Mountain View Voice
News - February 3, 2012
Bullis, LASD continue to butt heads
by Nick Veronin
The battle between Bullis Charter School and the Los Altos School District continues.
Officials from the local charter school have rejected the preliminary offer of facilities approved by the district board Jan. 30 — calling the district's proposal unacceptable, unfair and illegal less than two weeks after it seemed the entire conflict had come to an end.
"I'm deeply disappointed by the offer," Bullis board member Anne Marie-Gallagher said. "It astonishes me. I don't believe the offer is legally compliant."
Marie-Gallagher said the district has once again failed to offer the charter school "reasonably equivalent" facilities as required by law. She said the district's new offer proposes to give Bullis facilities on two campuses — with students in kindergarten through sixth-grade continuing at its current site on the Eagan Junior High School campus, and putting seventh- and eighth-grade students at Blach Junior High School.
"Bullis runs an integrated K-8 program that must be housed together," Marie-Gallagher said. Splitting the school over two sites, she added, is "just not fair."
Mark Goines, president of the LASD board of trustees, contends his district's offer is in line with the final order handed down Jan. 18 by a California appellate court, ending a lengthy legal conflict over school facilities.
Goines said that splitting the school is the only tenable option the district has — outside of building an entirely new campus. Given Bullis' current size, the only way to accommodate the school on a single campus would be to close a school and replace it with the charter, he said.
Goines said that Bullis has repeatedly requested that the district do just that with its Gardner Bullis School in Los Altos Hills.
"I think it's unreasonable to ask other families to give up their neighborhood school for the benefit of their charter school," Goines said. "Nowhere in the law does it say we must close a high-performing school to make room for a charter."
If he had the money and the community support he would gladly approve the construction of a new campus, he said.
"The idea that they will build us a timeline sometime in the future doesn't help us," Marie-Gallagher said, insisting that Bullis needs space immediately. "We're simply asking for fairness now, and I don't believe there is any reason to wait. I simply don't believe that we need to buy new land and build a new school to accommodate Bullis charter school in this district."
Posted by Fan of SiliconSerf,
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2012 at 8:28 am
in case you missed it:
Posted by SiliconSerf, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, 20 hours ago
SiliconSerf is a member (registered user) of Mountain View Online
Once upon a time, in the Kingdom of Saint Clara was a tiny but prosperous District of Sotla. There were three villages in the district, Upper Sotla which was tiny but very prosperous; Middle Sotla which was large, populous, and prosperous but not quite as prosperous as Upper Sotla. Oh and finally there was the small village of Lower Weiv, which sat on the other side of the Royal Road. But such was the prosperity of the district that even the serfs living in Lower Weiv were also prosperous.
All were happy, for their castles were great centers of learning and were governed by a board of Elders. One smaller castle was in Upper Sotla, and the rest were scattered throughout Middle Sotla, and alas, there were no castles in Lower Weiv. Fortunately, the residents of Lower Weiv were welcomed at the nearby castles in Middle Sotla. All were happy, until one day it was decreed that the castles needed to be renovated, for indeed the battlements were beginning to crumble. Gold was collected across the district for the renovation, and it came to pass that the castles were renewed one by one. Now whether it was intentional, or not, the small castle in Upper Sotla was left for last. And the worst fears of the villagers of Upper Sotla indeed came to pass, for while the castles of Middle Sotla were made shiny and new, it was decided that their small castle would be closed, for the board of Elders had spent all the gold on the castles of Middle Sotla. Truth be told, the castles in Middle Sotla looked half shiny and new, for much of the renovation seemed to center on the administrative parts of the castle and not the parts of learning, which was strange, and made many in the district wonder if the gold was spent wisely?
Intentional or not, best intentions or worst, the people of Upper Sotla were greatly angered by this slight and resolved to open their own castle and indeed this is exactly what came to pass. The Overlords of the Kingdom of Saint Clara decreed that equal space should be provided for this new castle. Now remember, the board of Elders could have given the old run down castle in Upper Sotla to the people there, but their hearts were filled with jealousy, and they feared that a new castle might eventually surpass their own. So instead the elders chose to spend additional gold on a temporary castle placed on on the jousting grounds of one of their castles nearest the Royal Road far from Upper Sotla. Indeed, they expected the people of Upper Sotla to abandon the project, but they did not. Soon, the shabby little temporary castle lead by the people of Upper Sotla was turning out scholars and craftsman, knights and archers of the highest quality. This without the large jousting grounds, and archery ranges of the other castles. Despite the lack, they began to win many tournaments and ribbons.
Recall the serfs of Lower Weiv, for they had no castle of their own. While they were welcomed at the nearby castles, each year the board of Elders debated which castle the serfs of Lower Weiv should be sent, to start their studies. And so, over the years, the serfs were scattered across many castles, and this too angered the serfs of Lower Weiv, for again, intentional or not, Middle Sotla was slighting them. Recall too, that in placing the temporary castle for Upper Sotla as far from Upper Sotla as they could, or so it appeared, the board happened to place this temporary castle very close to Lower Weiv.
The success of the new castle was like a thorn in the side of the board of Elders, for this new castle was not under their governance. In hopes of cutting off support for the new castle, or so it appeared, they reopened the castle in Upper Sotla at great expense. Surely the people of Upper Sotla would be satisfied now! But alas, the Upper Sotlian memory was long. Other events came to pass as well. When the board reopened the castle they held a great gathering, for they would need to move people from castle to castle to fill up space, and it was decreed at that gathering that all of the serfs from Lower Weiv would be sent to the castle farthest from home, on the other side of the district. Additionally many in Middle Sotla would need to be moved as well. This angered Lower Weiv, and recall again, the new temporary castle was placed closest to Lower Weiv. But many others were angered as well, and the applications for the new castle that lacked the spacious jousting grounds, and archery ranges soared anyway. And so it came to pass, that instead of cutting support for the newest castle, the board of Elders instead succeed in swelling support for the new castle and many traveled there from across the district.
Soon though, the news of the space the board of Elders placed the new castle reached the Overlords of the Kingdom of Saint Clara and they were angered, for they had decreed a castle with equal space, and low, where were the jousting grounds? And the spacious archery ranges? And so they decreed again, more forcefully that the new castle be given equal space.
Oh how this new decree caused much tearing of hair and beards throughout Middle Sotla, for in their minds, hadn't they been generous? Would they need to give up one of their castles? Which one?! Might it be the one their own children attended? They could not see, nor remembered the slights, intentional or not they had caused Upper Sotla and Lower Weiv. Nor did they recall that they had repeated opportunities to make amens. And so our tale continues. For the board of Elders is indeed prideful, and more jealous than ever of the success of this new castle and this is overcoming what should have been frugality with their own gold. After the Overlord's decree they sent forth a messenger with an insulting offer that flew in the face of the Overlord's anger. Peace and calm in the district would not be restored with the path chosen by the Elders. Who knows where this tale will lead, but I fear it will be quite some time before we can say the lines, and they lived happily ever after.
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