BY BRADEN CARTWRIGHT
Daily Post Staff Writer
The Palo Alto Unified School District has agreed to give classrooms back to Palo Alto Community Child Care’s after-school kids’ club — reversing a decision that had upset nearly 100 parents, Superintendent Don Austin announced today (May 9).
The debate over after-school childcare was getting heated after the district told PACCC that it could no longer rent one of two portables it uses at six elementary schools.
In response, PACCC said 4th and 5th graders would no longer be enrolled at those six campuses. Parents spoke out against the loss and asked the school board to step in.
“It is not just a child care program, it is a family,” Addison parent Lauren Varma wrote to the board.
Austin pitted PACCC against a new and expanding national program, called Right At School. At a video-taped meeting with Right At School, Austin said Right At School had a better program, but he couldn’t get rid of PACCC because the nonprofit has a 45-year history and a likeable name.
“If we had a winner take all, it’d be Right At School, hands down,” he said. “But politically I couldn’t do that, so they co-exist right now.”
Austin’s comments added fuel to the parent’s fire, and last week the district gave two of six classrooms back to PACCC, leaving Barron Park, Hoover, Escondido and Addison without PACCC for fourth and fifth graders next year.
Now, the decision has fully been reversed and PACCC will maintain its space at all 13 elementary schools.
Right At School, which can share regular classroom space, will still be able to expand, Austin said.