By Tim Hunt
Changing demographics in PleasantonUploaded: Oct 27, 2015
Pleasanton school trustees heard an interesting update on the ethnicity of the district schools from Kevin Johnson, the senior director of pupil services.
Johnson’s stats showed how the Asian population in Pleasanton, that were largely non-existent 20-25 years ago, continues to grow and the number of white students continues to shrink. The white population is off eight percentage points to 46 percent over the last five years, while the number of Asians have increased to 38 percent, gaining almost 10 points.
Hispanics make up 10 percent with 3 percent Pacific Island and 2 percent black. Johnson said one response from the district has been to create a liaison position for a Mandarin speaker to encourage parents to become more involved with the schools. For most Asian parents, encouraging their students to focus on academics is not an issue—it is a given.
Johnson’s report also outlined the district student population that actually has fallen by 139 students over the past five years. Keep that in mind when you hear or read about residents shouting about school crowding as an argument to stop any and all growth. Shrinking enrollment, if that becomes a trend, is a big problem for school districts. It is one that Livermore has wrestled with over many years that resulted in closing three schools and selling two school sites off for development.
Trustee Joan Laursen was quoted in the Independent saying “Getting into a declining situation is terrible.” She is absolutely right. Dealing with declining enrollment, given the way the state funds schools, is a great challenge. She asked for numbers on how many parents are home-schooling their children or sending them to the publically funded Livermore Valley charter school.
Pastor Jim Bliss at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Dublin provided a little insight into Martin Luther, the man for whom the denomination is named.
Prior to blessing the meal at the church’s annual Oktoberfest—complete with craft beer donated by a Livermore brewery, he observed that when Luther finally got married, it was to a former nun. Her nunnery was supported by a brewery and she was one of the beer mistresses. So, she continued to provide Luther with his own home brew throughout their life together.
The Lutherans celebrated Reformation Sunday on Oct.25.