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How big is need for LASD bond?

Original post made on Aug 28, 2014

The $150 million bond measure proposed by the Los Altos School District faces sharp criticism as it heads to the November ballot. Opponents of the measure question whether the school district really needs the money to handle student enrollment, and say many campuses still have room to grow.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:03 PM

Comments (159)

 +   2 people like this
Posted by hmm
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 28, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Why not 100 billion? Why stop at only 150 million?

Rather than ask for more money how about a novel IDEA, how about looking at how the school district wastes money and solve those issues first?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Voting No
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2014 at 3:07 pm

The Trustees have not demonstrated that they are efficient allocators of capital. The $150 figure seems to have been pulled out of the air, tops down, as a figure that was "palatable" to the community. It is clearly not based on a bottoms up site by site analysis. Going straight to a big bond is a very blunt instrument for a problem that is still on the come and could be further pushed out by redistricting and rebalancing. Once we give the Trustees this $30 per $100K, we'll never get it back and before you know it, they'll be back at the ballot box asking for more b/c of delays, inflation, poor estimates, etc.

And no way, I believe the demographic forecasts. Demographers are like appraisers. You pay them to substantiate a point of view that you are espousing. Now if the demographer was willing to guarantee the figures or the Trustees would refund the bond proceeds if the forecast didn't turn out to be the case, then I would listen. But there needs to be clear recourse.


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Posted by Bryan
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2014 at 3:14 pm

@hmm - Because operating budget and capital budget are two different things.

Look, the cities served by LASD have added almost a thousand new apartments to the school district in the last 5 years, on top of enrollment that was already rising by 100 students per year. Since those same cities also refuse to either provide facilities for those new students or persuade developers to do so, the school district has no choice but to issue a bond to build classrooms to hold the students it is legally required to educate.

I will also note that most of Roode's facts are just wrong. Most of the schools are in fact at or over 560. The 7-acre plot he cites at Egan currently has 500 charter school students on it. And so forth.


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Posted by Charles B.
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 28, 2014 at 3:51 pm

I believe that all the LASD property owners have greatly benefited with the increased value of their house. The school district excellent performance has helped adding a lot of value for homeowners, and they should thank the school district by voting yes to measure N. However, the dream of some trustee to build an inferior school to save money should be stopped right there. If they build a school in NEC, it should be 8-10 acres in size, and it should include all the bell and whistles that other schools have. Discrimination will not be tolerated. Putting the Hispanics, the english learners, and the other minorities on 2 story portables on 4 acres on the Pear Family land will not be tolerated.


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Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 28, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Charles, why do you assume the school would be inferior? Try to think outside the box. What if the school in NEC was only for grades K-3, which would take the load off the other schools fed by that area and allow them to accommodate all the growth being inflicted on LASD by neighboring cities? Why would you assume that the district would sacrifice their top rating? Who wins there?

I am disappointed in John Inks, since I normally agree with him. However, he is dead wrong here. Mountain View's unrestrained growth is inflicting a lot of pain on LASD and he should be trying to relieve it, not make it worse. I am a resident of MV, but I am ashamed of how the city has behaved with regard to this issue.

As for the posters who are attacking the district here, you clearly don't have a child attending district schools, or you would realize that the district uses its funds well and the school population in the area is exploding. With the addition of full-day kindergarten, which the parents ASKED FOR, even more room is needed.

Try to put your assumptions aside and uncover some facts before you make statements next time.


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Posted by Charles B.
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 28, 2014 at 5:12 pm

@psr - I believe that the school district will provide great teachers and principal. My concern is on the facility side. If they build a school in NEC, the facility should be with the same service of other schools. Again, the k-3 relieve pressure on other schools means what exactly ? That kids would make friendship and then they would be all scattered in various other schools ? Does that means parent would have to struggle to send various sibling to various site so that other schools can keep their k-6 ? Then why not do k-5 at all schools ? Oh I forgot, the superintendant is not sure if moving the the 6th grader too fast to another site is good for them. But the NEC kids, no problem, right ... They are probably tougher, and we can shuffle them in 4th grade. How does the PTA would work with a high turnover of kids ? BCS wants K-8 on the same site, LASD wants k-6 on the same site,but NEC, K-3 should be good for them.


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Posted by Charles B.
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 28, 2014 at 5:33 pm

@psr, I also would like to comment "m to accommodate all the growth being inflicted on LASD by neighboring cities? " . This is wrong to say something like this. First, the district has nothing to do with the city. We are all equal for the district. It should not matter if you come from Mountain View, Palo Alto, or Los Altos Hills. Secondly, the task force for enrollment growth found NEC is the fastest growing in percentage only. We are a small base, and there is growth. The bulk of new families comes from Los Altos and the Springer area of MV, not NEC. According to the report, we grow 160%, from 200 kids (in 1995) to 574 (in 2011). Wow, we are afflicting the school district. The district grew from 3100 (in 1995) to around 4800 (in 2011). So, stop blaming NEC. Actually, the growth you see is mostly studios and 1 bedroom that brings revenue to the district with a very low yield. Furthermore, the district gets tax revenue from commercial and office property.


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Posted by Charles B.
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 28, 2014 at 6:27 pm

@psr - yet another comments ;-) You asked "Why would you assume that the district would sacrifice their top rating? Who wins there?" Let me show you the case of the Palo Alto School District (PASD). They have all excellent schools ranked 10/10, except one ranked 7/10 (Baron Park elementary schools). From what I gathered from the review of the parent, the school district is going all in with that school, providing excellent teacher, an excellent facility, and even innovative program only offered there.

Do you think that PASD has sacrificed their ratings ? Do you think that if they could, they would not provide all excellent schools ? It is not that they are lazy, or anything. Do you think that school districts that are ranked lower, it is because they don't want to be excellent ? That they sacrifice their schools ? In the end, what makes a great school district. You will be amazed that nobody really know the answers. So, the district wants to keep its formula: 600 students per site, k-6 grade for other schools. They basically say, if it works don't fix it.

It is my belief that if a school in NEC is opened, and it has a larger minority population, more english learners, and the facility is not similar to the others, it is a setup for disaster for the district. There is many legal challenge in the bay area and the US for education equality intra-district (there is a quite poor law framework for equality inter district though).

To think that just because you are LASD, you have automatically good is very complacent. PASD spend more money (20% more), have 2 choice schools, it has a top high school in the country. I think the Barron Park elementary schools is a stark reminder that we are not invincible, and we all can be a victim of the 3 digit number.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2014 at 7:09 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

I have to say, the misinformation and prejudice that is about truly astounds. Charles B. makes a false equivalency between the 565 students who CURRENTLY reside in the LASD district north of El Camino Real and the students at Barron Park Elementary in Palo Alto. Baron Park is 36% ELL and 25% low income. That's a far cry from the demographics at work in the LASD Mountain View/Palo Alto San Antonio area, which is only 1/3 of a square mile in size. It had a mixture of very upscale homes and older apartment buildings. The "older" apartment buildings in this area are still extremely nice for the most part. The Crossings, and Old Mill Condos are quite prosperous. Monroe Park has $1.8 Million, $2 Million and $3+ Million homes similar to Los Altos. Avalon Towers is a palace. The composition of a school dedicated to this area will be around 15% ELL and 10% low income, which is similar to what is found at Almond and Santa Rita where the kids are today.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2014 at 7:11 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

I guess it is also worth noting that the anticipated growth in this area is not in low income housing. The contemplated projects and the one already begun are quite expensive places to live. So, whatever the demographics is, by the time the growth manifests itself, the average income will be significantly higher.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2014 at 7:15 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

Regarding the new parking lot mentioned in the story, there is more to this. The idea is that the new parking lot would enter directly off of San Antonio Road, which would remove all of the traffic from the elementary school from Portola. This will make quite a difference.

A visualization is available here: Web Link Show is a 6 acre section carved out of what has been the Bullis Charter School or similar uses for these past 13 years. Less land is shown as used. 50,000 square feet of building space is shown in 4 buildings, 2 with 2 stories and 2 with 1 story. The permanent buildings are mainly along Portola which is quieter than San Antonio, but hey can be built with sound insulation superior to portables. This should be a much more satisfactory solution than the permanent collection of temporary buildings has been these past 13 years.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2014 at 7:16 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

Here's that web link again. Web Link


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Posted by Service to LA
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2014 at 7:45 pm

Currently the NEC kids, especially those from the Crossings are providing a service to Los Altos. They shlep all the way to Covington to keep that school open.

Imagine that a school is built for the NEC. Lets say that all the kids north of El Camino attend that school. Around 450 - 550 kids. Let's look at what happens to the enrollment at the affected schools:

Santa Rita - current 570 post NEC school - 400 - 450
Covington - current 500 post NEC school - 350 - 400
Almond - current 500 post NEC school - 350 - 400

and here is the current enrollment at the schools nearby Covington
Gardner - 300
Loyola - 520 ( enrollment at loyola is dropping fast - lower grades have fewer students than upper grades)
Springer - 470

So some might ask why keep the largest campus, Covington, for such a small number of students? Couldn't that campus be shared with the Charter School or maybe just turned over to them? Wouldn't that make sense? Wouldn't it be better to get BCS off the junior high campuses to free up space for a 6-8 program?

The 6-8 scenario starts looking very threatening, without six graders:
Santa Rita - 350 - 400
Almond - 300 - 350
Covington - 300 - 350
Loyola - 440 - 470
Springer - 370 - 450
Gardner - 250

You really start seeing that one of these schools isn't really needed. Covington which was built to be a middle school, has three other schools close by - four if you count Gardner. The other schools are on the edges, Covington is in the middle and would be the easiest to break up. Everyone would still have a neighborhood school.

Now add in the fact that every year at least one of kindergarten and first grade classes are special ed students that will attend a different school in second grade, (these students could be placed at any campus) and look what happens to Covington's enrollment:

Covington actual enrollment - 250 - 300.

Wow that is quite a bit of space per child. 14 acres for 250 kids.
It is easy to see how these students could be placed at Almond, Springer, Loyola and Gardner.

So you can see why the Hutts ( mostly lawyers from Covington) are going to fight an NEC school. They need the Crossings and they need the middles to stay 7-8



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Posted by Service to LA
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2014 at 7:48 pm

I am not sure that most people know this - but the lowest rated LASD school is………..

Gardner

Shocking isn't it. It earned a 7/10 on the comparison schools ranking.

The LASD with most wealthy families has the lowest score.


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Posted by No DRoode
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Dear Voters -- in the name of all that is good and decent, please do not let David Roode (or his dark money PAC "Each Student Counts") influence your voting decisions. This self styled expert on all things LASD (from facilities planning, to demographic projections, to financial budgeting, to you-name-it) is nothing more than an internet troll seeking to validate his pathetic existence by disrupting one of the finest examples of public education in the state (and likely the country). Please do your own research, form independent perspectives on these important voting decisions. We have a great tradition in LASD of public-private partnership between the district and the community which has resulted in outstanding test scores, broad recognition for academic excellence, and soaring property values. That is what matters. Not the bitter rantings of a person who spends all their time lurking around school campuses and creating divisions within the community.


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Posted by To No D
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 28, 2014 at 8:46 pm

You seem to like to criticize the writer personally but not the information he posts. Why is that? I applaud whoever he is for writing fact based comments rather than attacking someone personally.

