News

Bullis, LASD to enter mediation talks

Contentious debate over charter school has caused rift in community

Officials from the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School have agreed to sit down together in mediation and try to come to a consensus upon how to allocate land and facilities for the charter school.

In a Feb. 14 letter to the Bullis board of directors, the school district's board officially agreed to the proposal, which was made in writing by the charter school on Feb. 13.

"The continued contentious litigation-driven relationship between BCS and LASD is a major drain on our community," Mark Goines, president of the LASD board of trustees, wrote in the letter. "We agree that an interest-based mediation approach has the best chance of identifying a solution that will work."

Ken Moore, head of the Bullis board, struck a similar tone in an interview with the Voice. "I really hope that we can end up with some rich dialogue where the interests are understood from both sides, and we can work to some kind of solution that would mean we weren't constantly having to go to the courts."

The talks will be no cakewalk, however, as other comments from both Goines and Moore indicate.

Moore was unequivocal that the district needs to provide the charter school with a campus of its own, and soon. "The status quo is not an option for the 2012-13 school year," he said.

And Goines has been equally clear. He said that while his district would be willing to build Bullis a school (a project that could not possibly be completed by next school year) LASD would not close one of its schools to make way for the charter -- an option that Moore continues to push.

Goines said that although he is willing to enter into mediation talks, he is skeptical about how fruitful they may be. "We have been mediation before," he noted. "Progress was poor."

Kelly Toshach is a Mountain View resident who lives in the LASD boundaries and has a child attending Springer Elementary School and another attending Blach Junior High School. She said the debate over the charter has become so contentious that neighbors of differing opinions on the matter avoid discussing it with one another for fear that they will not be able to remain civil.

"Our community is defined by our schools," Toshach said.

She said she hopes that the negotiations will produce results. "As a community, I think we need to figure out a way to make this work for everyone."

Attorneys from Bullis and LASD will work together to select a mediator and schedule the talks.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 17, 2012 at 11:43 am

The article would suggest that any chances of success through mediation are dead on arrival


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sang
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 11:44 am

Sang is a registered user.

Why is the President of LASD Trustees proposing to spend the money that it doesn't have to "build Bullis a school"?

The district already has 9 modernized school buildings, thanks to the last $95 mil bond measure. We already have enough buildings(and 100+ acres) for the 5000 students in the district without going into even more debt. It's unfortunate that he is proposing to prolong this problem instead of providing the leadership to end it.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that in 2007 he let slip by us a golden opportunity to address enrollment distribution and BCS site issues for good. Back in 2007, Mr. Goines spoke of the Board of Trustees' responsibility to find a permanent site for Bullis Charter School. During the Board meeting on June 11, 2007, he was quoted in the Town Crier as saying "We have to solve this broadly, districtwide, including the charter school." He proposed to move BCS to the Bullis-Purissima site and open a new elementary school at the Egan Camp site. Unfortunately, that proposal was brushed aside and the Trustees voted to open a new school in the area with the least amount of students, ultimately resulting in the poorly drawn attendance boundaries of today.

It is true that Gardner Bullis has become a successful school since its opening days of 2008, and it now has a community vested in keeping it. However, if keeping a community intact was the most important goal of the school district, then the district never could have redrawn the boundaries in 1999, 2002, or 2007.

It is a fact of life that attendance boundaries change as the demographics change. Our neighboring Mountain View-Whisman district just redrew their boundaries to keep reasonable school size and to increase the ability of students to walk to their neighborhood schools. Some people make the argument that we should not impact a highly successful school by changing attendance boundaries. But fortunately for LASD, the same high quality program is "pretty much standard from school to school" as noted in the most recent district budget document, meaning that children will not be shortchanged in their education in any way if they were to attend another district school.

The redrawing of the boundaries always elicit strong emotions from the parents, no matter what the circumstances. (Back in 1999 and 2007, the boundary change due to the opening of a new school caused just as much angst as the 2003 change due to the closing of a school.) The Trustees who are elected to do the important job of taking care of all children of the district should not shy away from doing the right thing even if it's politically unpopular.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASD Parent
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 17, 2012 at 11:49 am

I agree. The has become a leadership problem for LASD. Vote out the board and hire a new superintendent. Change is good.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASD parent
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Closing a school is not the same as redrawing boundaries. While moving kids to new schools can be disruptive to families, it affects many fewer people.

What is this going to do to property values in LASD?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASD Dad
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Redrawing/ADJUSTING boundaries is very different from closing a community school.

