San Carlos School Wait-List: Has the door closed at White Oaks Elementary?

April 22, 2009



(Update:  Here's an article that was published in today's Daily Journal:  Kindergartners max out school capcacity)

Record Numbers.

Two months ago when sign-ups for the 2008-09 school year were conducted, the San Carlos School District experienced an unexpected surge which resulted in 70 more kindergarten applications than they were expecting.   This was good news for the School District, but not-so-good news for families expecting to attend White Oaks Elementary School.  They took the brunt of that upside when they received 130 applications for only 80 kindergarten slots.

I wrote an article on this enrollment situation which includes a very informative article from the Daily Journal.  Click here for that post:  San Carlos School Enrollment and Budget on a Collision Course.

Wait Lists Aren't New at White Oaks…

Wait lists have almost become a way of life at White Oaks Elementary School.  It seems like every year the school receives more kindergarten applications than it has available slots, and for good reason.   San Carlos is in a rare situation, in that each and every school in its district is absolutely outstanding — the most recent API scores back this up:  San Mateo County 2008 API Scores.

But White Oaks School seems to experience a level of demand that's not seen by other schools.  Even San Carlos residents who live outside the White Oaks boundary apply for their kids to attend this school, and prospective home buyers put the White Oaks neighborhood as their top priority to ensure that they get into this school.  Without a doubt, White Oaks Elementary School carries a certain cachet within San Carlos.

Historically the San Carlos School District has been able to resolve the wait-list concerns, and San Carlos residents have generally been lucky enough to get into the school of their choice.  But this year, that luck may have run out for a significant number of White Oaks residents…

Diverted to Heather?

According to the aforementioned Daily Journal article, the School District has been looking at a variety of ways to accommodate the huge influx of applications, from increasing the student-teacher ratio up to 22:1, and exploring the possibility of portable classrooms.   But according to some parents on this current wait list, the message they're now getting from the School District is this:

Prepare to attend another school in the fall.

From what I'm told by these parents, the most likely place for those on the wait list will be Heather Elementary, since it's the closest school that still has  enough capacity.  Brittan Acres is actually closer in proximity, but apparently there isn't sufficient capacity at BA either.

Critical School Board Meeting.

Needless to say, this development has created high anxiety within the White Oaks community, and a number of critical questions will need to be addressed.  For example,

  1. Is this change permanent for those involved, or will there be an opportunity for the displaced families to get back into White Oaks in subsequent grades?
  2. Does this mean the elementary/middle school track for these families is now Heather-Tierra Linda, as opposed to the White Oaks-Central path they have long expected?
  3. What plans does the school district have in place to address this problem in the future?  (If you've been around Burton Park the past few days, it doesn't seem like the enrollment in our school district is going to be dropping anytime soon.)  Will the White Oaks school boundaries be changed in the future to balance the enrollment mismatch?

This is a very tough, multi-dimensional problem that won't be solved by a quick fix.    White Oaks isn't the only school in San Carlos that is tackling enrollment challenges – the delta they're trying to close just happens to be the biggest of the bunch.  And make not doubt about it — any solutions that are proposed will have a far-reaching impact on all of the schools, not just White Oaks.   More on that in a future post….

If you're one of the families that is impacted by this, it's important that you attend the next San Carlos School District board meeting, which is tomorrow night, April 23, at 7:00 PM at the Central Middle School library.    According to the District, this item will be on the agenda.


Posted in:


  1. BA Mom on April 22, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    There’s other things to consider too, such as all these displaced families will now have to drive their child to school, which will add congestion and danger t drop-off and pick-up times. And we shouldn’t diminish the long-held dreams of being able to walk your child to school, which many families take into account when looking for a house in the neighborhood.
    BA is packed for the coming school year also. At last check we had 97 children for 80 spots. The word is that another K class will be added, but with the budget cuts and uncertainty about Measure B, who knows if this will happen.
    I feel for the new parents through the district, and it is an incredibly stressful situation.

