One Door Closes

and another opens.

Having officially left the Board by virtue of joining the City Council this past Monday it’s time to shut down this blog.

It’s been a lot of fun interacting with the community over the last decade through it and its predecessors. I’m proud that, in some small way, this vehicle was able to engage more parents in the governance of our District, and help explain issues and decisions to them. We are more effective when we work together, and the foundation of being together is shared understanding.

Simultaneously with closing this portal I’m launching a new one dedicated to my City Council role. You can find it at I hope you drop by, and subscribe.

All the best,


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Why Not Let the People Choose?

This is an op ed I wrote for the San Mateo Daily News that was published on Tuesday, November 29, 2011. In it I lay out the pros and cons of whether the Board should appoint replacements for Carrie Du Bois and me, or call a special election.

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Guest Opinion: Kate Wormington — Response to Stay or Go

I believe in all the years I’ve been blogging (even before that’s what it was called :)) I’ve never posted a guest opinion. But there’s always a first time, and that time is now.

Please welcome Kate Wormington, president of the San Carlos Educational Foundation. Kate’s guest posting was sparked by my recent entry on the CLC/San Carlos Educational Foundation discussions entitled “Stay or Go?” It probably goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that her opinions are her own, not mine. I am publishing her post because I believe it enhances understanding of this complex issue, and as a courtesy to Kate since she doesn’t have an online presence where she could post it herself.

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Stay or Go?

At last night’s Board meeting there was a lengthy discussion of what, if anything, the Board should do as a result of the fundraising agreement between CLC and the San Carlos Educational Foundation not working. Neither the District nor the Board is a party to the agreement between the Foundation and the seven school sites (including CLC). But the District and the Board have  a keen interest in seeing the Foundation’s fundraising efforts be strong since it accounts for roughly 8% of the District’s revenue.

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It’s Called Accountability

A number of months ago a group of San Mateo County school districts began a legal action against the County Treasurer and the County seeking compensation for their mismanagement of funds invested with the Treasury. Recently, several articles in the San Mateo Daily Journal covered developments in that action, but, in my opinion, told the story pretty much only from the County’s perspective. This prompted me to write a guest perspective that appears in today’s Daily Journal. Here it is as I submitted it.

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Redevelopment Agency Brouhaha

The recent arguments by local officials on behalf of redevelopment agencies (RDAs) probably made some people conclude the Legislature and Governor were breaking the rules when they proposed changing the way RDAs work. The reality is the situation is more complicated than some of the proponents let on.

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Wellness Policy Debate

At last Thursday’s Board meeting staff presented a revised draft “wellness” policy. What’s “wellness”? It’s essentially the notion that schools and education should play a role in teaching students about how to live a healthy life. Among other things it touches on nutrition. A committee of parents, educators and a couple of trustees had done quite a bit of work coming up with recommendations in this area over the last year, which informed the way staff drafted the policy. As it turned out, however, at least some significant parts of the draft policy were not supported by a majority of the Board, including me.

The discussion about the nutritional aspects of the proposed policy may well have been the most heated I have ever seen in my ten-plus years on the Board, with trustees opposed to sections of the draft policy being charged with being willing to endanger students by not supporting the draft policy as written. In the end I think more light than heat was generated, which will hopefully make staff’s redrafting effort more productive.

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Posted in policy, students | 2 Comments

Fiscal Realities

The Board, superintendent and middle school principals received a lengthy email from supporters of the orchestra program today (they’re concerned it may be trimmed). I wrote a lengthy reply which I was planning on editing into better shape for a blog post. But in the end I’ve decided it’s better to post it as is, warts and grammatical idiosyncrasies and all.

BTW, the original email appears below my response, if you’d like to read it.

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And Now the Fun Begins, Unfortunately

As expected, Governor Brown called off talks with Republicans in the Legislature about trying to get a tax extension package put before voters to complement the spending cuts he’s put together. You can read about it in this Sacramento Bee article.

This is potentially devastating news for every public school child in California.

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Congratulations, John Beiers!

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors announced today they have chosen John Beiers to become County Counsel upon Mike Murphy’s retirement later this month.

They couldn’t have made a better choice, although I’m sure it was a tough one since they were evaluating a strong pool of candidates.

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