BCS is demanding one single site. That's too aggressive to LASD community.


One has to ask: why BCS' board in not elected at all. LASD board members are elected.

BCS discriminates about 90% of the LASD population. It starts with overwhelmingly favoring one specific and very small part of the LASD district. That area perhaps covers less than 10% of the population.

BCS discriminates Latinos, English learners, Special education students, and Socioeconomically disadvantaged.

Web Link chool.com/cms/lib6/CA01001253/Centricity /Domain/1/Bullis_Charter_School_Annual_R eport_2011.pdf

Hispanic or Latino students: BCS 5.2%, LASD 8% (7.3% actually)

Special Education Students: BCS 5%, LASD 10% (12.1% actually)

English learners: BCS 1%, LASD 8% (11.3% actually)

Web Link 011/2011GrowthSch.aspx?cYear=2005-06& ;allcds=43104390106534
Socioeconomicall y Disadvantaged (the lowest test performing group): BCS 0%, LASD 2.9%


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASD Dad
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm

BCS should have an elected board, or at least an elected member on the board monitoring its activities. Moore, who is from a multibillionaire family, should also be elected as the BCS chairman.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 17, 2012 at 2:27 pm

@LASD Dad: I would argue that it is the LASD that is doing the discrimination. It insures that BCS gets around $4000 less per student. Therefore people need to cough up all that extra cash themselves to attend. This will auto-select out those with lower incomes (dominated by the groups you cite) and those with existing additional expenses in raising special education students. So the results are self-fulfilling. I can assure you that if BCS got that money, and had to ask for less that amount from the parents, you will see those numbers even out.

Careful with stats, they can show anything you want them too. The truth is often not that simple.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm

@LASD Dad: I would agree with the fact that elections would be a good idea, as long as the voters are restricted to the families attending the school.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Another Springer Mom
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Ron, Why do you say that the BCS board can only be elected by BCS families, when the LASD board is elected by everyone, including people that don't have children in the schools? That doesn't sound very transparent.


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Posted by LASD Dad
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Ron,

So you are saying that BCS essentially is refusing to accept families who can't pay $5,000 per year to the school? Or, it is a mostly publicly funded private school.

Also, what about favoring only about the 10% of the LASD population?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm

We heard of stories by Special education students' parents. They said that BCS forced them out by having negatively toned meetings with the school officials.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm

@LASD Dad: I am saying that the $5000, although not required, is encouraged and WILL have a deterrent affect on those groups you mentioned. It makes no difference what BCS actually does about it.

@Another Springer Mom: How is it not transparent? My opinion (and it is only that) is that if the election was open to everyone in the district, and the district on a whole does NOT have the BCS's best interest at heart (which they will not since it takes resources away from the other schools in the district) they far outnumber the members of the school and they will elect a board that is NOT in the best interest of the BCS. My suggestion is NOT unusual. It is EXACTLY how American voting is done today. You and I are BOTH Americans. We BOTH can vote for the President. But even though we are both Americans, as citizens of California, NEITHER you nor I can vote for the Governor of Nevada. Citizens of Nevada vote for their Governor, and we vote for ours. Similarly, the LASD families should vote for thier Board, and the BCS families should vote for theirs. It would be great if we all could look out for each other, but it is obvious that the LASD sees BCS as an undesirable agent of competition and has NO intention of helping it succeed.


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Posted by LASD Dad
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Ron,

You implied it. The $5,000 is called "the tuition" by a significant number of BCS parents. If the parents don't pay for it, they are going to get a lot of calls.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASD Dad
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Ron,

You implied it. The $5,000 is called "the tuition" by a significant number of BCS parents. If the parents don't pay for it, they are going to get a lot of calls (and be asked to meet with some people).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm

@LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves: Really? Maybe we should all stand around and whisper the latest anecdotal stories to each other as ways of determining sane public policy.