Your comment is shameful.


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Posted by Service to LA
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2014 at 9:06 pm

I like the school plans. The make sense. If you put a school there it is close to NEC so could serve some of the NEC. It would nice to get a school in the NEC, but if it can't be done this might be a good option.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2014 at 9:18 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

Too bad LASD is not very forthcoming with the actual population and past growth in the north of El Camino area. It has been said that as of last year the number of students was 565, but that's about what it appeared to be back in 2008. What growth has actually occurred over the past 6 years? If the precise plan is changed to encourage a faster rate of growth, then that is when a 2nd school for the area might be needed. It could be coordinated with the one at Egan via a grade level split such as is used in Portola Valley, Something like K-2 for the lower grades and 3-6 for the upper. The land per student in K-2 is less than 1/2 what is recommended for 3-6. So a coordinated K-2 site might just need 3 more acres in the future when there actually is growth to handle.


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Posted by Very helpful info
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2014 at 9:31 pm

To "Service to LA": Right on.

You have outlined exactly what needs to happen in this pathetic district where trustees think they can throw money at schools without first trying to balance student enrollment across the campuses.

If the trustees had even outlined a plan using student enrollment PER CAMPUS the way you did, I might be impressed.

Instead I am embarrassed.

The bond is an insult to taxpayers.


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Posted by greedy-growth-MV
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2014 at 9:52 pm


MV will build super-high-density and cause its residents to
increase at an alarming rate.

However, MV will only develop commercial properties and
apartment towers. MV will not make room for schools. Never
seen such anarchy anywhere else.

Since MV wants super-high-density commercial and apartment
buildings, it is very fitting that MV builds school towers
in MV. It is ridiculous to say that MV will not allot any
land for schools.

The traffic caused by MV's astronomical, out-of-control
growth is inflicting pain on neighboring cities. MV's
behavior is ghastly. MV, please be a good, reasonable
neighbor! At least try a bit!!

The San Antonio Center Phase-1 apartment buildings are
so in-your-face! The devil-may-care attitude is so obnoxious!!!
Please stop spilling the density from greedy growth into
neighboring cities!!!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by MV Mama
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 28, 2014 at 11:30 pm

Hey greedy-growth-MV,
You do realize how school planning works, right? You know that school districts, not cities, are responsible for school space planning, right?. You must also know that cities cannot require developers to provide space for schools? I'm so tired of seeing Los Altos residents rail on the entire city of Mountain View. Your anger is misplaced, look to the Los Altos School District, not the city of Mountain View.

I'll agree with you on the traffic though.


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Posted by Charles B.
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 28, 2014 at 11:40 pm

@davidR - I understand we do not have the exact demographic than PASD. However, I used this example as a warning about complacency. Just because it is LASD doesn't mean the school would be successful. Furthermore, I am not against a school in NEC. I am against a tiny, urban school that doesn't have the other amenities the other schools have. There can be no prejudice in the school system. Can you reduce the size a little, put two story buildings (not portables) , sure. But it has to be an equal school, no prejudice on the services, no excuse for lack of facility. The reason I say this is that the want to build a school for BCS (10 acres), they want to upgrade other schools and build a school in NEC ? The budget would drive them to build a tiny 4 acre school with portable. That would be unfair ...


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Posted by No new school
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 12:24 am

If you ask me, this request for a bond for "overcrowding" is just a ruse. Originally we started hearing this push for a new school, to house the BCS kids so LASD didn't have to give up one of their campuses to them. Then suddenly there's this big push to build a school NEC ( which would put ALL the socio-economically disadvantaged kids in the same school= lower scoring school = unhappy high socio-economic parents). Building NEC saves the parks (which is important) but does nothing to solve the BCS issue. If BCS is still in portables after 5 years the litigation is going to begin all over again.

The reality is that NO new school is needed - LASD currently has adequate facilities to house all the in-district kids. The simple solution is to move 6th grade to the underutilized Jr Highs (the 6-8 model is better anyway) , give Covington to BCS, then redistribute the Covington kids to the other NEARBY elementary schools. All of the Covington kids are close to another neighborhood school. In this scenario all of the elementary schools (except BCS) would be under 560 kids per school, BCS would be happy (we wouldn't have to pay for more litigation), there would be room for BCS to grow and the taxpayers wouldn't have to foot a big bill for a phantom new school. Also, where would the money come from to operate this new school? The district has a fixed budget which means administrative costs would have to be spread out over 9 schools rather than 8 and that would increase class size and reduce programs. How does that contribute to excellence in education?

Besides, does LASD really expect us to support a bond to prevent "overcrowding" when there is absolutely no plan as to how this supposed overcrowding will be alleviated? Or how the money will be spent? I'm voting NO!


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Posted by Pay Your Own Expenses
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 12:38 am

Some rich folks pay for the private education of their own children. But some can't resist using government to force others to pay their bills. Government should offer a "free" education to children in poor families - not in rich families.


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Posted by No new school
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 12:48 am

It's time for the BCS & LASD warriors to lay down their swords and move on. BCS is a popular alternative program that isn't going away and those of us that don't have kids in the district are sick of hearing about the fight and sick of paying for it. As a taxpayer I pay for the kids to go BCS or I pay for them to go to a different LASD school. It's all the same to me.


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Posted by No new school
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 12:49 am

And by the way, government offers a "free" education to all kids, rich or poor.


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Posted by No to Measure N
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 6:45 am

I'm voting no to Measure N and encouraging my neighbors to do the same. 1) We can offer BCS an existing school like Covington and redistribute LASD kids accordingly; 2) Building a NEC school is disadvantaging them as many have said in this post; 3) the Trustees can not be trusted with anything other than gross negligence and building up nice facilities for themselves; 4) the demographers can not be trusted with their forecasts either; the audacity of the N campaigners to go after our Parks shows the lengths of their arrogance and selfishness.

Let's nip this in the bud and shut down the bond. Mobilize in your community against more taxes now! Nothing will happen to our real estate values from not passing the bond. Los Altos is still highly coveted to all the tech folks who work nearby.


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Posted by Vladimir G. Ivanovic
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 9:40 am

@David Roode and other anti-bond BCS supporters

You do realize that you're cutting off your nose to spite your face? Without a bond measure passing, LASD won't even be able to upgrade existing facilities, BCS included, much less afford a needed new school site.

So, what's the right thing to do? Firstly, stop picking at an open wound. The great value in the 5 year LASD-BCS agreement is that it allows everyone time to forgive and forget. For crying out loud, at least give the wound time to scab over! Every time you dis LASD, you make it harder for LASD to forgive and forget. Give it a rest!

Secondly, support passing a bond measure without reservation. Do you want BCS to have their own campus? Do you expect it to fall from the sky? OK, then tell me how it's going to get financed? If the BCS Foundation will pay, I'm all for it. Otherwise, the only realistic alternative I see is a bond measure, which, BTW, the BCS Board supports.

Thirdly, and this applies to EVERYONE who is commenting, recognize that running a school district is immensely complicated. There are parents, teachers, administrators, the County, the State, the Federal government, taxpayer associations, unions, the courts, land owners, other local governments, and innumerable advocacy groups, all of whom have their own constituents, their own agenda, and their own interests. And for every issue, there are multiple options, some great, some tolerable, some intolerable. And for every option, there is much evidence and data that needs to be weighted carefully, and not cherry picked. Trying to maximize society's welfare, even in a small pond like LASD, is a herculean task. Look beyond your own interests and try to be as inclusive as possible.

Fourthly, work to generate trust. Reciprocate any and all olive branches. Ask yourself, would I support my own proposal(s) if I were "on the other side". If it isn't fair, it's not going to fly.

The alternative is Syria.

[Disclosure: I am a Los Altos resident, a parent of two children in LASD, and a candidate for the LASD School Board.]


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Voter
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 10:03 am

Mr. Ivanovic -
With all due respect, you are part of the problem. Your support of agitators like Joan J Strong is not helpful. All of the public school kids in our district deserve to be treated with respect regardless of the public school program that they are attending. Ms. Strong went out of her way to tramatize BCS families and recently you thanked her for her "efforts".

BCS has compromised, why can't you? I support the bond but shutter to think of you as a board a member. The NEC needs a campus, BCS needs a campus. We also need to use available resources. LASD should be finding ways to make the best use of facilities, not looking for real estate. Using available property and redrawing attendance boundaries seems like a good solution. Will you be willing to do that as a Trustee?


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Posted by Charles B.
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 29, 2014 at 10:13 am

@Vladimir - first off, thank you for your service to the community. The LASD would not be successful without support from parent like you. Now, after the flower comes the pot ;-). Kidding ... Actually I support your idea about fairness, collaboration, and good government.
Don't know much about your alternative, but I realized that many wars could be solved if each side knew each other better (as you said - put yourselves on the other side). Under that vision, would it makes sense to elect a BCS parent on the board ? The board would have 4 LASD and 1 BCS, so it is not like BCS is taking over. It might bring a new perspective on the very complicated management of the district. With expansion, BCS would have between 15-20% of the kid in the district. Anyway, just an idea.


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Posted by LASD Parent
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 1:52 pm

No, the bond is not needed. LASD has done two things this year to artificially inflate enrollment at LASD schools.

1) move from half day to full day kindergarten
2) add transitional kindergarten

These two changes have the combined effect of adding another 1.7 grades worth of kids to each school!

At my kids school this has resulted in the addition of several new portables which have been strategically placed to cause maximum bicycle and pedestrian "traffic jams" thus giving everyone the impression of overcrowding.


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Posted by No new school
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Mr. Ivanovic,
You're suggesting that the taxpayers sign a blank check over to LASD without reservation? Cutting off our noses to spite our faces? If the bond money is to be used to upgrade existing facilities then that should be honestly communicated to the voters. If the bond money is to be used to build a school for BCS then that should be communicated to the voters. It seems to me that the LASD is being sneaky and trying to get the money first, then decide later, without voter input, what to use it for. And I can't support paying for an unknown cause.

As far as letting the BCS/ LASD rivalry "scab" over, who are you trying to kid? I'm sure the only reason BCS agreed to a hiatus and agreed to support the bond is because they have an expectation that they're going to get a school (not a bunch of portables) in which they can grow. Believe me, if that doesn't happen, in 5 years that scab will be torn wide open. And your support of Joan J Strong, who spewed more hatred and vitriol than I've ever heard in my life toward a bunch of kids certainly doesn't suggest your interest in olive branches nor in a "forgive and forget" philosophy. Frankly your support of her suggests that you're in the same camp and that is hardly conducive of healing wounds nor of solving problems "fairly".

And I haven't seen any demographics/ facilities study that even begins to support the need for a new school (nor a budget appropriation for how they're going to operate the new school). As I said before, moving the 6th grade to Egan & Blach and giving Covington to BCS makes room for everybody. You're right - running a school district is complicated and I'd like to think that those running it are using their heads, examining the options, communicating those options to the voters and considering ALL the taxpayers, not just those involved in the BCS/LASD war. Also, if the district is concerned about growing enrollment why are they switching to All-Day Kindergarten and exacerbating the problem?

It's hard to generate trust when those holding the purse strings aren't being forthright about demographics nor their uses for the bond money. Remembering what happened with the money after the last bond was passed with a board that doesn't seem to have learned their lessons, I'm still voting NO. And I'm not voting for you either because either you don't have a very good grasp of the problems and possible solutions or you're not interested in honestly communicating them with your constituents .