  2. Chuck on April 22, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    You’re right — it’s very stressful, because there’s so much at stake. I really think this is heading toward a city-wide re-zoning of the School District — not just White Oaks — and you know that will be a very contentious discussion that will take place on a much larger scale than what’s going on now.

    Thanks for your comment,


  3. White Oaks Mom on April 22, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    One issue that I have never heard brought up as a factor in this discussion is that each of the elementary schools pre-registers siblings of current students before they take applications from the neighborhood.

    While on the surface this sounds great — the reality is that there are a lot of students who live closer to another one of our incredibly good elementary schools, yet managed to get into White Oaks in a year that there was lower enrollment. For example, when the current 4th graders were in 2nd grade — WO added an extra 2nd grade class to accommodate the existing enrollment. That allowed at least half a dozen students from other schools and even other cities to come over to White Oaks. Now, their siblings get priority over families who have lived within walking distance of White Oaks since long before they were born.

    I know of one family that will most likely have to DRIVE past White Oaks to Heather next year to take their 5 year old to school. This is a family that had a child later in life, and has lived in their White Oaks neighborhood home for over 20 years. This will be especially frustrating each Wednesday on “Walk to School” Day — which the schools heavily promote.

    I love White Oaks School — and I am extremely happy that my child has been able to attend our neighborhood school and be part of what is truly a “small town community” — but I am equally sure that the other San Carlos elementary schools are also wonderful neighborhood schools.

    The policy of siblings first unfortunately means that for each sibling that gets priority, another child will not be able to go to their neighborhood school and thus will have to be driven to school each day.

    If parents want to move their child to a particular school because they perceive that it is better – they should get that option when space allows. But that option should not automatically expand to every one of their future children when space doesn’t allow — especially when it comes at the detriment of another child who now has to go to a school outside of his or her neighborhood.

    All of the elementary schools in San Carlos are excellent. I think that many San Carlos residents have an impession that White Oaks has “the best” test scores. While they were the first to cross over 900 points — White Oaks has better test scores by a very slim margin — in fact so slim that it is statistically irrelevant. But, both BA and Heather have much larger and more improved campuses and playgrounds facilities, which is very important to elementary school kids.

    So the real issue here, is how do we how do zone so that the highest number of students can be in their neighborhood school — which is ultimately what makes all of our elementary schools so superior!

  4. WhiteOaksParent on April 23, 2009 at 12:21 am

    The possibility of transferring the WO wait list families to Heather was brought up to one of the school board members as contrary to the “walk to school” philosophy promoted by the schools. Unfortunately, the response was that it was not a compelling argument. If all 57 families drive to Heather, that’s an additional 228 car trips up Melendy and through the Heather parking lot on a daily basis.

    Unfortunately, there has been very little in the way of answers and the first time the School Board will formally address the situation will be at the 4/23 meeting.

  5. SC Mom on April 23, 2009 at 12:32 am

    I would also like to see some short and long term solutions to the issue of over crowding in our San Carlos Schools. As mentioned before, this is not the first large wave of students to enter Kindergarten, instead it is one of many previous waves. I would expect many more large waves of children to enter the school system in the future as families love San Carlos. Also, there are so many young couples (pre-children) that move here too and then eventually have children.

    I would like to see the School District develop some short term solutions to help the displaced families now. I would also like to see some redistricting that helps the schools & families.

    On the long term, I would like to see a plan for the School District to add more classrooms (real ones, not mobil trailer classrooms) by adding 2 stories where needed or building out if space. I would like to see a feasibility study on adding back a 5th Elementary School and a high school – both were taken away from our city. I know the budget issues are terrible right now but it is time to revisit adding back the schools we lost as this large wave of children will need a place to attend High School. Finally, I would like the City of San Carlos to limit residential growth until the School District has an acceptable plan to accomodate the current families and any additional families. As it stands right now, there are plans to add hundreds of new appartment units to San Carlos and I do not see how we can possibly do that. What message does that send to the waitlisted families that can’t get into their neighborhood school? It is clear our city & school district is beyond our maximum capacity. It is time to really fix this ongoing issue and not just put a band aid on it.