I do think it is funny that all the LASD defenders use LASD pseudonyms instead of their real names? Don't you guys have names, or are you hiding them since they are names of LASD board members. Silly assertion, but it does seem odd. Sure you don't know exactly who I am, but it IS my first name.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Ron,

You overestimated BCS' power. Vast majority of LASD parents have no interest in attending BCS. To many LASD parents, BCS is just a dividing force with your contentious stands (like trying to close Gardner or Covington). You academic performance is no better than our schools'. We can use $4,000 saved on a lot of extra programs for our children out of our schools.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Ron,

You are well-known to the LASD community. Why do you want to know my name?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm

@LASD Dad: I "implied" it? No, it is what you want to hear. And for your information, MY school wanted $2500 this year. The sent a letter, AND called. AND send out a letter thanking all the participating families by name (which of course points out the ones that did not). I don't really blame them. Times are hard and cuts are everywhere. I could not afford it and did not donate. BCS asks because that is what they need to do, and it will affect your stats. Nothing more than that.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Ron,

You are very aggressive sometimes, but very defensive or evasive about some questioning about BCS' practices.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm

@LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves: REALLY? I am well known? That would be cool, but you are wrong I assure you. I don't have a kid in either the LASD nor BCS. If I am well known for a view "VOICE" posts, ok but seems to be a tiny bit of fame.

Why do I want to know your name? Because that is what civil people do, exchange civil comments by name. Not silly pseudonyms. These pseudonyms prejudice the responses in a discussion bye ingrain your bias even in the name you use. Pseudonyms are USUALLY signs of either deception or fear, as in your case for asking "why to I want to know your name". Others may not have those reasons, but it seems silly anyway. I don't WANT to know your name, I just find it funny that you don't use it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Ron,

You are that Ron who constantly promotes and defends BCS' discrimination and feeling entitlement against others, right?

A lot of BCS parents post anonymously. Are you attacking them? You are no judge for others or for yourself. We can think for and by ourselves.

There other reasons that you don't list.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm

@LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves: Sorry, I am neither aggressive, nor evasive. Please name one evasive statement. Aside from mocking pseudonyms, what has been aggressive? And what POSSIBLE statement could I have made that overestimate's BCS's power. I just said they get less money from the district and explained to you how voting works. Never did I say most people want to go there. Heck, I don't even have a kid there, so your comment about "my academic performance" as if I run the place is silly too. It is obvious you see what you want. I am just a local resident interested in how my community spends it's resources and educates its kids, probably like you, but with out the preconceptions.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Ron,

We know your name, but many of us don't agree or disagree with your opinions because of that. Your views, by now, are very predictable. To me, your name really only help to do that.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by what?
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:34 pm

"Why do I want to know your name? ........................... I don't WANT to know your name,"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm

@LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves: Am I attacking BCS parents that post anonymously? I am not attacking anyone. But yes, I think ANYONE who posts anonymously is silly. Again, I said silly. Hardly an "attacking" word. And I think I might have commented on a past BCS article, so, no, I am not the "Ron who constantly promotes and defends BCS". Look at all your language: "defends discrimination and feeling entitlement against others", "We can think for and by ourselves". All of this YOUR lines are VERY attack-like and scared. This will never get anything solved. But you don't want a fair solution, you just want them gone.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASD Dad
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm

"I could not afford it (BCS) and did not donate." You said that you didn't imply anything, after you implicitly said that many people (Latinos, Special Education Students, Socioeconomically disadvantaged, English learners) were largely forced out.

You can't have it both ways.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Ron,

If you are not that Ron, then you are essentially posting anonymously too. Ron is a very common name. You are attacking people who post anonymously, even though you don't realize it. What's wrong about LASD parents can think for ourselves? We know that BCS is trying to close one of our schools. It is a problem to us. We wants that problem gone. Is this the problem that you are talking about?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:47 pm

@LASD Dad: Your misquote completely changed what I said. I did not say I have any kids at BCS could not afford it. I don't. You assume that anyone supporting their position must go there. My WHOLE POINT was that my kids go to ANOTHER school, NOT BCS, and got the same request to donate and I could not afford that. So BCS is not unique in this like YOU imply.

And again, it is not an implication, it is a fact. Even if BCS does not REQUIRE the funds, people will not show up if they have trouble affording the request. And that BCS request is forced by the district withholding those funds. WE BOTH AGREE that some groups are under-represented at BCS. But YOU blame BCS, and I blame the LASD.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm

@LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves: Well then, you missed my whole point. I already said you don't know my specific identity. I already said that it is also anonymous to an extent.

My POINT was that psudonyms like LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves bias the person you are talking with, and also come across deceptive. A name like "Mary" does not carry that baggage, while still not telling people exactly who you are.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASD Dad
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Ron,

At any LASD schools, the $1,000 isn't called tuition. If you don't donate, you are not going to get a lot of calls, or asked to meet some people. No parent is forced to think that his/her children isn't welcome.

