Join SV@Home and Palo Alto Forward to learn how planning for more housing can protect schools from the threat of declining enrollment.
Most school districts across Santa Clara County have been losing students for years, even before the pandemic, leading to budget woes and the closure of neighborhood schools. This declining enrollment is affecting not only in our traditional public elementary schools, but private and charter schools too. Even more widespread enrollment declines of more than 15% are expected throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo counties in the next decade, causing financial, staffing, and facility challenges that will negatively impact students in many districts. Why is this happening, and what can communities do to help?
A recent report commissioned by Silicon Valley Community Foundation, with community partners Palo Alto Forward and Silicon Valley at Home, uncovered an important finding about the relationship between new housing, school district stability and financial security. New housing can actually help many districts with declining enrollment – avoiding revenue losses and associated staffing cutbacks and facility closures.
“In recent years, schools throughout Santa Clara County have been struggling with declining enrollment, which is incredibly destabilizing to our schools, our families, and our neighborhoods,” said Peter Ortiz, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Education. “Additional housing that is affordable to young families would bring more children back into our communities and help stabilize our schools.”
School boards and parents would benefit from becoming actively engaged in their city’s plan for new housing through the Housing Element update. Come learn more about the latest research, and how getting involved in your city’s Housing Element process and is critical to the stability of our schools and communities!
Peter Ortiz, President, Santa Clara County Board of Education
Jennifer DiBrienza, Board Member, Palo Alto Unified School District
Moderated by Alison Cingolani, SV@Home