  6. baggins on April 23, 2009 at 2:01 am

    I really dont get the White Oaks love. The site is unbelievably cramped. The only grass is an area about the size of basketball court. Is it fun to play baseball / kickball on asphalt? I can see the attraction of the neighborhood, and by extension, a neighborhood school. But the site is awful if you think outdoor exercise is important at all.

    And the test scores for all the other schools, Heather excepted, are not different. 5-10 API points is within the error bars.

    Sc Mom – I dont forsee a second story at White Oaks as a cost effective measure, and as for a HS, there was a feasibility study done a few years back. – Its not feasible given the costs and more importantly there is still plenty of room at Sequoia, Woodside and MA. Carlmont is full, however.

    As for San Carlos financing a school itself, I dont know the legal issues, but thats not relevant – the money isnt there. Think about it, Measure B failed, which was about 79 dollars a parcel. A new HS would be an order of magnitude more commitment.

  7. St. Charles Family in White Oaks on April 23, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Chuck – another great article – thanks. We are a St. Charles family but have an opinion. The rules around this seem crazy to me. In the last few years – some non-White Oaks residents are now attending White Oaks school – and their siblings get preference over White Oaks residents. So this year – some siblings of these non-White Oaks residents may have been the reason that residents have been wait listed.

    Does this seem right to you? I don’t think the non-White Oaks residents should get the preference for siblings. Their argument is that they will have to drive to more than one school – inconvenience. What about the inconvenience to the residents of White Oaks???

  8. BA Mom on April 23, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Quick note: Measure B isn’t done until May 5th, unless you know something about the results that none of us do…..

  9. San Carlos Mom on April 23, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Baggins – Do you know where we can look at the feasibility study you mention on building a HS for San Carlos and when the study was done? I have never seen it or heard about it, but I would like to read it. Is posted on the School District Website or somewhere else? I know many of my friends would be extremely interested too. Thanks.

  10. baggins on April 24, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Here is exec summary of the report. Its not much of an exec summary, but I couldnt find the full report this time. I read it previously, but cannot find again. The upshot was that there is lots of space avail in district, and it costs way too much for San Carlos to break away and create one itself. It recommended a charter school, which failed, as I understand.

    Besides, a new HS for San Carlos would remove the opportunity for its students to experience diversity at Sequoia – according to a different RE blog, thats a major weakness of San Carlos, not enough diversity.

  11. Heathermom on April 24, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Limiting residential growth should also apply to existing home renovations – how many of what were originally 2 bed/1 bath or even 1 bed/1 bath homes in the White Oaks neighborhood have been expanded to accommodate 2+ children per household?

  12. San Carlos Mom on April 25, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Thank you for the information.

    Did anyone attend the district meeting last night?

  13. Violet on April 26, 2009 at 12:47 am

    The meeting was hostile and uncomfortable. Many parents on the waitlist attended the portion of the meeting that dealt with that issue, but then picked up and left the meeting when they were discussing the budget issue, which really affects them directly. If measure B does not pass, there will be no funds available to expand or add anything. There is no space at White Oaks, it is full. If they took all those children in the fall, they would only have space for 42 kindergartners for 2010-2011, which would probably cover the siblings of current students. Nothing was decided because they are studying more options and waiting to see if Measure B passes.

  14. Michael on April 27, 2009 at 12:41 am

    Think of all the extra money available to the schools if senior citizens were expected to pay the parcel tax if Measure B passes…it sounds like they need it.

    This parcel tax appears to be a “have-to-have” and not a “nice-to-have”. I voted “no” based on the unfair nature of the measure and it really should include seniors who own property here who can afford to pay it.

    If it passes, it doesn’t sound like the problems at White Oaks (not to mention our other schools) will be solved. Are we paying attention? I think WE HAVE AN ADMINISTRATION PROBLEM! You can’t throw money at that and expect it to go away.