Things are very different at BCS.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Ron,

You seem to have too many things to defend.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm

At any rate LASD Dad, my only points were that BCS's request for money happens at normal public schools too, although not to the level that BCS is pushed to ask for, and that BCS is not doing anything nefarious to reach the stats you cited. We both blame different groups for the problem, which is fine. At least YOU can have an intelligent debate about it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASD Dad
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Ron,

You are anonymous. I don't think that should be argued.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm

@LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves: No, you just have to many things to attack. I am not defending anything. I am pointing out my opinion of the flaws in LASD Dad's stat reliance. And he does not agree. Fair enough.

You, on the other hand, are just paranoid.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm

@LASD Dad: "You are anonymous. I don't think that should be argued." Agreed. And I pointed that out in a couple of my posts. My argument was more about the use of pseudonyms in discussions than anonymity. But I agree.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASD Dad
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Everyone has firmly formed his/her opinion. I don't see either side can persuade the other. To many LASD parents, we don't want to see a community school being closed and all of our schools being negatively affected by that proposal by BCS.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm


"I do think it is funny that all the LASD defenders use LASD pseudonyms instead of their real names?"

Sound like that Ron.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Closing a community school for BCS is the core of the conflict between LASD parents and BCS. The LASD community will be outraged if the LASD board decides to do that.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MVLA parent
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm

I have children at Los Altos HIgh school. I am confused and need clarification. I thought the county gave the BCS their money, not LASD. Why are the people posting that the school district gives them their money? This is totally false! Please correct me, but I thought the school was run by the County agency and they were the ones that gave out the money. I will do some research! I am in agreement with a few, basically that the LASD should not be closing one of their schools for the BCS. I think the BCS should be using some of their own money to help buy property and build a school of their own.

As for the person who said that the LASD needs a new Superintendent. The current one is new! Jeff Baier has only been around for a few years now. Tim Justis just retired, I remember seeing an article in the Town Crier. Why do people state these things when they aren't educated about the school district? Interesting!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASD Parent2
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 17, 2012 at 9:46 pm

BCS has smaller classes. Its K-3rd grades have a 25% smaller class size. It also has classes that the district schools can't afford to have. That is why its "tuition" runs up to $5,000.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 17, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Hey Ron, why don't you offer your ideas over at the LASDVoices facebook group? It's easy for you to offer extreme statements when you post anonymously. At least there we're discussing issues and possible solutions with civility and researched facts.

Funny, I don't see any Ron (Haley or otherwise) over there...

Come over and join:
www.facebook.com/groups/lasdvoices


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LASD Dad
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Los Altos provides $6,000-$7,000 for a BCS student. State provides about $1,400. I read that each BCS student from a neighboring city costs Los Altos an additional $1,500-$2,000. Also, Los Altos has to provides facilities or space to BCS, some of which are "duplicates" (like library).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by clarifying info
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 18, 2012 at 8:38 am

the $ follows the student.... bcs gets only the "revenue limit" amount per student; state money that flows through LASD from property taxes. LASD gets to keep the basic aid portion and shares no parcel taxes with BCS. That translates to BCS getting about 40% less public funding than LASD per student.

Special Ed services at BCS are provided by the Santa Clara County Office of Education--so if you don't think they are good, it's not BCS's fault... and LASD provides BCS with no space for Special Day Classes--probably why the most serious special needs students are not at BCS.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joan J. Strong
a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2012 at 9:32 am

Joan J. Strong is a registered user.

@all: I use an alias because I don't want to be sued by the sue-happy, infinite-legal-budget BCS regime. It's as simple as that.

@clarifying:
Once again we hear the ridiculous LIE that we've heard repeated by BCS for YEARS: that they actually save the District money somehow.

The FACT is that **BCS COSTS THE DISTRICT MONEY**. BCS operates at the expense of less advantaged kids in the District. Period. Do the math. It's very simple.

The real GAP--per the BCS website--is $2800/student, not $5000 or $4300 or whatever they repeat these days.

BCS does NOT pay for the things us law-abiding, non-cruel, fair LASD parents must pay, such as education for special needs kids, facilities and upkeep, and retirement for teachers (which BCS people "disagree with" so they think they should stick US with that bill instead).

Meanwhile, BCS concentrates--unfairly--all of the top donations which would normally go to all schools in the District (it's illegal for us LASD parents to concentrate our money on one school).