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Posted by Vladimir G. Ivanovic
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 6:06 pm

@No new school

I started to reply to your comment by taking your issues one at a time, but I've given up. In every paragraph of your comment you sneer, accuse, insult and are generally hostile. If you want to engage in civil discourse, I'm waiting.


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Posted by Vladimir G. Ivanovic
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 6:28 pm

@LASD Parent

Please supply some evidence to support your accusation that the LASD Board deliberately introduced full day kindergarten in order to increase enrollment. You should be prepared to explain why research showing that the early years (i.e. kindergarten) in school increase student achievement was not a reason the Board considered when offering full day kindergarten. You should also be prepared to explain how state law mandating transitional kindergarten isn't relevant in their decision. Lastly, you should be prepared to explain why pre-K is being implemented nationwide (and nearly passed into California law) was not a factor the LASD Board considered.


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Posted by Vladimir G. Ivanovic
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 6:38 pm

@Charles B

It's an interesting idea, and I'm not categorically opposed to it. I do have have two concerns: (1) No other school has a representative on the Board, so why should BCS? and (2) sufficient trust hasn't built up for me to feel comfortable that the BCS representative would, when appropriate of course, act against the interests of BCS but in the interests of LASD.

Would LASD get a representative on the BCS Board also?


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Posted by Vladimir G. Ivanovic
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 6:50 pm

@Voter

Please sketch out how you would "make better use of facilities, using available property and redrawing attendance boundaries." Your plan will need to accomodate 1000 more students than the last time we had 9 schools and 100+ new students every year. You get bonus points if you also accommodate BCS's desire for their own campus.


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Posted by BCS Parent
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 7:10 pm

"No other school has a representative"

Board members should look to entire community needs. Right now our board seems most interested in preserving the status quo as though everything is awesome. You seem to be willing to serve in model of the current board. Deferring to unions, pretending that LASD is innovative and cost effective.

Why would any parent or board member only represent their child's school? They are there as Trustees of state, to carry out the state laws governing public education in the Los Altos School District. Both BCS and LASD are public school programs that members of the community can enroll their children in. Unfortunately, LASD refused to authorize the charter of what has become the top performing public school in our district. As a trustee you would still a duty to make sure that the public school students have reasonably equivalent access to public education facilities.

I won't be voting for you Mr. Ivanovic. You quit the last election and this cycle you decided to enter the race only after current board members decided not to run. You praised the most nasty member of our community, Joan J Strong. Most impotently I think we need a different kind of board member. We need Trustees that:

1. Put children first, politics last.
2. Are willing to stand up to unions.
3. Support real innovation in our schools.
4. Spend money wisely.
5. Willing to make difficult decisions.
6. Support the parents that want something different than the status quo.
7. Not involve the district in costly law suits, i.e. using eminent domain is a bad idea.
8. Realize that almost half the residents of the district do not have a school in their neighborhood.
9. Stick with it even when the going gets tough.

Do any of these describe you Mr. Ivanovic?


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Posted by Here's a plan
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 7:22 pm

Oh and here is a plan:

1. Move six graders to the middle schools. They are all twenty acres and can hold at least 1000 students. The six graders can start foreign language early have access to electives, sports, advanced math classes and science labs.
2. Move BCS to Covington. Make a preference area for the current Covington attendance area for BCS
3. Distribute the population of Covington between:

Almond - West of El Monte Covington students go to Almond. They can walk there.
Springer/ Loyola - area around Covington depending on what school they are closest to.
Loyola - Area SEC of Foothill Expressway - they used to go to Loyola so that shouldn't be too difficult. Alternatively they could go to Gardner.
Santa Rita - Crossings/Old Mill should be going there or Almond it is much closer than Covington.

Don't forget that BCS numbers will increase by 250 more students and absorb some of the predicted growth.

This plan doesn't even need a bond. However if a bond passes that bond can then be spent on a school for the NEC AND some improvements on every campus.


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Posted by Service to LA
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 7:36 pm

That plan won't work. Covington is the grand jewel in the crown. The number one priority of the bond will be to do modernization - 38 million dollars worth - to Covington. Apparently the construction of few a years ago is no longer acceptable and they want sky lights.

Can't have a school for the NEC or even closer schools for NEC students. The Crossings needs to stay in service to Covington. They are just lucky to go there. That's just the way of world.

Some neighbored hoods are more equal than others.

I wonder if Mr. Ivanovic would be willing to redraw the attendance boundaries?


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Posted by Charles B.
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 29, 2014 at 7:58 pm

@vladimir - based on your answer, I deduct that you feel that the LASD board should be only run by parent with children in the LASD school. It is a possible model, but unfortunately the law has built it differently. You don't even need to be a parent to run for LASD board. The reason, among other is the power of taxation. As for a BCS parent voting against BCS is not the goal, the idea is to find a compromise, to get a view from BCS at the board, to debate it on the board instead of the courts. The LASD board should thrive to make a decision fair for all stakeholders, not to shove your decision down the throat of retirees, BCS parent, park lover, etc.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by LASD shouldrepresent all of us
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 29, 2014 at 8:15 pm

@Vladimir,
By your logic, you should not be on the school board since your children attend Gardner Bullis (who is getting millions of improvements this summer that no other school is) since you cannot be trusted to put aside your loyalty to the school your child goes to. Seems to me the perfect candidate is someone whose kids are no longer school aged.

What I think disqualifies you is a) your support of Joan Strong, b) your incredibly hostile and factually incorrect statements about BCS (ie it's a private school, etc) and c) as head of the CACF you have been ineffective in actually monitoring the financial dealings of LASD. Please don't tell me about the award they win for financial management -- they pay for those awards. Rather like being asked to be in Who's Who but only if you buy a printed copy of the book.

I also find it egregious that you sent out a mailer praising the CACF with a quote from you just DAYS before you announced your candidacy. Nice way to get the taxpayers to pay for election material.

Would I trust you with my tax dollars? No way. Nor should anyone else


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Posted by No new school
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 8:23 pm

@ Vladamir - it's interesting that you praise Joan J Strong yet you find my comments too hostile to respond to. You appear to be in the anti-BCS camp and that won't serve the district well if bygones are to be bygones.

And as to your response to Voter - I clearly laid out how you could "make better use of facilities, using available property and redrawing attendance boundaries. Your plan will need to accomodate 1000 more students than the last time we had 9 schools and 100+ new students every year. You get bonus points if you also accommodate BCS's desire for their own campus." You could move 6th grade to Egan & Blach, give BCS to Covington and redraw the attendance boundaries. That fulfills all your requirements + I get bonus points. I haven't heard a single reason as to why this plan would not work but for some reason you're ignoring this plan...

I haven't seen a demographic study showing 100 new students each year (and for how many years will this supposed increase continue?) and the argument that All-Day Kindergarten will increase student achievement is weak. I think our students are doing well and an extra half day of kindergarten will not effect their future! However it will effect the taxpayers' pocket and the overcrowding that the district seems so concerned with. Lets solve some problems practically.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 8:34 pm

BCS has done a fabulous job costing the school district millions of dollars in legal fees. That will serve the BoT for not obeying the charter's every command .

We will take over the board and then revenge will be ours!


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Posted by Voter and Parent
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Mr. Roode,

Please stop trying to inflame the situation any further. You are putting our children's future at risk by creating an angry mob against our public school system. I had read that there are serious discussions about whether BCS has stepped over the line too many times and should lose their charter status. If you can be quiet for just three more years, my last kid will be graduated and then you can do what you want.

Thank you.


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Posted by No Bias
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 9:40 pm

@ Vladamir - your comments regarding not trusting a BCS parent on the LASD board are very concerning:
1. First you say that "no other school has a representative on the board". Don't your kids attend Gardner Bullis? Is that different? Would you be governing with a Gardner bias?
2. You state that you can't trust a BCS parent to, when appropriate, act against the interests of BCS but in the interests of LASD. Can we trust that you would, when appropriate, act against (what you consider) the interest of LASD but in the interests of BCS (since BCS kids ARE LASD kids)?

Does it occur to you that the "them vs us" attitude is exactly the problem? Are the interests of BCS and LASD mutually exclusive? BCS is a public school with a popular alternative program that's been around for 10 years. They serve LASD kids. Isn't it time to accept the fact that they are part of the LASD and they're not going away? And appreciate the fact that they're alleviating overcrowding by absorbing lots of the LASD kids? I think the LASD BoT positions need to be filled by people that are neutral- i.e. not invested in the BCS v LASD war. Maybe then we could get away from politics and back to the business of educating all of the kids that live in the district.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Liar
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 10:46 pm

"BCS is a public school with a popular alternative program "

David Roode...in another thread you described bcs as a discriminated against minority and now you state that is is "popular".

Bullis is not a "public school". It is a private school that sucks public money away from those who need it most. It is a perversion of Prop 39 that is only still alive due to the misuse of the court system.

The immaturity of your position is very sad. Your constant manufacturing of the truth and posting under a variety of anonymous users is indicative of someone who would benefit from some serious help.


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Posted by Charles B.
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 29, 2014 at 11:58 pm

@davidR - about BCS costing money to the district argument is dead when they lost in court. The district was discriminating against its consistuant. So, the people who really wasted the money is the victim or the aggressor ? LASD board needs to stop discrimination, be fair and find a great compromise among the various stakeholders. We don't need lobbyist as decision maker.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 1:40 am

DavidR is a registered user.

@CharlesB: That is a different DavidR who made that silly comment most recently above. Note that he is not "a registered user". I've even seen another such "registered user" with a very similar handle, though that was quite a while ago.

You should realize, as should everyone, that BCS did not lose in court. BCS voluntarily has put a freeze on its legal actions, but, regardless, the decision rendered is a legal precedent that was a win for BCS and a useful tool where such discrimination is attempted in any district within the state.

I certainly view it as LASD which cost BCS money in their legal efforts, by bringing numerous efforts to bear, to delay a further implementation decision and to require time and effort on the part of the charter students representatives. State law is clear that students who choose a charter continue to be entitled to school facilities that are the legacy property of their home school district, so long as there are enough of them involved. In this case, Bullis Charter has more than 10% of the district participating through enrollment and many more who have indicated a desire to enroll. It's a sign of LASD's position that one of its goals was to cap BCS to prevent expansion to cover all interested students. Why should this be their role? How dare the district tell any parent what option is right for his child? It's very telling that this was the direction taken by the district.

As for "taking over the district" as that 2nd DavidR described, this is simply irrelevant and impossible. What a headache that would be. The district comes with many problems and it should work to solve them rather than to try to stamp out upstart innovation.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 2:03 am

DavidR is a registered user.

@Vladimir Ivanovic: If this bond election fails, the responsibility will lie with the current board and no one else. Consider what steps they took:

(1) The clearly tried some sort of bait and switch or shell game diversion about what their plans are for the funds. They promised all the current 9 district schools that they EACH would get 120% of 1/9 of the bond proceeds. Not a clear promise, but that was the implication. To each they said "we love you best, your wishlist is our committment."