    I don’t believe the dollar amount has been sufficiently thought out and that exempting seniors is just a way to make it pass. My guess is that if this measure somehow passes, the hands will be out begging shortly after the election and then where will our schools be?

    It doesn’t sound as if the people making the decisons for our schools are making responsible and effective choices. No amount of money will change that.

  15. Violet on April 27, 2009 at 1:16 am

    There are several teachers at the school we attend that have already been handed their pink slips, there will be no money for music, for new materials, for expanding or adding classes. I think by voting no on this measure you have hurt the kids in the classroom when its the administration and board that you are angry at. The teachers make very little go VERY far, and if measure B doesn’t pass they will have to do with less.

  16. Michael on April 27, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    And as I have said in the past, WHY has a case not been made to our senior citizens to pay their share??? My anger (if in fact that is what it is) is not necessarily directed at the adminstration (although it is their job to manage the funds to run our schools), but at the people that created this measure to give the seniors even more of a free ride.

    By virtue of Prop 13, it seems that senior citizens have been placed in this elite, untouchable group and seem to forever be unable to pay their fair share.

    I know for a fact a senior citizen in San Carlos managed to donate $50,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign… I guess the $78 savings on the parcel tax enabled them to pony up for that “worthy” cause…

    Why not just bill those families with children in our public schools the proportionate amount for each child and excuse the rest of us from paying? Because it is wrong; we should ALL shoulder the costs related to the betterment of our town; not just selected groups.

    My “no” vote is not directed at our kids, but at this measure that is unfair to those that live here. If others are unable to pay this additional tax (for whatever reason) can they be exempt? Has that been provided for in this measure? I don’t believe so.

    If this measure goes down, perhaps the next one that is written (and you can bet there will be one) will be fair to everyone.

  17. Michael on April 28, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Just thought I would add that in case any of you think I am against the “kids” or the “schools”, I spent last Saturday at Bel Haven School in Menlo Park. I volunteered with “Rebuilding Together” and about 100 of us spent the day painting the exterior of the school.

    There are charities (San Carlos schools are not above being helped) that will offer assistance where funding does not fill the void. A combined effort (outside of getting the residents to pay more into the school system) could be made to get corporate sponsors to donate materials and people to donate time, a free resource that based on the passion shown from those who write on this site is widely available.

    To some of you, I am sure the thought of charity to help out our schools may be unthinkable, but none of us should be too proud when faced with dire situations. If we can’t “collectively” help out our schools, they will surely be in terrible shape for years to come.

  18. Anonymous on April 28, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    I was so saddened and truly shocked but the hosility in the room during the school board meeting. I know that those waitlist families are trying to work with the board and the commnunity. This is an enourmous problem that goes way beyond the waitlisters. I am glad they are speaking up because it raising awareness that our school district is in dire need to expand or think creatively. Every school is impacted and will ultimately trickle to the middle schools where this same discussion will be taking place a few years from now. Many new families to the area are now aware that it is not all “rosey” in San Carlos. I am truly disheartend that the current White Oaks families were so against these families that were trying to come up with solutions.

  19. BA Mom on April 29, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Wow, that’s great. Thanks for taking care of a Menlo Park school, where the median income is through the roof, and voting No on Measure B.

    You certainly have your priorities straight and here’s a pat on the back for helping out.

  20. Anonymous on April 29, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    The lack of empathy and community spirit in San Carlos is nothing short of depressing. And, this post is one more example of it.

    I disagree that it was the “waitlist families” that picked up and left when the budget discussions started. Families on both sides of the room left. It’s unfair to once again vilify the waitlist families.

  21. Heathermom on April 30, 2009 at 1:43 am

    Re: “lack of empathy and community spirit…nothing short of depressing.” My sentiments exactly and what I hope will come back and be present in our schools when our children end up wherever they end up in September 2009 and beyond.

  22. Heathermom on April 30, 2009 at 1:45 am

    your time spent on a Saturday doesn’t equate to at least $78 per year for schools in your own community?