So let's put this MYTH to bed once and for all: BCS is a drain on our District. They rob from the poor and give to the rich.

If BCS ran the whole District (their dream, it would seem), they would do WORSE at financial management, not better and District would be bankrupt and kids would suffer.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Since 30% of the students in the Los Altos schools apply to go to the one Charter School, it's clear that another Charter School is needed. If another 600 students or even another 1200 (total 1800) could go to Charter Schools like Bullis, then there would be room to close a couple of the existing elementary schools and so much parcel tax money ($9 Million per year) wouldn't be needed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ContextMan
a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

BCS Applications, three points:

1. Those are just APPLICATIONS, not enrollment. How many would actually enroll if given the chance? How many refuse enrollment even after winning the lottery? BCS won't say. You can bet it's far, far less than 30%.

2. How many parents can afford $5000/year per child (in the face of excellent, outstanding, amazing FREE choices right next door). Obviously the BCS model is not sustainable past a very small portion of the population (even OUR population) to whom $5k/year per child is meaningless.

3. In the marketplace, BCS has "run unopposed" for years. No more. For the first time EVER this year, PARENTS are taking up the charge that the Charter laws have implicitly drafted them for. We as public school parents MUST defend our schools against private attacks like that of Bullis Charter School lest we lose them. We'll see what the BCS numbers look like NEXT YEAR as our marketing efforts kick in. (Please see Web Link as an example of the BEGINNING of our efforts to answer BCS in the marketplace).

Oh yeah, and nice try on trying to reiterate the "BCS BIG LIE" in a slightly different form so nobody would notice.

Get it straight: BCS COSTS THE DISTRICT MONEY. The BCS model would NEVER scale to the whole District as their expenses do not account for almost half what a normal District like ours is required to spend yet they spend far more per student on their program.

BCS growth is impossible, then, for many reasons. Now there's a contingent of smart and dedicated citizens here in Los Altos and Hills who are working very hard to reverse it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MVLA parent
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm

@clarifying info -

I did my own research and you are WRONG! This is not how it works with the money. My neighbor is on the Citizens Advisory for Finance (CACF) and he says that the BCS is a DRAIN on the LASD. He has NO CHILDREN in the district and is volunteering as a community member. He is not BIASED, but he said that there are people out there saying FALSE FACTS and this person in the CROSSINGS is one of them. Do some research, as I have and realize that the BCS are feeding false information to the public and to their OWN families. What is going on? They are (and I know this is harsh) corrupt!


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Posted by research?
a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm

MVLA parent - you say you did your own research. Is asking your neighbor who happens to be on the CACF the full extent of your research? Or can you cite any qualifying references/calculations that prove that BCS is drain on the LASD?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by yourVeryMisleadingQuarter-truths
a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm

BCS is indeed spreading very misleading information, after it was exposed.

1. Overwhelming favoring a very small part of the LASD population. 5%?
2. Now it is spreading this misinformation: not space or resources for special education kids when there were reports or claims saying parents felt that their such children weren't welcome.
3. Ignore the fact that Latinos, English learners, and socioeconomically disadvantaged are also well underrepresented.
4. Operating as a private school by an unelected board, or more specifically, controlled by the chairman.



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Posted by yourVeryMisleadingQuarter-truths
a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2012 at 7:28 pm

1/3 of the BCS students are from that small and the richest area. The remaining or 95%(?) of the LASD population only has less than 10% of the chance to get into BCS. So, it is like sugar coating for that area.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by yourVeryMisleadingQuarter-truths
a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2012 at 7:35 pm

""""""""""""
Hispanic or Latino students: BCS 5.2%, LASD 8% (7.3% actually)

Special Education Students: BCS 5%, LASD 10% (12.1% actually)

English learners: BCS 1%, LASD 8% (11.3% actually)

Socioeconomicall y Disadvantaged (the lowest test performing group): BCS 0%, LASD 2.9%
"""""""""""""""

Huge differences.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 18, 2012 at 10:26 pm

And could someone from LASD explain to me why the only full day kindergarten is at Gardner and that this tiny percent of LASD gets priority? Seems this area has preference within LASD as well? I think both preferences should go, but it does seem to be the pot calling the kettle black to be accusing BCS of doing the same thing that LASD is already doing.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sam
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 18, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Full day kinder is a program that stated before Gardner reopened. All of our lasd kinder programs are highly rated and work extremely well. So, a full day is much like a choice program. Sure, it could of been elsewhere or at all the sites. But, then it would have been a financial hit to the district w/o providing much additional benefit.

