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    Commentary: “Demand for admission to AUSD always exceeds capacity”

    Albany resident Ross Stapleton-Gray posted a commentary  on the residence-checking and overcrowding issues of the Albany school district in response to previous commentaries on the topic:

    With all due respect, “resentment for those ‘outsiders’ who are crowding into ‘our’ schools” is something of a red herring; I’ve met a parent who’s more qualified to be angry: the mom whose older child was admitted as a transfer to Cornell, but who was told that her son couldn’t start in Albany as a kindergartener, because there was no room.  And if that’s because someone’s “jumped the line” to get a kindergartener enrolled, despite the precedence system established by the School Board, they’re directly (and negatively effected)… neither you nor I have that concern, so long as there’s some capacity in AUSD to take transfer students.

    I personally found Miriam Walden’s original post strewn with the corpses of skewered straw men.  Cracking down on families misrepresenting their residence, whether or not it’s a good idea, is independent of the question of how many students overall we try to enroll, and what choices we make on admissions after Albany residents. So to raise scary images of budgets being slashed because we’ve cut enrollment isn’t helpful in the least: demand for admission to AUSD always exceeds capacity, so we’ve no worries about there being as many students as we’d like, but yes, our budget is directly related to how many we actually decide to enroll.

    I’d actually like to hear more discussion from the School Board about future forecasts for in-Albany enrollment, which I have to believe will climb, what with the expansion at UC Village.  (And of the issues raised by UC Village, e.g., that UC doesn’t pay the same taxes as we residents…how does parcel tax-based funding of educational infrastructure skew as a result?)  How about proposing creating a charter school on UC Village property, chartered jointly by UC and Albany, to use as a testbed for pedagogical researchers and students from Cal?  That would create additional capacity (and could be structured to give Albany residents priority), and allow for creative (and collaborative) experimentation. “

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