At the risk of sounding like a line from Lord of the Rings, southern Marin needs one school district to rule them all. That’s what a new citizens group says.
Here’s the thinking.
In Southern Marin there are 17 school districts serving 33,000 students. They all feed into the Tamalpais Union High School District.
Seventeen administrative structures seems excessive, says Sheri Mowbray, a former Larkspur-Corte Madera School District trustee who’s been thinking about this top-heavy system for 15 years.
Another member of the think-tank group, Sloan Bailey, a former town councilman for Corte Madera explained this way to the Independent Journal: “The focus is to provide the best academic education for our children. The larger concept is to try to save money and avoid unnecessary administration and bureaucracy.”
Two Marin County Civil Grand Jury reports have highlighted the problem and recommended Marin do something. But the educational complex is not something easily changed.
The 10 “feeder” K-8 districts in southern Marin channel elementary and middle school students into the Tamalpais Union High School District’s five high schools, which include: Larkspur- Corte Madera, Kentfield, Mill Valley, Reed Union, Sausalito Marin City, Lagunitas, Ross, Nicasio, Bolinas-Stinson and Ross Valley.
This produces enormous administrative duplication. It makes for 10 of everything — budgets, academic allocation plans, school boards, etc.
“The same thing is being done over and over by people serving the same needs,” said Mowbray.
One district to rule them all would also allow new programs that the smaller districts can’t afford by themselves.
The citizens group, called “Better Together” plans to strategize over the summer before launching a 501(c)(3) nonprofit structure to raise money and drum up public support. Marinscope will keep you posted. To subscribe, see page 3A.
(You can reach Marinscope and all its departments at 415-408-1073.)