Btw, any entering kinder in the district can apply to Gardner's program and then rejoin their neighborhood school for 1st grade.


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Posted by LASD Parent
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 2:46 am

The full-day program is for ONLY 1 grade, and is a TRIAL program. The district plans to extend the program to ALL OTHER LASD schools.


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Posted by "preference"
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 8:25 am

There seems to be a persistent misunderstanding about the BCS enrollment. The lottery preference only becomes relevant AFTER a family has affirmatively decided that it is NOT planning on attending an LASD school and is instead seeking the BCS option. It has no effect on anyone happily attending LASD schools. It is not preferentially re-routing 50% of LAH students to BCS as it has often misstated by many posters.

Question to the posters who pick on the "preference" - are you fighting for ALL of the kids of LASD to be able to attend BCS?

(The old Bullis-Purissima boundary includes about half of LAH (does not include PAUSD side of LAH nor the LAH east of El Monte. It also includes a portion of Los Altos generally referred to as the Orange/University area between Edith and El Monte.)


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Posted by "Full day Kinder"
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 8:33 am

Genesis of Full Day Kinder program at Gardner Bullis:

After the district closed Bullis-Purissima Elementary, the Charter school formed. In order to not "risk a take over of an empty school site by a charter school, which the law allows them to", the district decided to run a Full Day kinder program on a "trial basis".

When the district opened Gardner Bullin in that site in 2008, the kinder program was the same program as the other district schools - morning and afternoon classes. But the enrollment was low, as low as 10-13 kids in each class in 2009-10 school year. So for the 2010-11 year, the district decided to make it into a full day program to attract more students (and it worked). I've never heard of a concrete plans to make all other kinder classes to be full-day at other district schools. Where would the fund come from??


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Posted by InterestingData
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 8:54 am

I don't think that there is a misunderstanding here. The preference issue has been a controversial one for years. Any applicant not from that area is discriminated.


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Posted by Preference and Lottery Odds?
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 9:00 am

Can BCS provide the odds of winning the lottery for LASD applicants in or out of the preference area?


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Posted by InterestingData
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 9:13 am

"""""""""""After the district closed Bullis-Purissima Elementary, the Charter school formed. In order to not "risk a take over of an empty school site by a charter school, which the law allows them to", the district decided to run a Full Day kinder program on a "trial basis".""""""""""""

This statement is very misleading. Bullis-Purissima Elementary had a full-day kinder program. The district said that the national trend was to have a full-day program. The plan was to extend it to all LASD schools.

You can argue the other way. BCS has MORE programs to attract more students. If LASD schools have the BCS "tuition", they would be able to have more programs also instead of cutting some. One of BCS' grade started with very low attendance last year. Around 13.


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Posted by not misleading
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 9:22 am

Not misleading about the full day kinder - I'm quoting Marge Gratiot, the then-superintendent of the LASD.


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Posted by preference
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 9:26 am

That's right - the "preference" has been a "controversial one" for years by the folks who don't understand the meaning of it. The Ed code allows for preference when the demand exceeds supply, and by the very fact that SCCOE allowed it after consulting their legal team and the fact that LASD SUED SCCOE over it and lost tell you that it's perfectly legal.


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Posted by InterestingData
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 9:38 am

"Not misleading about the full day kinder - I'm quoting Marge Gratiot, the then-superintendent of the LASD."

It would be stupid for ANYONE in that position to say that. It is like a serious misquote.


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Posted by InterestingData
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 9:40 am

"LASD SUED SCCOE over it and lost tell you that it's perfectly legal"

This is another very misleading claim. The court said something like a parent, not the district, could file such a lawsuit.


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Posted by LASD Parent
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 10:01 am

It is obvious a misquotation. Only a small part of your that claim is the quotation. The "empty school" in the quotation doesn't make any sense, for the school wasn't empty. Gardner Bullis was re-opened in 2008. The renewed full-day kindergarten program (cut in 2007?) started in 2010. Starting in 2005, Tim Justus was the superintendent.


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Posted by LASD Parent
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 10:08 am

"The renewed full-day kindergarten program (cut in 2007?) started in 2010. Starting in 2005, Tim Justus was the superintendent."

It was cut in 2003?

About the reopening:

Web Link

Web Link


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Posted by ContextMan
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 10:27 am

The court told the District that they could not sue since they were not a parent--so nobody "won" or "lost" this case.