(2) Having dispensed with all the funds and then some, they further keep waffling about whether or not they will construct any new schools, or maybe even two. Randy Kenyon told them to only make 1 and to squeeze enrollments at the Jr Highs too. They have said they'd provide a more permanent home for Bullis Charter, and they have griped that they don't like sharing what Bullis has now. (I have seen no sign of any true harm from this sharing, for Egan or for Blach and I have looked around, but that's just me.) They kind of sorta promised a new home to Bullis. Then they talk about the North of El Camino Growth like it's something new and yet to come. They have also kind of sorta promised a new school for NEC. The cost estimate for a stripped down school (just 6 acres of land vs. standard 10) is $70 Million. I personally don't think 70 million would really buy a school either for BCS or for NEC, but it is a reasonable lower bound.

So we are left with a situation where they appear to have made direct promises of over $300 Million as what will happen should a $150 Million bond pass. This does not pass the smell test.

(2) Doug Smith took the lead on antagonizing the city of Los Altos. First he (urged on by others) declared a goal of nabbing the city's community center. (Way to WIN votes in the election. Not everyone is as clueless and disinterested in the activities at Hillview that would be killed by such a takeover.) But more than that, he directly told 2 city council members that they better work with him because they won't be able to use Hillview anyway. (Recent bond polling has indicated they could still indeed get the OK to borrow $20 Million which is all they appear to need to borrow.) So Mr. Smith riled up city hall staff and elected council members. Sweet. What political expertise. Way to pass a bond.

(3) Doug Smith managed to continue to rile up specific constituencies in Los Altos by describing the worst possible way to use Rosita Park and McKenzie Park. Much less disruptive sharing had been offered by the city, but Doug continued to talk of paving over one of the parks. Way to pass a bond.

(4) Tamara Logan took the lead in riling up the city of Mountain View. She (with Doug Smith, but she took the lead) directly attended a MV city council meeting where she engaged in insulting and patronizing dialog with some of the MV council members. Way to pass a bond.

(5) The LASD Board continues to foster the notion that all of the growth problems are directed by MV actions. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just read the reports that have been presented to the LASD Board from their own demographers. The notion that the enrollment growth is dominated by growth in students in Apartments is long since invalidated. That situation only lasted for 3 years from 2003 to 2006 and then it stopped. Even during that time, this over representation of the growth influence of students in Apartments only accounted for a surprising 1/3 of all growth. That's no longer been the case. The growth is projected all over the district, and 500+ students have been living in the PALO ALTO and Mountain View North El Camino LASD area ever since 2005. This is NOT new growth and it is not ongoing as a hotbed of all growth. It is just growing similarly to the rest of the district, and the growth may not even continue.

Lie about the location of the growth. Way to pass a bond.

(6) LASD has been dithering around about passing a bond for 2 years now. They created a growth task force before that, and they have had the report from the EGTF for 1.5 years now. It recommended 2 schools. They did not get around to planning for the 2 schools anywhere during that time. Now they come to the point of bringing a bond to vote, and despite all the time and all the talk, they have great misunderstanding about what the intent of the bond really is. Way to pass a bond.

I hope that even BOND SUPPORTERS can see that the whole bond issue has been GREATLY mismanaged. That mismanagement and propensity for non planning and wasteful deception is the genesis of my own opposition to this bond at this time. That could still change, if they would only get their act together. However, I note that a bond vote in June of 2016 would still be in time to plan to handle the proposed 2 new schools, which I believe is the only thing that the district can afford to do with bond money. More time for true planning should be highly beneficial, and some myths and questions about the future growth should be more clear by June of 2016.

I really don't see ANY need to rush nor any hurt by waiting. On the contrary, I fear that if they had the money, the district might burn through it all and then toward the end of 2016, they would wish they had planned better. So waiting is really safer and more prudent....


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Posted by Thanks to DavidR
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Aug 30, 2014 at 7:14 am

@ DavidR - (registered user)

Thank you for all the information, it is very helpful. Please keep up the good work. I wish your detractors would stop the attacks. I can see why they do it, you are pointing to some real incompetence. They don't really have any good answer for your comments so they attack you instead. Hang in there.

I have always supported our local schools and my own children went to LASD schools. Many of my neighbors send their children to BCS and they love it.




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Posted by Yes
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 30, 2014 at 7:29 am

BCS Needs a separate lottery for ESL and special needs kids in our community. They currently are not doing an equal part of helping to educate this portion of our community. When you compare the percentages of these kids at all the other public schools and BCS you see the gap.
Be part of the community and help to educate all the kids in the community, fairly and equally with other schools in the community. That would go a long way to winning over the pragmatic thinkers in the community.
Equal percentages across all publicly funded campuses. That should be the goal. I think right bout now some BCS parents are looking away with a "oh, ahhh....hmm." at that thought.


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Posted by Info
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 9:03 am

When you compare ESL rates you need to use the lower grades. Last year BCS actually had a higher percentage of ESL students in kindergarten than LASD. LASD does have higher rates of ESL students in grades4-8 but is that really a great comparison stat? The reason that LASD has more ESL designated students in the upper grades is mainly because they are not exiting the program in a timely manner. If you have been in an LASD school for four years then theoretically you should have caught up to your peers. A better question to ask is why are some many of these upper grade students still not proficient in English? Maybe LASD needs a Head Start program for these students before they enter Kindergarten.

In any event nobody enters kindergarten designated as ESL it happens after they enter school. Testing four year olds doesn't work so well, many four year olds with native english speaking parents will test as ESL.


Then there is the special education issue. The problem is that MOST special education students do not enter kindergarten with that designation. The vast majority of students enter BCS in kindergarten, so how would you conduct this lottery?


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Posted by Info
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 9:09 am

@Yes

I am just curious, but why are you interested in BCS vs LASD issues? It doesn't seem a likely concern for somebody living in Bailey Park.


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Posted by Info
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 9:14 am

@ Yes

I do agree with you about the equal percentages across all public school campuses. LASD has a long way to go to reach that stat. The same thing is true of special education so LASD schools have much higher percentages of Special Ed than others.


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Posted by Vladimir G. Ivanovic
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 10:47 am

@DavidR

Every single one of your points depends on your interpretation of "facts". You insist on seeing everything in as negative light as possible, in creating nefarious connections where none exist, and in being anti-LASD in every fiber of your body, regardless of whether there's a connection to reality or not. Chill, man! Relax! Not everyone wants to continue the fight into the 22nd century!


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 10:58 am

[Portion removed: This "DavidR" is a not registered user. -Editor]

As for "taking over the district" as that 2nd DavidR described, this is simply irrelevant and impossible. What a headache that would be. The district comes with many problems and it should work to solve them rather than to try to defend itself against BCS.

BCS schools are like every school within LASD. They make requests to the district and some are accepted and some are rejected. However, BCS has a team of lawyers that will sue if they don't get what they want. True, we did lose most of our court actions and I do regret the millions of dollars of public money that wasted over these frivolous lawsuits. However, the district started it when they refused to disrupt their high performing school to give us our unified campus.

Although BCS failed to achieve most of its goals against LASD, it is still counted as a victory. I will continue to write thousands of words every day under different usernames to support that position.


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Posted by Vladimir G. Ivanovic
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 11:28 am

@No Bias, @LASD shouldrepresent all of us, and @BCS Parent

The suggestion (not mine) was that an LASD Board member be a representative from BCS. I questioned that suggestion by raising two points:

1. Why should BCS be the only school with representation on the LASD Board? To be fair, shouldn't other schools get representation as well? Yes, my children attend a particular LASD school, but as a Board member, I would NOT be a representative of that school, but a representative of ALL LASD students. I have never thought differently.

2. I'm concerned that a BCS representative on the LASD Board would not act in the interests of all LASD students, exactly the concern you've raised.

So, it seems we are in violent agreement and have been from the very beginning.


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Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 30, 2014 at 12:20 pm

from: the other feeder district to MVLA. Bonds in CA: it's a fairly well researched topic (National Economics Research Council preprints) that Bond $ (pass n an election) in CA helps statistically increase homeowners values. It is a "signaling variable" only. In other words - this community values its schools. Los Altos maybe at the non-linear range for the model - it's so high up there - it goes not make much of a difference. If you like more and nicer looking schools - vote for the Bond. (it will not make ANY statistical difference to academic performance).
NAMBY and eminent domain. Los Altos does not want to figure out how to share Public Parks & Public Schools? Two bad! For 60 years it has worked great in Mountain View. 2 story classroom could have been built on enlarged sites including eminent domain enlargement. Phased buys from older property owners or ? The LASD has the power of eminent domain. (in MV NEC and LA and LAH) Every private parcel in the District is available - only Board / Community decisiveness is needed [a Board majority - 3 Votes].
Last, "politics of inclusiveness" was rejected by the 'majority leaders' of Egypt and Iraq. See where it landed those places? It seems - too many in LASD + BCS enjoy 'your little civil war'. A BCS parent or charter school supporter is never going to control 'a majority vote' on the LASD.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 12:26 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

There it is again. That last DavidR is not the same as this one. He's playing games. I would ask the moderator to look at how one person can take the same username as another. I made this one a long time ago and it's my only one,


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Posted by BCS parent
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 1:06 pm

David, what is wrong with you? We LOST and need to move on. Making up garbage about LASD and re-hashing old issues is counter-productive. Everybody sees through the attacks. We need to learn to work collaboratively with LASD.

Vlad-- many fellow parents support your candidacy. Please ignore the crazies.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 1:20 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

I'm just as much concerned about the negative digs at the Palo Alto and Mountain View city areas north of El Camino Real in the LASD as I am about the future need in 5 more years time to find a more permanent home for the charter school. To me, this issue with LASD has been all the millions of dollars they poured down a rathole trying to change or thwart state charter laws about simply SHARING a PORTION of their land and buildings with a charter school.

@Steve Nelson:

LASD really is NOT short of land. You have Theurkauf, Stevenson and the MVWSD offices sharing one plot of land and also making some of that land available for a city park. How big is that parcel of land?

Well, in LASD, we have 16 acres of LASD land next to 6 acres of city owned park. That's clearly enough land to house 2 schools. If one of them is extra large, then relocate the district offices and or let some of the kids play at the park during recess and P.E. It's not a question of needing to buy land to provide a home for a district-wide program like Stevenson is. The Bullis Charter has 700 kids enrolled this year and a large number were left out because of space/growth concerns. LASD doesn't pay for this program like MVWSD does with Stevenson--they raise private funds to subsidize 1/2 of the cost. Like MVWSD, LASD has revenues of $11-$12 per student, but they only pass on about $6K to the charter school.

Eminent domain is a last resort and in this case, no need has been demonstrated.


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Posted by school-land-inLASDpart-ofMV
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 1:30 pm



Everyone seems to be missing one thing.
MV wants super high-density offices and then use the "housing balance"
excuse to build high-density apartments on the border of Los Altos
to get the LASD benefit.

MV must provide land for LASD schools in the LASD area of MV.
MV is not behaving like a good neighbor since MV only wants to
profit from commercial and residential super high-density,
horrendously out-of-place buildings on San Antonio Road and
El Camino Real.

