Taking Counsel from Your Fears

As I’ve written about before the San Carlos School District is in dire straits due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of a joint discussion between members of the City Council and the School Board the District asked the City to consider a grant of $1.5 million.

Personally I’m not sure if a grant or a loan is the better vehicle. But providing some financial support is well worth the Council’s consideration, in my opinion.

Unfortunately no one else on the Council was willing to agendize reviewing the District’s request. There was some discussion about helping the District by the City taking over full financial responsibility for certain minor joint operations (e.g., crossing guards). But as well-intentioned as that is I can’t imagine it’ll be enough.

So for now the City will not be helping the District in any meaningful way.

I understand the reasons my colleagues Sara and Adam gave for not wanting to consider extending the support. These are uncertain times, and the city has been and will be negatively impacted by Covid-19.

But…

We have far more money in the bank in reserves than the District. And the main reason people move to San Carlos — which means the main reason many businesses want to invest in San Carlos, to serve the needs of San Carlans — is because of our public school system.

Maybe the District won’t end up needing City support to survive in something like its current form. I sure hope so.

But I really wish the Council had chosen not to take counsel from its fears. Leadership sometimes means having to make hard decisions without enough information and/or without knowing what the future holds.

The future waits for no one. Not even otherwise well-intentioned city councils.

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