Personally I don't care about the preference thing *per se* because I don't think anybody should attend BCS and it should be shut down.

However, any LASD parent could probably sue BCS over this and win.

Why is this a big deal?

Because the Preference is yet another card in the BCS House of Cards.

You see, if there was no Preference then any and every form of riff-raff from all over the District could apply to BCS. By "riff-raff" I mean a family who cannot afford an extra $5000/year per child.

The BCS program is not only based around getting $5000/year per child from each and every child (which is NOT based on lack of parcel taxes as the BCS lies imply), but it is based on parents being rich--rather than merely well-to-do like most of our community. Their exotic field trips around the world are part of the curriculum, so if your child cannot afford this he/she would not fit in to the rest of the class.

BCS was configured as a discount private school for rich people. The preference is part of this.

No Preference = no BCS. They will fight this change to the death.


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Posted by parent
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 19, 2012 at 10:29 am

to the parent who says anyone can apply for the full day kindergarten, that's correct... but PRIORITY goes to Gardner kids and we certainly didn't get into it... plus they kept us on hold waiting to see if more kids from the attendance area would show up!
This is exactly like the BCS priority... everyone can apply to both BCS or to the Full Day Kinder--but Gardner families get priority at both.
So again... how is this any different? (And, btw, BCS's lottery is public--LASD's is all done behind closed doors--no clue how they choose who to accept.)


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Posted by LASDparentsCanThinkForOurselves
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 11:22 am

"The full-day program is for ONLY 1 grade, and is a TRIAL program. The district plans to extend the program to ALL OTHER LASD schools."

Those are the differences.


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Posted by LASD Parent
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 11:45 am

Gardner is a neighborhood school. That's a trial program for only one grade. I don't see it is a major problem for many LASD parents. BCS' attempt to close Gardner or Covington is.


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Posted by full day kinder
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm

See Town Crier article from May 2002 for the quote from Gratiot.
Specifically at section "LASD Board not to open Covington School" about half way down.


Web Link


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Posted by Recall the BOT
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 19, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Do PAUSD incoming kinders who live in Los Altos Hills have priority over LASD kids not in the Gardner Area? If so that is really, really nasty! I for one am tired of the LASD BOT. Recall the BOT


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Posted by InterestingData
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2012 at 11:52 pm

full day kinder,

Your earlier statement was:
""""""""""""""""
Genesis of Full Day Kinder program at Gardner Bullis:

After the district closed Bullis-Purissima Elementary, the Charter school formed. In order to not "risk a take over of an empty school site by a charter school, which the law allows them to", the district decided to run a Full Day kinder program on a "trial basis".
""""""""""""""""""""""

The article you provided was from 2002. It even mentioned Bullis-Purissima School which wasn't supposed to be closed at the time. BCS wasn't being thought of yet. The full day kindergarten started in 2005 at the Bullis-Purissima School site till at least 2008, when the Bullis-Purissima School was already closed for years. The article shows your above or previous statement is terribly misleading by seriously misquoting and by messing up unrelated things, as we had suspected it to be.

Here is an article about the full day kindergarten trial program:
Web Link


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Posted by InterestingData
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2012 at 12:19 am

"The district offered a full-day kindergarten pilot program at Gardner before the renovated campus reopened in 2008. The district discontinued the pilot program after three years due to budget issues.

Justus said the district's goal is to eventually have this program at all schools."

Web Link

It is a trial program for only 1 grade (no more than 50 kids) in a neighborhood school, expected to be extended to all schools. It is not comparable to BCS' preference in nature or in scale.

Web Link


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Posted by LASD Dad
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2012 at 10:15 am

One grade could only fill a very small part of an "empty campus" even if we assume that the kindergarten program was indeed (though it is not) to drive out a charter school. The claim isn't logical.


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Posted by LASD Dad
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2012 at 11:03 am

Just found this at the LASDVoices site: "There were 38 siblings of existing BCS students who applied, and also 18 students from the former Bullis-Purissima attendance area. This is a total of 149 applicants for ~60 kindgarten spaces."

In the worst case, 38+18=56 spots were filled,(149-56)=93 remaining applicants were applying for (60-56)=4 spots. So the chance to get in for a LASD out of that small preference area is 4/93 or about 3%! Of course, this is the worst scenario. I don't think that every applicant will choose BCS in the end, if he/she had applied.