If MV residents support this behavior, then they should also
demand school land in the LASD area of MV. Since MV residents
are supporting the traffic gridlock with all this MV development,
they should be accepting multistory high-density schools in the
LASD area of MV. Please build schools in the LASD area of MV
and please stop creating unnecessary traffic in Los Altos side
of LASD. Wish there were laws to prevent MV from abusing
neighboring cities for its self-centered gains. It is appalling
to see this type of "progress" condoned in the 21st century.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 1:33 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

@Steve Nelson

LASD has split the 1/3 square mile area north of El Camino Real and assigned them to 3 different schools between 1 and 3 miles away. No bus service is operated to help with transportation. All of the schools get upset at the extra traffic this brings them at pick up and drop off times.

As for crowding, last Fall the CDEBS enrollments for these 3 schools were 512, ~565, and 510. How does this compare to the enrollment at nearby Castro Elementary School? Which schools are 'crowded'?


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 1:41 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

@school-land-in LASD...

Hey, this idea of MV bumping the residential capacity of San Antonio is not even a done deal yet. The developer may come back and refuse. He doesn't have to build those apartments, as needed as they are. He has the right to say no thanks, give up on the hotel and offices and go back to the original plan of regional retail for phase II of San Antonio Center. This is a bad argument for the need of a school in the area.

Consider that there are 565 students from the area here today, and this number has been fairly stable since 2006. That is to say, the normal 1-2% per year growth has applied here too just like the rest of LASD. The latest projects to affect the population soon are in Palo Alto (site of Palo ALto Bowl) and in Los Altos (site of Marie Callander and Garden Center)....


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Posted by Philip Aaronson
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 30, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Why is it that Mr. Ivanovic feels he is somehow more capable of representing the entire district than a parent with kids at BCS? His kids attend Gardener Bullis which is a single school in the district. He hails from Los Altos Hills. Does he feel he's qualified to represent the rest of us? I guess not.


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Posted by school-land-inLASDpart-ofMV
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 3:09 pm

DavidR, a resident of another community said:
"Hey, this idea of MV bumping the residential capacity of San Antonio is not even a done deal yet. The developer may come back and refuse. He doesn't have to build those apartments, as needed as they are. He has the right to say no thanks, give up on the hotel and offices and go back to the original plan of regional retail for phase II of San Antonio Center. This is a bad argument for the need of a school in the area."

Regional retail in a park like setting will make the
shopping center attractive... That decision will be
far superior than high-rise offices or apts and cinema
and hotel.

On my earlier post above...
MV has too much residential density and must find land for
LASD school in the LASD areas of MV.
Dumping traffic on Los Altos by sending every kid from
MV side of LASD to the existing schools in Los Altos cannot
be the only plan. Buy land on the MV side of LASD and build
schools there immediately.


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Posted by No Bias
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 3:21 pm

@Liar - I am not David Roode - never met him and never heard of him until I started seeing his posts re the school bond. I have my own opinions thank you and I'm not a parent of either district- just a concerned taxpayer. And yes, BCS is a public school with a popular alternative program as evidenced by the number of parents that leave their neighborhood schools to enroll their children at BCS, despite being housed in portables. Plus there's a huge waiting list to get in so it's definitely popular! If you think my attitude of "let's stop the battle, move on and educated all the district kids" is immature then I don't really know what to say. Perhaps in your mind prolonging expensive, devisive battles for no gain is a sign of maturity.

@Vladamir - We are not in agreement. I think it's really weird that you keep saying that a BCS parent might not act in the interest of ALL LASD kids (which would of course include BCS kids) yet you see yourself as being unbiased despite the anti-BCS impression you exude. Why would we trust you anymore than her to equally represent all the kids? As I said before we need Board members that are neutral and not invested in the "us vs them" battle.


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Posted by Thanks
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Thank you Mr. Ivanovic for answering the questions truthfully. I can say that I deffinately won't be voting for you.


Thank you No bias and Phil Aaronson great points. Exactly why I won't be voting for Mr. Ivanovic we need Trustees that will put kids first and its clear to me that Mr. Ivanovic isn't going to do that.


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Posted by Service to LA
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 6:39 pm

What is really going on;

Parents at Gardner want to stay as a super small school.
Parents at Covington want to stay as a small school AND they don't want share, period.
Parents at Santa Rita and Almond want the poor kids out of "their" schools.
Parents at Egan and Blach want BCS off their campuses.
Parents that live close to the schools want to keep their school.
No one wants to redraw attendance boundaries even though it would solve the "over crowding" problem.

There is enough room on current LASD campuses to find a place for a school serving at least part of the NEC AND there is enough room for a campus for BCS.

The District doesn't need to use eminent domain to acquire property in Mountain View or to take over the Hillview Community center - IF they stop serving only the parents listed above and start serving ALL of the students in LASD.


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Posted by Next year
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Vladimir is totally unqualified to be a trustee, let alone a candidate. His views are polarizing, he has shot his mouth off too much, and he would be an embarrassment for all of LA/MV if he were elected. Sangeeth and Martha are worth backing as new voices and new perspectives. Vladimir is just a puppet for Doug Smith and Mark Goines and will be speaking from the grave on behalf of them.

I would support a $50M bond where the Trustees would have to 1) itemize their spend, 2) agree to redistricting, and 3) reevaluate K-5 and 6-8 configurations going forward. The LASD Trustees have left the situation in our community fester for too long, protecting special interest groups and now the whole town is being asked to bear the brunt of the short-term views. These politicians have hosed us too many times - shame on all of us for not voting them out of office.

I'm voting No to Measure N and would only consider a proposal next yr on the ballot of the parameters above.


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Posted by No to Vlad the Impaler
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Voting for Vladimir will be like voting for Putin invading Ukraine. Stop the anarchy. We don't need more candidates with a colonist view of conquering BCS or other families who believe in choice or private schools. As a supporter of Joan J Strong, he's about as qualified as the Sheriff of Ferguson.


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Posted by Reasons to Vote for Vlad ( and Tammy too)
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 9:56 pm

If you want the continued ho hum stagnation vote for Vlad and Tammy Too
If you think that the only thing we need for great schools is good standardized test results then vote for Vlad and Tammy Too.
If you that teachers should do the least work for the most pay then vote for Vlad and Tammy Too.
If you think that the schools are great just the way they are then vote for Vlad and Tammy Too.
If your number one interest is keeping Gardner as small and tiny as possible then vote for Vlad and Tammy Too
If you think Covington and Gardner should get all the extras then vote for Vlad and Tammy Too
If you think STEM education is over rated then vote for Vlad and Tammy Too
If you think that litigation with the cities of Los Altos, Mountain View and the pear family is something that LASD should pursue then vote for Vlad and Tammy Too.
If you think that the BOTs should decide what is best for your child then vote for Vlad and Tammy Too.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 10:03 pm

DavidR is a registered user.
Agreed! BCS uber alles!!!!


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Posted by Vladimir G. Ivanovic
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2014 at 11:02 pm

I've learned a (painful) lesson here: any attempt nuance will fail.

How could it possibly succeed with comments like "No to Vlad the Impaler" or "Reasons to Vote for Vlad (and Tammy Too)"? Is this civil discourse? Does this advance our understanding of anything?

Agreed, my repsonses to LASD Parent and Voter in particular were snarky, and for that I apologize. (I plead aggrevated irritation.) But they didn't contain baseless accusations; they didn't attack someone's character or alleged motivation; they didn't offer false choices or use non sequiturs.

The question of whether I am capable of representing ALL LASD students is a fair one, and deserves a reply. But no way am I going to attempt an answer until the temperature drops well below boiling. Catch me then.


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Posted by Vladimir G. Ivanovic
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2014 at 12:53 am

I have one more comment. I said, "sufficient trust hasn't built up for me to feel comfortable that the BCS representative would..."

I regrettably wrote that in haste in reaction the horrible things being said here. (It's an example of precisely the kind of questioning of people's motives that I deplore.) I was thinking more about the postings here than about any actual BCS parents. A BCS parent who is not there to forward the interests of any one school would do just as well as a parent of any other school. All should be judged by the same standard.

So, my sincere apologies to any BCS parents I might have slighted, and in particular to Charles who made a reasonable suggestion that I just caught at the wrong moment. I appreciate his efforts to bridge the gap and his careful thoughts about our issues. Thank you Charles.

And I'll let those that love this conflict continue in the hopes that they destroy themselves and let the rest of us get on to working together for the better of our community.


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Posted by Vote for Vlad and Tammy Too
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2014 at 7:15 am

My post wasn't attack. I was pointing out that you, Mr. Ivanovic are clearly for the status quo which goes something like this:

Everything awesome, all of our schools are awesome, nothing is broken don't change anything unless it is the pet project of a board member ( all day kinder). We know what's best. Still working on getting rid of BCS, we will figure out something. We will spend money on what ever you want, library in the trees, preforming arts center, sky lights, solar panels, more office space until we run out of money . We will use eminent domaine to acquire property. We don't need actual STEM or foreign language or Arts programs we can just pretend that we do when some schools have them sort of. Don't worry you can pay any enrichment programs and your kids to them after school. Everything is awesome, don't worry the extra donation spent at Gardner is just a demonstration project that's why it didn't follow the donation rules. Don't worry if it costs so much more to run the very small school at Gardner, everyone there is giving big donations to LAEF including all those people that don't even live here. Everything is awesome. Don't worry Crossings there are close by schools but we need you to drive all the way to the Crossings so we don't have to share Covington with BCS. Everything is awesome. Don't worry parents of six grade students that want their children to be at the middle schools we know best, we need your child at our k-6 campuses so we don't have redraw attendance boundaries. Everything is so awesome. Vote for Vlad and Tammy.


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Posted by Moving on2
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2014 at 7:30 am

According to Wikipedia, this is the definition of "leadership." Per Mr Ivanovic's own response above, I think he can be safely disqualified as leader potential for LASD, LA, LAH, MV. Let's move on folks and focus on the other candidates and hope they learn from his missteps.

Leadership has been described as "a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task".[1] For example, some understand a leader simply as somebody whom people follow, or as somebody who guides or directs others,[citation needed] while others define leadership as "organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal".[citation needed]

Studies of leadership have produced theories involving traits,[2] situational interaction, function, behavior, power, vision and values,[3] charisma, and intelligence, among others.


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Posted by Vote for Vlad and Tammy Too
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2014 at 7:32 am

Correction:

We don't need actual STEM or foreign language or Arts programs we can just pretend that we have them when some schools have them sort of. We have to use the seniority system so we can't have actual science teachers, or arts teachers as staff members. Don't worry you can pay for any enrichment programs and send your kids to them after school.

Don't worry Crossings there are schools that are closer by but we need you to drive all the way to the Covington so we don't have to share Covington with BCS.

AND

Everything is awesome we are pretending that the growth is all Mountain View's fault when really it is coming from the turn over in Los Altos. Demographically that's not really long term growth but don't tell anyone that the LASD enrollment in the lower grades is much less than the upper grades.

Everything is awesome but we need to pretend that we need a new school so that we can get this bond passed, but we really want to spend the money on is media centers. It's the nineties don't you know. We need computer rooms connected to the library. Who needs computers in carts in the classroom when you can have them in the media center?

Did I miss something Mr. Ivanovic? You are of the everything is awesome camp ( except for BCS), aren't you? You want the bond to pass and then if you are in charge of spending it things like installing skylights at Covington because some how this recently remolded school isn't up to code will be the main focus, correct?