  23. Anonymous on April 30, 2009 at 4:39 am

    This is a no win situation. Parents at White Oaks do not want anymore upheaval at the school, wait listed parents want to move everyone around to different schools, and teachers just want to be able to give their students a good education. WO is all ready taking 88 students in the fall, and I believe that the biggest class they have ever taken is 90. I think instead of parents blaming each other we should be looking to the board to make a decision on how they are going to handle this situation. If measure B doesn’t pass WO will be laying off staff, so I am unsure how they would handle more children with less teachers.

  24. Anonymous on April 30, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    The waitlist familes DO NOT WANT to move EVERYONE around
    to different schools – this is just not true!!!

  25. Michael on May 1, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Well, the Bel Haven School borders East Palo Alto so these are not trust fund kids who attend; they are among the least supported of peninsula schools by virtue of their location.

    As for my priorities…what are the senior citizens’ priorities? To continue to sponge off the rest of us until they die? I would have gladly voted for the Measure if Seniors were required to pay it too.

    Require them to pay, put that back on the ballot and I think you will get a lot more yes votes. The fact that the rationale for excluding them was that they vote in greater numbers does not really factor in here since this was a mail-in ballot. I am ashamed if there is not 100% voter turnout for a mail-in ballot…it requires no more than 2 minutes of your time.

    I figure I spoke with my vote but if it passes, I will no choice but to pay it. The bank accounts of San Carlos seniors will be safe once again with their neighbors propping up the seniors’ property values supplementing thier cushy lives while our bank accounts slowly dwindle even more. That’s fair, isn’t it?

  26. Heathermom on May 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    take heart…health willing we’ll all get to be 65 some day and then it will be our turn to sponge.

  27. Michael on May 1, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    …not unless we get a Prop 13 of our own. If seniors can realize the massive financial gains if they sell their property here in San Carlos, then they should AT LEAST have to pay these supplemental taxes that come aong. Or, if we are so afraid of dessimating these peoples’ bank acounts, make these taxes deferred so that when they sell their home, the money comes out of the proceeds and back to the city, not into the pockets of their heirs.

    Why are we as under 65 taxpayers propping up their property values with our tax dollars? If they don’t want to pay for the infrastructure needs of our town, they should sell the house to someone that would pay for it.

    If anything, the seniors should be the first people we go to for money…haven’t they been saving thousands in property taxes for years? The $11,000 I currently pay in annual property taxes will still be there (and inching up 2% a year), so all the other perks will probably not make up the difference. All things being equal, how are we as future seniors expected to pay our way if we rely on social security (if it is even there when we retire)?

    I know now that in 20 years, social security will barely pay for my property taxes and then what am I expected to live on?

    The answer: it’s my problem, not my neighbors’ problem. If I cannot afford to pay my share, I sell my house and move somewhere I can afford.

    We are planning to be paying those taxes as well as the various “need” taxes” along the way because that is the way it should be. No one deserves to be put in a protected class by virtue of their age (financially speaking). If it is not illegal, it should be.

    Just a suggestion…why not ask any of your neighbors who are seniors if they could afford or be willing to contribute to the schools in the form of a parcel tax that the rest of us have to pay. I cannot imagine an acceptable reason to refuse.

  28. Anonymous on May 5, 2009 at 4:59 am

    Dear Heather Mom –

    Thank you for your post.

    After receiving emails from White Oaks and Brittan Acres parents, teachers and even the White Oaks principal exhorting parents to “stand up” against the waitlisted families and urge the board not to place “them” and “our” school, it’s simply amazing to see any San Carlos parent speak so fairly and kindly.

    If any parent should be upset in San Carlos, it’s the Heather parents. It sounds like the Board wants to inundate Heather with all 57 waitlisted kids. What an impact that will have on Heather! And, in spite of that, you are being so kind.

    I wish there were more people in San Carlos like you.

    Thank you.

  29. Mark Olbert on May 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I’d like to offer a different perspective.

    There’s a famous saying about politics that goes like this: Politics is the art of the possible.