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Posted by LASD Parent
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

It seems that the BCS side spread a lot of misinformation in the public domain. On close examinations, such information can be easily exposed.

At the LASDVoices website, Tamara Logan, a LASD board member, by searching through legal or first-hand documents, had found that BCS receives $2660 less per student than a LASD school. BCS has been claiming the gap is $5,000, or the BCS "tuition" (what a coincidence).


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Posted by Joan J. Strong
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Joan J. Strong is a registered user.

Yep, $2600 give or take (it's also worth noting that BCS somehow thinks that LAEF adds $1000/student to the District when simple math shows its $500/student).

Next, we add up all of the things that BCS people think that WE SUCKERS who go to LASD public schools should pay for and NOT them:

- Facilities
- Special needs students
- Teacher retirement
- Normal overhead involving any business this size

Yep, since THEY are billionaires and have better lawyers, WE get to pay for these things, right?

Well, that's what they think when they say that the District "steals" the parcel tax from them.

The REALITY is that BCS's share of these things as MORE than $2600/student and BCS **COSTS THE DISTRICT MONEY**.

Oh yeah, and did you hear that "Wanny" just got a "loan" from BCS for $250k on top of her regular (high) salary? BCS is hardly a model of austerity and is right on track to be yet another Solyndra-like government-funded boondoggle.

It's time, for the first time in eight years, to finally stop these lies...



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Posted by parent
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm

@Joan... just received a mailing from LASD that explains the parcel tax generated $7,588,000 in 2010-11. Their website claims 4384 students that year... that works out to $1731/student from the parcel tax. No clue how you can suggest that it's $500/student.


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Posted by Joan J. Strong
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Joan J. Strong is a registered user.

@parent -- Please re-read my post. Carefully this time.

LAEF, not parcel tax. The BCS website says this is "$1000" even though it's half that.

And yeah, let's TALK about these numbers... a LOT...


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Posted by Joan J. Strong
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Joan J. Strong is a registered user.

@LASD Dad: are all of those 149 apps incoming kinders, or are they spread out across incoming grades?


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Posted by David
a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2012 at 2:57 am

Wow some people sure misinterpret the macro numbers that are clearly available. To say that Bullis costs the LASD money is crazy. If EVERY student were in a charter school (not saying they should be, but if they were...) funded from LASD coffers the way Bullis is, then the district would be left with 40% of their budget and would still own all their real estate. The charter schools have to pay a fee to maintain any facilities provided to them by the district. The 40% of the budget sure should be enough to pay for the LASD lawyers, board members, superintendent, former teacher retirements, etc.

What we need is more charter schools. Maybe not a charter school for EVERY student but enough so that every family wanting to make use of some kind of charter school could do so. Not all the Charter schools would need as big a budget as Bullis. Certainly you can do a good education with smaller money. Some of the charter schools might focus on language immersion, some of science, etc. A lot of good things could be done free of the silly regulations. If the County won't charter them, they can get their Charter from the state, and they could do good things exploring new ways to attack education issues and provide increasing service to the disadvantaged students in the LASD district as well as everyone else.


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Posted by Joan J. Strong
a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2012 at 8:26 am

Joan J. Strong is a registered user.

@David:

Wow, maybe if you keep repeating the same lies that BCS has been repeating for years it will become "true" eventually.

The District gets $2600 from every child at BCS--but this money (and more) goes to pay for these "silly regulations" that WE SUCKERS in LASD schools must pay.

And what are these "silly regulations" that cost the District more than $2600/child (and thus means that BCS costs the District money):

- Special needs kids. This is an expensive problem. BCS people say: screw em! (Which would be illegal).

- Facilities. Upkeep and running campuses cost money. BCS people say: make the kids mow the lawns! (Which would be illegal).

- Teacher retirements. Again, very expensive (too expensive? what's done is done). BCS people say: billionaires don't pay for things like this, our lawyers are too good. Non-charter dummies get stuck with this legal obligation!

Quite simply, if BCS "took over the whole District" then we would have zero dollars for any of those things and they would be running an illegal District.

Do we trust an organization like BCS--who just gave their principle a "loan" of $250k on top of her already-very high salary--to run the whole District? No way.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Any parent must find this upsetting, what about the kids that attend schools in the LASD. BCS and the LASD must come up with some ideas, give and take, a site has to be found. Mabye get Mtn View to help with site planning for the LASD seeing that growth is happening in the LASD area.


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Posted by Ron Haley
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I am not the "Ron " above. I always post under my full name!


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