In June 2014, the Redwood City School District voted unanimously to approve two new charter schools within its boundaries, bringing the total to three. Hundreds of largely immigrant parents had demanded the choice, hoping for higher test scores, college access, and career-readiness for their kids.
But the decision came with a cost.
Redwood City doesn’t have the kind of fat property tax revenues of its neighbors like Woodside or Palo Alto. That means most of its funding comes from the state and is tied to average daily attendance.
So the district loses money when its traditional schools lose students to charters — and they have.
The school board is expected to vote on April 25 to shutter Fair Oaks Elementary School, where enrollment is half of what it was five years ago.
Click the audio player above to listen to the full story.