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Posted by Charles B.
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 31, 2014 at 8:20 am

@vladimir - apology accepted. I have been caught more than once also in writing things that didn't reflect my thought. I admit also that recognizing mistakes require a level of humility and maturity needed to be a trustees

@school-land-inLASDpart-ofMV - I understand your strategy that building a school in MV could slow the growth. However, it may bite back. Commercial properties in MV pay taxes to the district. Offices pay taxes to the school district. The superintendent has sent not too long ago a comparaison between PASD and LASD (because of allegation by another group). In essence, the difference in funding was largely due to office and commercial . It is my understanding that a revitalization of MV would increase the tax base for LASD. Furthermore, the housing is mostly studio and 1 bedroom. In contrast , most LA new houses are 2-4 bedrooms. The yield ( number of kids per house) is very low in the new construction in MV as per the superintendent assessment in a letter to the city of Mountain View.

Finally, to all that believe that NEC does't have a neighborhood school, I would like to remind people that half the population (Palo Alto and Del Medio) does have a neighborhood school called Santa Rita. The only group that doesn't have a school close by is "the crossing" neighborhood. If a school was built in NEC, it would have to take a huge chunk of almond boundary, which most houses are very far from their school as well. Parents from almond should be careful in asking for a school in MV, they need to think about the impact. The NEC school could be the new Almond.


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Posted by school-land-inLASDpart-ofMV
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2014 at 11:07 am



excerpts from Posting by Charles B., a resident of The Crossings:
"@school-land-inLASDpart-ofMV - I understand your strategy that building a school in MV could slow the growth."

@Charles B., here is my response:
MV growth will never slow down until all of MV
and the surrounding city streets turn into parking lots. The
alarming rate at which development is progressing in MV despite the
current level of traffic speaks for itself.

To preserve the reasonable level of traffic in Los Altos, I would
say sell the school land on the Los Altos side and buy land in
the LASD area of MV. MV is so fond of high-density, the schools
can be upto 6 stories high and they should fit right into the
surroundings of MV.

MV has shown no consideration whatsoever -- MV is causing unbearable
traffic, allowing in-your-face apartment buildings (still
not clear how the San Antonio Phase-1 330 apartments got approved)
allowing office buildings, cinema, hotel in San Antonio Phase-2 given
the already-horrendous traffic, etc.

It is MV's prerogative to build, build and build until traffic comes
to a standstill. At the least MV should not create traffic gridlock
in Los ALtos by demanding that all the kids from LASD part of MV
attend schools in Los ALtos.

So, LASD should buy land in the LASD areas of MV and build as many
schools as possible in MV immediately. If LASD's school land in
Los Altos needs to be trimmed for this purpose, that is fine -- this
is a better option than creating traffic mess in Los Altos.




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Posted by Priorities
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I think that instead of focusing on passing a bond that the LASD Board priorities for this year should be:
1. getting the 6-8 program implemented for the 2015/2016 school year
2. Move BCS into Covington (beginning Fall 2015)
3. Redraw the attendance boundaries

After that is done I doubt there will be an overcrowding issue but the future enrollments could then be evaluated without all the baggage of the BCS-LASD conflict.

If the board energies are focused on the above tasks they could be implemented by next year. I'm kind of tired of hearing that Covington can't be given to BCS because there's too much anger and opposition. I think the opposition comes from a very vocal minority of parents with a vendetta and the board should be focused on fiscal responsibility/ budget management not on playground monitoring of bullies vs bullies.

If the BOARD were to present the above scenario to the public showing how low enrollment could be accomplished with existing facilities and no new taxes I think they would regain some lost trust and garner taxpayer support. I would think that even Covington parents would support this because it seems to me that if the budget has to be stretched over more schools that services will be reduced and class size increased. If I were a Covington parent I'd rather move my kid to a new school than have bigger classes and fewer programs.

I won't support a bond for an unnecessary new school (or whatever the heck they ACTUALLY intend to spend the money on since they're not really saying) but after the enrollments were redistributed and IF the district showed need for improved programs or facilities I would support a bond for that.


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Posted by Questions for Vladamir
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2014 at 12:25 pm

@Vladamir - I guess the best way to find out where you stand on issues is to ask you directly:
1. Do you support switching from the current K-6/ 7-8 program to a K-5 and 6-8 program?
2. If yes how soon would you do it?

3.. Do you support moving BCS into Covington?
4. If yes how soon would you do it?

4. In light of what is being described as overcrowding (and the study showing no difference in outcomes between half and full day) do you support Full Day kindergarten?


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Posted by Voter
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2014 at 2:53 pm

@ Vladimir C Ivanovic

Thank you very much for replying to my post. Here is your post:


Posted by Vladimir G. Ivanovic, a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 6:50 pm
@Voter

"Please sketch out how you would "make better use of facilities, using available property and redrawing attendance boundaries." Your plan will need to accomodate 1000 more students than the last time we had 9 schools and 100+ new students every year. You get bonus points if you also accommodate BCS's desire for their own campus."

If you want to use just existing facilities and not construct any new schools then the plan suggested by Priorities would work.

Here is how I would create a school using available property to build new schools, In the order that I would do them:
1. Install a gym, science labs, music rooms and a track ( using a portion of Rosita for the track) at Covington.
2. When the facilities are finished move six graders to the middle schools.
3. Move BCS to the current Egan site, Move Egan to Covington, split Covington up between Gardner ( SFEx students), Santa Rita (Crossings, Old Mill) Almond, Springer and Loyola.
4. If needed move the district offices to the current BCS at Blach site, or move the Parent Preschool and the pre k -1 special education students there.
5. If needed construct a school for a portion of the NEC at the current BCS at Egan site. This school would include both sides of San Antonio and both sides of El Camino. It would address the growth that is happening in the north end of the Almond attendance area - Los Altos Garden Center. It could also pick up the new apartments near the Carwash that might add some students. The design with entry off of San Antonio is a good one.
6. ADD IN BUSES for all LASD and BCS students. If will reduce traffic and make it safer for all of our students and make our community a better place for everyone.



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Posted by Priorities
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2014 at 5:00 pm

@ Voter - these are all gret ideas but why move Egan to Covington and BCS to Egan? Why not move BCS to Covington and be done? The campus is big enough for K-8.


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Posted by Bikes2work
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 31, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Bikes2work is a registered user.

I totally agree with Voter.

There aren't any willing sellers of land North of El Camino anyway. Eminent Domain is an option, but it will be contested in the courts by an unwilling landowner. They will probably lose, but the process will take years. We all know how long court actions take to get resolution.


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Posted by Voter
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Trying to make the best use of space with room to fit in a school for part of NEC.


















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Posted by Anon
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2014 at 5:33 pm

I agree with Priorities ...

Move BCS to Covington, go to K-5,6-8 configuration and redraw boundaries.

(Moving Egan to Covington would mean no middle school at the north end of the district... Plus it would make sense for BCS to be in a more central location since it draws from the whole district.)

No school aged kids in our household - just taxpayers who are frustrated with how much time and money have been spent on battles rather than on education, and with how Egan and Blach campuses have been impacted. Fix the problem and we'll be more likely to vote for a smaller, better defined bond in the future.


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Posted by Priorities
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2014 at 5:46 pm

If there was a need for a new NEC school (and that's a big "if",) I think there would probably still be room to put it at Egan. I think they have 20 acres there.


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Posted by Voter
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2014 at 7:21 pm

I think either plan would accomplish the three most pressing needs:

1. Reduce overcrowding or future overcrowding.
2. Finds a location for BCS which will be almost 15% or the district next year.
3. Gets BCS off the middle school campuses.

Both of these have the added bonus of providing a better program to LASD six graders, who really should be at middles, where they will have access to more age appropriate facilities.

It also allows funds to do upgrades at every LASD campus if and when a bond passes.

In any event - its a hard run around Covington - aka the Hutts. Even though these plans make sense they will fight it to the end. Maybe adding in a BCS preference area for Covington would help?

Its an interesting problem - Is it better to keep things the way they are and let the crowding get worse ( right now mostly crowding at BCS and parking drop off at Egan and Blach? Or is it better to have one less k-6 LASD school with the six graders district wide having a better program? Covington certainly has many other schools in its neighborhood, so keeping Covington isn't about small neighborhood schools. With six graders at the middles every school will be smaller or about the same size. Every student at Covington (except the kids from the Crossings) Have another school in their neighborhood that they could walk or ride bikes to. You can't move the six graders to the middles without moving BCS so is it worth the trade?














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Posted by Priorities
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2014 at 8:50 pm

I think it's absolutely worth the trade off. I don't see any downsides to the above proposal and they are the obvious solution to all of the problems that are plaguing the district. I have always felt that giving BCS preference to Covington neighborhood kids (not NEC kids because its not logical) is reasonable at least for a few years.

For how long will the Hutts control the entire community? Holding the taxpayers and the kids' education hostage for their petty fight has gone on long enough. The Hutts can fight to the end but without community support they won't win. I think the truth about what's going on needs to be discussed more openly and frequently so that the entire taxpayer base understands what's going on. Spending $150M of taxpayer money just so we don't ruffle the Hutts feathers (or so they can save face) is criminal. Perhaps electing a board that is not invested in keeping the Hutts happy will help.


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Posted by Service to LA
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 7:46 am

@ Priorities

"Spending $150M of taxpayer money just so we don't ruffle the Hutts feathers (or so they can save face) is criminal. Perhaps electing a board that is not invested in keeping the Hutts happy will help."


Great point, I never really thought of it that way but that is exactly what is going on.


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Posted by Let it go
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 9:42 am

The BCS Bullies (mostly one "person") continue to swamp the community with mis-information and insults. It will be a good day when BCS loses their charter status and we can all see how wonderfully they do as a private school WITHOUT free access to facilities on expensive land and lots of taxpayer dollars.


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Posted by Priorities
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:42 am

Yes it's amazing. Here's what I think:
The whole "need for another school" is political - a fabrication to avoid giving Covington to BCS because the Hutts will die before they let that happen. A 6-8 program is widely recognized as better for the 6th graders and almost every district in the country uses it but they keep 6th at the elementary to artificially create "overcrowding". So that justifies (to the public) their need for an additional school. I think the plan was to give the new school to BCS (without really saying that) because otherwise the lawsuits will continue. That's likely why BCS agreed to the truce and to support the bond. But then the neighbors of Rosita and McKenzie threw a monkey wrench in the plan by fighting to save their parks. That gave rise to the idea (amongst the public, that thinks we really do need an additional school) that the new school should be NEC. However an NEC school does nothing to solve the problem of where to put BCS. And if after building a new school BCS still doesn't have a campus the lawsuits will begin again big time. So it's hard to know what the board is planning now since they've promised that Rosita and McKenzie will not be used for a school.

What we do know is that none of this is necessary - we have enough room for everybody on the existing campuses if they'd give Covington to BCS.


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Posted by Bikes2work
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:53 am

Bikes2work is a registered user.

"So it's hard to know what the board is planning now"

And that is the primary problem with the $150 million dollar bond question. Taxpayers don't like writing blank checks, and the LASD tax load is already quite extreme.


