Slow enrollment growth prevents PAUSD from building thirteenth elementary school

Board members support the delay as the project requires time and funds and will allow for Skelly’s successor to review the plans

The Palo Alto Board of Education put off their long time plans to build a 13th elementary school at the latest School Board meeting on March 11.

The majority of members accepted Superintendent Kevin Skelly’s proposal to push the date for making a decision regarding the placement of school until spring. Skelly, who is stepping down at the end of the school year, claimed that it would allow his successor enough time to take a look at the issue and make a decision.

The major problem with building a 13th elementary school was the unexpected slow enrollment growth numbers. One of the main factors contributing to the low enrollment numbers may be due to California’s 2010 Kindergarten Readiness Act, which mandates that children must be at least five years old by September, rather than December, to enter kindergarten, amongst other factors amongst other factors.

Most of the Board members voiced their support for the delay citing that such a decision cannot be rushed when large funds are required, and a change in leadership is taking place as well. In addition to the fiscal and school program direction problems that the Board may have run into, others also cite that having more time to make a decision allows for educational creativity brainstorming to take place.