Public Comment

Open Letter to the Berkeley School Board regarding enrollment projections

Larry Bensky
Friday March 06, 2015 - 08:04:00 AM

Dear School Board Members,

I'm writing to you after reading, in the 3/2 edition of the Daily Californian, about school capacity.

I was among the Berkeley Independent Study parents, students, and teachers who attended your meeting late last year when this issue, and its implications, were addressed.

At that time I submitted a question about the projections for increased enrollment, based on my examination of the documentation available that night.

It seemed to me that the projected enrollment increase figures were highly speculative, and almost certainly inflated. 

We now see that there's a projection of just 33 more students. Which, of course, is subject to further revision. 

I realize you have a very difficult job, trying to decide so many pending issues before you. 

But you can only make good decisions based on accurate information. 

I would urge you to question thoroughly any further estimates about school enrollment. Berkeley is NOT undergoing a child-friendly population increase. Almost all the new housing being built is unaffordable for most families, and is meant to house affluent middle-class commuters or those who work at home or middle class Cal students living here temporarily. 

Those older homes being sold are unaffordable for most families with multiple children. Berkeley's school age population may well decrease rather than increase over the next few years. 

Thanks for your attention, and all the good work you do