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Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 1, 2014 at 1:47 pm

actually - quite some interesting thinking (and not as much rant-as-usual from your 'civil' wars :)
@DavidR (registered) 16AC district land + 6 AC city park is plenty for 2 schools and a wonderful multi-use, multi-generational site. Like Bubb and Theuerkauf-DO-Stevenson, or Whisman School (Park) this works out really nicely. Great idea IMO. (eminent domain does work, probably not needed)
@school-land-in-LASD I don't think you understand the political/tax realities of cities and schools. LASD gets all the school tax money from NER properties. If another bond passes - LASD will tax these properties (new commercial at San Antonia Center) and get every single dollar. Now you have the Mayor of MV opposing your school bond? (ballot argument?)
@service to LA, your paragraph about 'service to all kids' then realization, maybe there is 'a special' LASD elementary neighborhood. That's politics. Without a "rational plan" argued and debated beforehand? This will still pass - maybe even with a "plan before borrow" anti-bond-now campaign. With $150M sitting there - approved- the fighting will get even more interesting to watch! (you poor guys)


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Posted by VoteNoOnN
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 2:01 pm

The level of incompetence in proposing this tax levy rises to a very high level. In this case, we need to send these petty bureaucrats a message. Our goal should be not just to defeat this ill-conceived bond measure. We should strive to reject it by the widest possible margin. Send them a message! Stop playing around with other people's money! Go for a 55% No vote. Make them sit up and pay attention the next time instead of proposing a mess like they have.

That's what their committee can work on over the next year. Then come back if there really turns out to be the need for money.


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Posted by Voter
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 3:15 pm

@Steven Nelson

At least two of candidates running (Logan, Ivanovic) are super political but are not very good at it. Who ever is on the board is going to have to make tough decisions, be brave and decisive and not make every angry. Tricky. They are going to have to decide on the big question - should LASD continue with the Big Lie.

Is it more important to continue the sham idea that Los Altos is a district of small neighborhood schools? (LASD actually has assigned attendance boundary schools) If the bond passes there are about 300,000,000 in planned projects, some of them good, some of them wasteful, but it is still 150,000,000 more than they will actually have to spend. If preserving small neighborhood schools is the main focus then the NEC should get a school, since it is the largest true neighborhood without a school.

If preserving small neighborhood is the focus then the best way to do that is move six grade to the middle school and place BCS at Covington. Most students in the Covington attendance area would still have a school in their neighborhood if Covington was reassigned to BCS.

If the bond funds go to preserving small neighborhood schools, difficult choices will need to be made. It's not a good idea to have bad politicians running this. They will over promise and over spend and most likely try to steer funds to their own pet projects. I think most people are going to look at who is likely to be on the board and go from there. If it looks like Tammy and Vlad will be elected I am voting no. I am encouraged by Mr. Luther, he seems to be trying to think independently. With Smith and Goines gone he may turn into a decent Trustee. Mr. Tagilio is one of the Trustees that governs for his own kids school, unfortunately that school is Covington. Making easier solutions is difficult to do. It really is in the best interest of the district to repurpose Covington but the Hutts will block it.


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Posted by CH
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 4:45 pm

LA and MV have created the increased school enrollment by permitting rampant growth in high-density housing - the cost of increasing the size of the schools should have fallen on the developers and purchasers of this housing, as this is the core of the problem. As a long-time homeowner in Los Altos, who fully paid for my children's education with my own funds, I'm not feeling the need to be so generous as to pay out of my pocket for building new facilities that are needed because of new housing.

I'm more willing to support a parcel tax than an assessed valuation tax because it better matches the costs with the benefits. Of course, paying tuition for each child best matches the costs with the benefits - but I've long ago had to abandon the idea that government was going to fairly assess their costs on the people.


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Posted by Priorities
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 5:18 pm

I'm voting No regardless of who wins. They can always try to pass the bond again next year if they get their act together. Before handing a check to LASD I want to see who's on the board, how they approach this whole mess and I want to see the enrollment and spending plan clearly defined to the taxpayers before I'll support it. If we pass the bond now, particularly with no defined spending plan, we will have no control over what they do with the money. The bond is the only leverage we have over board support of the Hutts.

What do we know about Sangeeth Peruri and John Swan? I've heard nothing from either of them.


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Posted by Win-win?
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 5:45 pm

How much community support do the Hutts have? The question is whether the anti-BCS crowd hates BCS more than they care about their own kids (or the other kids in the district if they're not current parents). If moving BCS to Covington is the most cost effective solution to the problem then that leaves more money to do improvements to the other schools. That seems to me like a win-win for most because even folks who don't care about the BCS kids should want the best for the other LASD kids.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by charter-vs-lasd-clarification-request
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 6:31 pm


Background -- I do not have any understanding about the need for charter
school when we already have a schoold district with its schools.
So, I am a neutral party just trying to understand the root cause
of the strong sentiments from the two capms.

Aren't we duplicating efforts when we have two "public school" systems
BCS and LASD competing with each other? And from what I see on the news
boards including this one, the competition does not appear to be friendly
or healthy.

(1)
I am not that familiar with the charter school vs. LASD saga.
Is this unique to LASD?

(2)
Are there other school districts in the bayarea and across the
country where the two co-exist peacefully and complement each other?

(3)
Why can't we all work together and just have one public school system?
What is the need for a charter school?

Again, I am a neutral observer trying to learn the whys and why-nots
of BCS & LASD merger. Has anyone considered merging BCS & LASD?

Thanks!


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Posted by The story
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 6:44 pm

@charter vs LASD
This egg cannot be unscrambled. You can read the story here. Web Link


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Posted by Info about charter schools
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 6:47 pm

The Charter Schools Act of 1992 states:

It is the intent of the Legislature...to provide opportunities for teachers, parents, pupils, and community members to establish and maintain schools that operate independently from the existing school district structure, as a method to accomplish all of the following:

(a) Improve pupil learning.

(b) Increase learning opportunities for all pupils, with special emphasis on expanded learning experiences for pupils who are identified as academically low achieving.

(c) Encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods.

(d) Create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the school site.

(e) Provide parents and pupils with expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system.

(f) Hold the schools established under this part accountable for meeting measurable pupil outcomes, and provide the schools with a method to change from rule-based to performance-based accountability systems.

(g) Provide vigorous competition within the public school system to stimulate continual improvements in all public schools. Ed. Code §47601(a)-(g).


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Posted by charter-vs-lasd-clarification-request
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 7:09 pm

@The Story
and
@Info about charter schools
Thank you for educating me on the topic.

Once we come to a point where the competition is healthy
and all the kids in LASD get to choose between BCS & LASD schools
freely, we will have a great system in action.

Thanks again!


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Posted by Not gonna happen...
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 7:25 pm

To All the Fanatics: Even if McClatchie and Swan win (both highly unlikely), you will still not have a board that would EVER hand over Covington to BCS, nor change the grade configuration for any other reason than better educational outcomes. This isn't HAE "control". The one thing LASD supporters generally agree on is that no existing school community should be shut down in favor of the charter. No conceivable Board makeup will change that after the next election.

BCS has a home (2 homes actually), and does not need a dedicated campus. Vote "Yes" on the bond, and hold the trustees accountable for appropriate use of the funds. Sustaining our outstanding school district is in EVERYONE's interest.


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Posted by The story
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 8:10 pm

@charter vs LASD - all the kids get to choose freely now between BCS and LASD. It's just that the demand for BCS is greater than the space they have available so they do a lottery. I believe their plan is to expand to 900 K-8 students so as they grow more kids will be able to attend.


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Posted by Service to LA
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Yep,
Kids at BCS and LASD should be crowded in and LASD kids should be deprived of a better education for six grade students just so Covington remains in LASD hands, even if isn't the best thing for all LASD students.


That's the problem in a nutshell, adults are putting politics first and the education of children last.

If you look at recent history it is a recurring problem.

Gardner Bullis was reopened to try and lure BCS families back to LASD and to keep LAH from succeeding and forming it's own district. - 20 million was borrowed at high interest rates that we will be paying for a long time, long time
BCS families did not come back and to fill the school they forced families from the Santa Rita neighborhood to truck across Foothill Expressway every morning in addition LASD invited in PAUSD LAH families that do not pay taxes to LASD. They cost us money AND if schools are so crowded why are they still here?

ALSO

When Gardner was reopened Covington was drained of students so LASD had to find a way to fill it. That is why the Crossings/Old Mill go to Covington. .

Covington serves a neighborhood that already has 3 other schools. Crossings students serve Covington to keep it open.


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Posted by Priorities
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Well there you have it folks. @Not gonna happen showed up to demonstrate everything I said above. The BCS haters would rather not move the 6th graders to relieve overcrowding (while depriving them of better programs) JUST to avoid giving Covington to BCS, leaving the taxpayers to pay for an unnecessary new school. All they care about is "winning" (at the expense of the rest of us). Such great role models and a great way to teach the kids in the district how to solve problems. I hope that the community recognizes what's happening and elects more reasonable people to the school board.


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Posted by HAEters
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:06 pm

@ Priorities -
I think the term is actually BCS HAEters or maybe it just I must control everyone around me, can't stand it if not everyone is the same so I HAEte anyone who thinks a different education program might be better for their child.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:24 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

It's interesting all the twists and turns that the comments here have taken. To comment on just a few of them:

- The charter school in LASD does not have the overhead of being a district. It's an independent charter school which operates without a large overhead, unlike any district. Even if it is given 2 self contained locations, it counts as just one school. It even serves grades K-8, still just as one school. It is more nimble and more efficient and it outsources some functions to the county, which is set up for that. (So does LASD, but the charter uses still more county services than does LASD). We pay for the county operations, so why not use them?

- People miss the point if they think Bullis MUST be after Covington. I think things could work out fine if Bullis were just allowed to operate AT Covington, along side a district school. The district schools are headed DOWN in size. When they all shrink to average 450 students, there will be room for a large school to populate the 16 acres at Covington. It will just mean some changes for that smaller school, which will no longer get 12 acres of space to ramble around on. That would NOT be so bad. Gardner Bullis only uses 7 acres or so of its campus, even if it does stretch back and cover 10 acres.

- The big problem in this planning is NEC. No one is advocating for them. It's not a question of the growth. THe big problem is the EXISTING student population which has lacked its own dedicated assigned local school for 10 or more years. It is now around 600 students, and if you think growth will occur, you need to plan for a similar population at the NEC school as you expect at Bullis Charter--i.e. 800 to 1100 students. NEC probably needs 2 separate sites because it's not a charter school with a K-8 program That's around 1000 K-6 students, which falls under the LASD mantra of having small neighborhood schools. It's not fair to use them as filler at other schools. Once you open a local campus you have to provide for ALL of the kids from the area that fall into the grade range.

That's the way I see it anyway. It doesn't matter WHO gets elected or WHY. These are just the facts of the situation.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:33 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:41 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

That's not me. My comments stand. The San Antonio kids and the Bullis kids have it in common that they both lack their own school sites. So what? Bullis Charter has kids from the San Antonio area mixing with kids from every other neighborhood of LASD. I find it odd that the joker monitors this so closely that he posts his joke immediately after I make a sincere comment.


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Posted by MV Parent
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 1, 2014 at 11:47 pm

DavidR's comment saying that San Antonio kids are "mixing" with Los Altos kids and that they should have their "own" school is disgusting. This is exactly the attitude that has fragmented the school district. The ultra -rich want their "own" private -but-publicly funded school and the merely rich LAltans want their kids separated from MV families.

