Memorandum Issued by Piedmont School Superintendent Constance Hubbard -
February 14, 2013
It has come to my attention that erroneous information and conclusions about the use of funds from the sale of surplus property in San Marino Unified School District are being discussed. We are often compared with San Marino in terms of size of student population and achievement levels, community socio‐ economics and expectations.There have been comparisons cited and conclusions drawn by some Piedmont residents as to the San Marino District’s use and need for funds for their ongoing operations.
It is not appropriate for individuals not part of the continuing/historical discussions that have taken place in the San Marino community to make public declarations about their budgeting process. Piedmont and San Marino School Districts have made choices appropriate for their communities and budgets.
I have confirmed with Superintendent Loren Kleinrock that the District sold to the City of San Marino an elementary site that has not been used for years and had most recently been leased to the City for use for student recreation programs. The lease and sale were structured to allow the proceeds to be available to the San Marino District in their General Fund reserves during this unique opportunity for flexibility by the State of California regarding rules governing the sale of surplus property.
Superintendent Kleinrock also clarified that the sale of the property was not related/required due to the increase in requests for senior exemptions from the school parcel tax assessments from 183 ten years ago to 1200 so far this year.
Please be mindful of how small our world is when comparing school districts. Decisions about class size and support services such as counseling and librarians are ones that must be made at the local level for each District, and taken into consideration in the comparison of any districts.
Superintendent Constance Hubbard
Editors’ Note: The memo by Superintendent Hubbard clarifies comments made at the League of Women Voters of Piedmont Election Forum on February 7. Measure A Precinct Manager and panel member, Jonathan Davis, speaking on behalf of Measure A made the following argument:
“I’ll quickly address San Marino as a comparable community. San Marino, they have a senior exemption and in the last four years have seen an 800% increase in participation in the senior exemption. As a result the school district in San Marino has had to sell a school that they previously leased and were earning millions of dollars of rents on. They had to sell the school for $6 million and now they’re burning through the money.”
As noted above in the Piedmont Superintendent’s memo the sale of the San Marino school property was unrelated to senior exemptions, and the senior exemptions did not increase 800% in the last four years.
The 1929 San Marino school had not been used by the San Marino School District since 1984 and discussions about its sale had been reported in the local press since that time. The school was sold in 2012 to the City for $1 million, rather than $6 million. Prior to 2009, rental fees were deposited in the District’s Deferred Maintenance Account.
To watch and hear firsthand a video of the entire LWV Measure A forum, click here or log onto the City’s website at www.ci.piedmont.ca.us: on the right hand side of the homepage under the “City Council” heading, click on the “Online Video” link, then search the archive for “LWV Election Forum”, click on the “Argument for Measure A” and/or “Argument Against Measure “click on the “Video” link and watch.