denied previously. The conditions leading to that disapproval remain valid. Under the Tinsley VTP, there are only students leaving the district. This reduces district fundingadditional loss of students will exacerbate district fiscal problems. County Committee Action TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent of Public Instruction
The County Committee unanimously disapproved the territory transfer, finding that the proposal failed to meet the following minimum conditions in EC Section 35753: Preservation of each affected districts ability to educate pupils in an integrated environment. Insignificant increases to school facilities costs. Continue to promote sound fiscal management. EC Section 35753(a)(4) TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent of Public Instruction The reorganization of the school districts will preserve each affected
districts ability to educate pupils in an integrated environment and will not promote racial or ethnic discrimination or segregation. Both affected districts expressed concerns that the proposed transfer reflects continuing erosion of diversity from the Ravenswood community and will have a negative impact on racial isolation of students. Appellants state that 86 percent of neighborhood children are minority. Loss of the one school-aged child attending Ravenswood will have no significant effect. EC Section 35753(a)(4): CDE Findings TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent
of Public Instruction Menlo Park CESD is 40.3% minority, while Ravenswood CESD is over 99% minority. The small number of students in the transfer area will not significantly affect current racial isolation of students. Tinsley Settlement Order does not specifically prohibit territory transferstherefore, the proposed transfer is not directly contrary to Tinsley. The Education in an Integrated Environment condition is substantially met. EC Section 35753(a)(7): TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent
of Public Instruction Any increase in school facilities costs as a result of the proposed reorganization will be insignificant and otherwise incidental to the reorganization. The affected districts state that territory transfers will: (1) exacerbate difficulties in providing housing for a growing Menlo Park student population and (2) reduce Ravenswood AV and bonding capacity. Appellants state Menlo Park will have capacity for all students into the foreseeable future; and assessed valuation in Ravenswood is growing. EC Section 35753(a)(7):
CDE Findings TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent of Public Instruction Based on student capacities of schools and projected enrollment growth, Menlo Park CESD should not exceed capacity to house students for the foreseeable future. Assessed valuation of Ravenswood CESD has increased almost 52 percent since 201112. Small number of students and relatively small AV in the transfer area should not have significant negative effects. The Increased Facility Cost condition is substantially met. EC Section 35753(a)(9):
TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent of Public Instruction The proposed reorganization will continue to promote sound fiscal management and not cause a substantial negative effect on the fiscal status of the affected district. Affected districts state: (1) Menlo Park costs would increase up to $167,000 annually and (2) every dollar of Ravenswood revenue is important because of declining enrollment and a very low per student tax base. Appellants state: (1) Menlo Park costs would be offset by property tax revenue from area and (2) the tax base in Ravenswood is growing significantly.
EC Section 35753(a)(9): CDE Findings TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent of Public Instruction Menlo Park CESD is fiscally healthy. Additional costs will be minimal and will be offset by increased property tax revenue. District AV growth over the past five years has increased significantly (42%), far exceeding enrollment growth over that same period (10.4%). Although there are concerns with Ravenswood CESD fiscal health due to declining enrollment, the loss of one student and 31 homes will not be significant.
The Fiscal Status condition is substantially met. Potential Reasons to Approve Transfer TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent of Public Instruction The SBE may determine that there is a compelling local educational reason to overturn the County Committees action to disapprove the territory transfer. Appellants offer a number of potential reasons, including: Timing of 1983 Willows annexation. Appellants contend that their neighborhood would have transferred at that time if it had been part of the city of Menlo Park.
Potential Reasons to Approve Transfer (continued) TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent of Public Instruction Community identity: The area is part of the city of Menlo Park and close to Laurel Upper Campus School. Quality education: Petitioners claim Ravenswood cannot provide the quality education that their students deserve. Uniqueness: The neighborhood is small, with few students, and its unique circumstances will not set a precedent for future transfers.
Potential Concerns TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent of Public Instruction Piecemeal changes may result in school district boundaries that make little sense, reflecting poor policy. Approval may encourage continued boundary erosion. Potential Concerns (continued)
TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent of Public Instruction Enrollment growth may place pressure on the Menlo Park districts future ability to house its students. Ravenswood currently is experiencing financial difficulties due to declining enrollment. Even small negative fiscal effects on the district may be considered a concern. Transfer could be viewed as violating the spirit of the Tinsley Settlement Order. Summary TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent
of Public Instruction CDE finds all minimum threshold conditions met, including the three the County Committee determined were not met. CDE finds no reason compelling enough to overturn the County Committees disapproval. CDE finds concerns substantial enough to warrant upholding County Committee action. CDE recommends the SBE affirm the County Committee disapproval of the transfer. SBE Action TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent
of Public Instruction The SBE may affirm or reverse the County Committees decision to disapprove the proposed transfer of territory. If the SBE reverses the action, thus approving the territory transfer, it must establish an election area.
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