    It wouldn’t violate any laws of physics to not grant a senior exemption on a parcel tax initiative. But I’d ask people to remember what’s at risk if we were to do that: a whole bunch of important, if not critical, school programs. Given the large body of evidence that senior exemptions help pass parcel taxes, I’d rather be a follower than a leader on this particular subject.

    Not all seniors take advantage of the exemption, BTW. They still have to apply for it, and a number of them don’t.

    As to fairness…my experience is that there are at least twice as many ways to define fairness as their are people in a debate :).

    – Mark

  30. Heathermom on May 7, 2009 at 3:45 am

    So happy this passed. Thank you San Carlos

  31. Derek on May 10, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    I think the answer is to redistrict the entire school district. It needs to happen soon.

  32. Heathermom on May 11, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Thanks for the thanks, I can only speak for myself although I hope I’m not the only Heather parent that welcomes the additional kids. I’m looking forward to what I hope such impassioned parents will bring to the Heather community – those are the kinds of parents one can only dream of having at their child’s school and that can only make Heather better for everyone. Then maybe in future years our community will get over its fascination with one or two particular schools and feel good about all of them (although of course that wouldn’t address the logistical issues of being re-directed outside your neighborhood school but I have never believed that that is all that is going on here for all families).

  33. Bill on May 18, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    At Hometown Days this weekend, I talked to the folks in the Transite Village booth. They have plans to add 281 appartment units to San Carlos (1 bedroom, 2 bedroom & 3 bedroom units) and 15% by law have to be low income units. I am trying to figure out how our schools can accomodate the extra families who will live in these new appartments? How it will impact our school system beyond our current enrollment issues?

  34. EAS on May 21, 2009 at 5:43 am

    Hello Michael,

    Prop 13 is not just for the elderly!

    I am amazed at how many young home owners have no idea that they are protected under Prop 13 too! Do you think in the next 20-30 years your house will not go up in value?

    Chances are you have already benefited from Prop 13.

    If you bought your home in 2000 for 500,000 and it was assessed in 2008 for 1,000, 000 (not unrealistic)…your property taxes would have doubled too! Ouch!

    Yes, Prop 13 protects us all! And it protects a community!

    One final question for you:
    Why shouldn’t people who invested in a community and raised their families there not be able to stay and grow old there??

  35. Michael on May 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Let me give you a scenario…

    EAS, My parents’ taxes have been under $2000 per year for as long as I can remember…so since prop 13 passed in 1978, they have paid no more than $62,000 in property taxes (IF they paid $2000 a year).

    When we bought our house in 2003, our property taxes were $9200; this past year we were at $10,750. So if you add up the numbers, we have paid the same property taxes in 6 years as they have paid in over 30 years…

    Our property taxes will be around $2000 a month by the time I retire…how am I being protected?

    Now I am equipped to pay that rate, however, my parents could easily and comfortably pay double what they currently pay without the threat of losing their home. After this past election and the HUGE deficits and cuts we face for years to come, how can you be concerned about those that have banked thousands of dollars on my back and those of my friends and neighbors?

    I am not in favor of kicking widows out of their homes, but come on…how many seniors can and SHOULD be paying more?

  36. EAS on May 21, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Hello Michael,

    Thanks for your comments but I still see Prop 13 as protecting everyone!See below:

    Your parent’s property taxes and your property taxes are covered under prop 13. They can only go up a MAXIMUM of 1% per year. See below for the law:

    Section 1. (a) The maximum amount of any ad valorem tax on real property shall not exceed One percent (1%) of the full cash value of such property. The one percent (1%) tax to be collected by the counties and apportioned according to law to the districts within the counties.

    However, if you have remodeled your home or your home is sold, taxes are reassessed at a new rate.

    So, in 30 years, I imagine young people will complain that you are paying too little.

    Lastly, I doubt that housing prices would be as high if property taxes where doubling….(like housing did a few years back)….people would be selling and moving….and that is not good for a community!
    So, I question if the state would be getting that much more money without Prop 13…initially maybe…but long term…doubtful. In my neighborhood, almost every house within a square block has sold at least once…many multiple times. Only 5 long term San Carlos residents remain (out of 50).

    The State is WASTING MONEY!!! It is not about us paying more…it is about the state SPENDING LESS!!!

    Why does there need to be 1,039 school districts in CA? Each with it’s own superintendent, board of supervisors, etc. Many serving less than 1,000 children? That is a huge waste.

    And sorry, but I went to public schools in CA BEFORE prop 13 and we had 30-40 kids per class… and these were the “golden years” of California education.

    But that is another subject….

  37. Michelle on May 22, 2009 at 1:55 am

    Bill – is that true? Adding all of those appartments to our city seems way too much! Are those numbers really accurate?? If so that could be a few hundred extra people added to our city??

  38. Jenny on May 22, 2009 at 1:59 am

    How will the school district handle the waitlists with all of those new families living in appartments?? I don’t think that is fair at all to the people already on the waitlists!! Also, what about the redistricting with the appartments – which school(s) will take all of those families?? I really don’t think this is fair at all to the families that are already here living in San Carlos! Enough is enough! Our city is bursting at the seems and so our the schools!

  39. Michael on May 22, 2009 at 2:51 pm


    We do agree on the old public school system being a success but that was before Prop 13 (I too benefitted from K-4, then catholic school). If the parcel tax revenue of $78 per is going to make such a big difference in our schools, then imagine if we imposed $1000 additional property taxes on those under prop 13 that can afford it?? That’s only about $85 a month. We really are in crisis mode, everyone should have to pitch in.

    Since Prop 13 passed, clearly tax revenue has not kept up with the rising cost of education (and yes, we do have many wasteful areas that can be cut, but our state has grown and so must the public school system along with it). Even if we have massive cuts to our schools system and state services, the massive inequity between the p-13’s and the rest of us creates that much more hardship on those paying exponentially more for the SAME services. Plus, the percentage limit our property taxes can be raised are on a much larger base than those who bought 40-50 years ago…it just hurts us more by virtue of when we bought our house.

    When my father, at 41 years old, paid $42,000 for their home in 1966, it was not only stressful for him at the time, but who would have dreamed that their home is now worth about 40 TIMES what they paid (and it is, even in this market)? If my current home is worth 3 times what we paid by the time I retire, I think that is unbelievable and it will probably be more…so nothing is impossible.

    Instead of raising car registration (how many cars do you see with expired tags that people can’t even pay for now?), go for the P-13 folks that can afford to pay more. Just once, I would like to see the playing field leveled, not leveled against me.

    Those under prop 13 are simply not paying their share and they should pay more; nobody can convince me otherwise.

  40. Neighbor on June 18, 2009 at 2:34 am


    I don’t think you get it, if you currently own a home, YOU ARE UNDER PROP 13.


  41. Michael on June 19, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Yes, I do get it.

    I think that Prop 13 is flawed since it assumes that whatever the base tax was when it was enacted at least covers the minimum taxes necessary per household.

    Has anyone calculated what the cost per parcel is for the absolute minimum needed for essential services today?

    Instead of the max 2% increase per year, why not require each parcel owner to pay whatever this minimum figure is? Anyone paying less than $2000 per year in property taxes is most likely grossly underpaying their share.

    I know that they did not figure that 30 years later, family homes would be selling for between 1 and 2 million dollars (and more in some areas).

    Whether I am included in this proposition or not, it needs to be revised for everyone; it does not work in its present form FOR EVERYONE.

    Like it or not, homeownership is not an entitlement and if one cannot afford it (including me), let someone buy it that can. Any senior selling their home now would have more than enough to sustain their living expenses for many years to come. It is a huge burden on the rest of us when there are constant initiatives and propositions that are going into our pocket but not seniors’ pockets.

    Thus far, any increases in taxes have not affected seniors except sales tax increases. At least it’s a start, but it still isn’t fair.

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