I sincerely hope that people like DavidR are few.... :(


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Posted by Priorities
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2014 at 12:08 am

@DavidR - why would we want to operate two schools at Covingon? If the 6th graders are moved to Egan and Blach and BCS moves into Covington and the Covington kids redistributed, according to your numbers all the schools will be under 560 kids. If at that point the enrollment justifies a new school we could add it to either Egan or Covington but why would we want to take on the expense of administrating another school unnecessarily?

As for NEC I haven't heard many NEC parents clamoring for their own school. I agree that neighborhood schools are nice but I've heard that some of the NEC parents don't want it. Shouldn't that segment of the population be polled as to what they want? And how could the district ever afford to buy the most expensive land, then build and operate a school on it?

I have no kids in the district and have never been a part of BCS. I'm just a taxpayer that hopes the community will be paying attention and that the new LASD board will be financially responsible and avoid wasteful spending.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2014 at 12:51 am

DavidR is a registered user.

@Priorities:

Certain school board candidates want to put a maximum size on the LASD elementary schools of 500 students. That translates into needing a lot more schools and doing a lot more limiting of class sections forcing kids to go to a different school when one gets 'full'. Having this many schools means here is a real issue in allocating 16 acres to just one of them. So, that's why you'd want to put 2 schools at Covington--it being 16 acres large, pretty huge for a simple elementary school serving a very small neighborhood area.

In the end, you could size your schools at a max of 250 for that matter. You'd really need to share land then. The 10 acre size found at LASD schools is large enough for 700 students under the land-generous state guidelines and the capacity of the land only goes up if you have a large area of usable land vs. hilly like Gardner. The truth is many areas don't have anywhere near 10 acres of land per school, especially if they have the smaller size of school like 300 or 350 students. It just gets to be ridiculous if you have a sub 400 student school to acquire 10 acres of land just for the sake of past history. These days with land costing $10 Million per acre in Los Altos and Mountain View (Los Altos Hills is cheaper only because it tends to be hilly and only partly buildable), you just cannot afford 10 acre schools for these small groups of students. Trying to excuse the San Antonio area and treating these kids differently is blatant discrimination. If you are going to provide 10 acres per 400 students then you are going to need 3 10 acre campuses to house the potential 1100 kids from the San Antonio area in LASD. It's yin and yang. You can't go saying these kids should go to school on the roof of a shopping mall because they are different. That's an example of the kind of crazy thinking that has permeated all this discussion about evening things up and treating San Antonio kids fairly. At present with the San Antonio kids being assigned to 3 different Los Altos locations, growth would mean that these 3 schools would get to be *gasp* 650 or 750 students. So if you don't add schools to cover the area then how do you decide which kids from San Antonio go local and which ones travel miles across Los Altos? They all live close in together? What would you do? Even addresses to to Los ALtos and odd addresses go to the new school that LASD has postulated for San Antonio. It all goes round and round The main issue is that there is talk of significant growth and failure to recognize that for the past 5 years 500+ kids from San Antonio proximate residences in MV have already been attending school in Los Altos. You've got to consider that any growth doesn't do away with the current number of students. Any new school has to handle more than growth--it has to handle the combined number of current plus that growth. LASD priorities have not provided them with transportation service despite the distance impeding walking and biking much more so than for the kids who live in Los Altos. It's been very unequal treatment.


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Posted by Rude
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2014 at 1:42 am

Fun to watch davy rude's attempt to create dissentiion between Los altos and MV. The more he blathers, the more we all see the crazy.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2014 at 4:24 am

I can imagine a scenario in which Covington phases out in stages as the BCS presence there increases, but having that play out over more than a couple of years would lead to unnecessary and expensive overhead. In addition, I'd prefer to avoid situations in which there are interfaces that need to be managed. Let the district offices remain there, but the kids move to other schools. (With Crossings kids moving to the closer Almond campus.)

Blach and Egan need to reclaim their entire sites to be able to host 6-8 grades. One of the more interesting comments made in response to the study done a couple of years ago by the LASD staff was that some/many sixth grade teachers appear to prefer working in schools with a 6-8 configuration rather than an elementary school environment, and that that was making it difficult to recruit the best teachers for LASD. It's time to have another look at that study. It would be so short sighted to allow an irrational attachment to one campus prevent doing what makes academic sense.

Meanwhile, No on the poorly designed bond measure.






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Posted by Anon
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2014 at 4:24 am

I can imagine a scenario in which Covington phases out in stages as the BCS presence there increases, but having that play out over more than a couple of years would lead to unnecessary and expensive overhead. In addition, I'd prefer to avoid situations in which there are interfaces that need to be managed. Let the district offices remain there, but the kids move to other schools. (With Crossings kids moving to the closer Almond campus.)

Blach and Egan need to reclaim their entire sites to be able to host 6-8 grades. One of the more interesting comments made in response to the study done a couple of years ago by the LASD staff was that some/many sixth grade teachers appear to prefer working in schools with a 6-8 configuration rather than an elementary school environment, and that that was making it difficult to recruit the best teachers for LASD. It's time to have another look at that study. It would be so short sighted to allow an irrational attachment to one campus prevent doing what makes academic sense.

Meanwhile, No on the poorly designed bond measure.






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Posted by SunnyD
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2014 at 7:16 am

Close Covington and give that campus to BCS. Move 6th grade to middle school. Re-draw attendance areas. Done.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2014 at 7:47 am

"Close Covington and give that campus to BCS. Move 6th grade to middle school. Re-draw attendance areas. Done. "

Yes to this, assuming BCS agrees to a cap in attendance to avoid more lawsuits over facilities in the future.

Then come forward with a well-defined bond to address any necessary upgrades (replace portables where reasonable, upgrade science facilities, etc) and let administrators and teachers focus on academics rather than dealing with lawyers and adjudicating placement of lockers and allowable travel paths.

However one might feel about charter schools in general or BCS in particular .. or about the competence of the LASD Board of Trustees .. it is way beyond time to stop wasting energy and money on discord. Let's come up with a long term solution, not just a blank check bond and the semblance of a short term truce.


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Posted by Lee
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 2, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Lee is a registered user.

Not gonna happen writes:

"The one thing LASD supporters generally agree on is that no existing school community should be shut down in favor of the charter. "

I am wondering if LASD supporters generally agree with that. Many LASD supporters have told me personally that they think BCS should have it's own school, most even volunteer what school they think should be turned over to BCS, usually Covington, sometimes Gardner. What they generally do agree on is that it would be great to have BCS off of Egan. ( I am sure we will start hearing it would be great to have BCS off a Blach)

Many parents really like the middle schools, in fact they think it is a far superior program to the elementary schools, and would like their kids to be there for three instead of two years. I am wondering if people are really willing to support keeping everything the way it is just so BCS doesn't gets its own campus?

With a specific plan presented, maybe with some kind of preference for Covington students at BCS, I think that you many find the policy of keeping Covington from being repurposed for BCS has little support in the wider LASD community. Especially when that means that BCS remains at the middles and the middles remain 7-8


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2014 at 10:28 pm

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[Post removed due to some other violation of terms of use]


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Posted by Lee
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 2, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Lee is a registered user.

I would like to vote yes on a bond, but It won't be this one. It is too ill conceived, very similar to the last bond. I do think BCS families are happy with the agreement. I actually think that it is two very different groups from LASD that do not like it:

1. The diehard anti charter school crowd - they were in this war to end charter schools, all charter schools not just BCS. I believe that the HAE is working with other anti school choice groups ( mostly funded by the California Teacher's Association and other unions ) to try and get restrictive laws passed.

2. Parents that want more rigor in LASD schools. They really want to move six graders to the middle schools and the agreement with BCS makes that very unlikely.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2014 at 12:15 am

DavidR is a registered user.

Once again, the David R post 2 before this is not from me. My username is DavidR. That guy is using a front of DavidR in order to impersonate me. I have no idea what his problem is or what he is even thinking.


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Posted by Landers
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2014 at 1:38 am

Landers is a registered user.

@DavidR if somebody impersonates you why don't you just comment under another name? You must have complained because now the blog is pretty much shut down because you can only comment by logging in or registering.


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Posted by Mark S
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2014 at 3:26 am

Mark S is a registered user.

I agree with the DavidR poster in a desire for peace and harmony between BCS and LASD where no kids have a community disrupted by closing a school. That is a great comment to make DavidR. What kind of a person would have trouble with that sentiment?


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Posted by Landers
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2014 at 9:04 am

Landers is a registered user.

Actually you can't even view the comments unless you're logged in so this blog is done. Too bad - there were over 3400 views and I think it helps to create awareness of all aspects of issues like these.


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Posted by Just Say No to Kool-Aide
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 3, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Just Say No to Kool-Aide is a registered user.

Tired of the posers. They don't have enough IQ points to fool anyone here, but they are trying anyway. David Roode is a good guy who is fighting the good fight. If you don't agree with his points then post a counter argument.

@ Landers -
Everyone can view the posts here. You don't need to be logged in.


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Posted by Lee
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 3, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Lee is a registered user.

I wonder why someone would go to all of that trouble? Super strange. Most BCS families are happy to not have to live in fear of the district this year, but saying that they were overjoyed was a dead give away.


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Posted by DRoode
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2014 at 7:18 pm

DRoode is a registered user.

I am in full support of the bond. Enrollment is growing, Bullis Charter needs a home that doesn't impact an existing school, and we must place value in what makes LASD a great educational choice.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2014 at 9:42 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

"Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, Who have eyes but do not see; Who have ears but do not hear." This bond thing is not an LASD vs. BCS issue. The wasteful approach that has been taken does limit its impact to any one group of people.

Talking about building a new school on the roof of shopping center is an example of an approach which is a non-starter and a waste of time. There are two simple problems with the approach: (1) This is not a safe and secure way to construct a school which is in keeping with the treatment by LASD of all the other schools. (2) There is little cost saving, because these multi-story projects are common and the rights to the 2nd and higher stories are nearly as valuable as the land rights to build a one story building by itself. Most of the new projects being proposed already have 4 or more stories, and even as many as 8.

There are indeed cheaper ways to construct a school, but they don't involve eminent domain or even acquiring a complete new school site. Just split the exiting large parcels of land and construct a 2nd school on existing land. The past 14 years have proven that works at Egan except from the problem of handling traffic. A better solution to divert traffic while still sharing the Egan 20 acre site is here: tinyurl.com/portola-new

Constructing a new school for 1000 students to serve the projected population for the San Antonio Mountain View LASD area could easily cost $50 Million just for site finishing (hardcourt, play fields, driveway, utility ingress) and construction of buildings. There's not enough funding available to also spend $100 Million on buying new land.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2014 at 9:48 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

It's also worth noting that all 7 of the LASD elementary schools involve 10 or more acres of land serving less than 600 children (average size less than 500). Building space occupies about 3 acres of the typical 10 acre site. 7 acres is reserved for outdoor areas that are seen as critical to the small school model found in Los Altos. How can anyone say it is fair and equivalent to not allow a 1000 student San Antonio school at least as much outdoor space as the 500 student schools that already exist? How do you get 7 acres of outdoor play area to share across 1000 students if you are designing the school buildings as an upper story of a shopping center?


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Posted by Lee
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 3, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Lee is a registered user.

From Ms. Logan's previous comments on the issue of a NEC school, she really seems to envision this school as a place to plunk BCS. Seems crazy to buy the most expensive property in the district, most likely having to result to eminent domaine, to purchase the site for a school that could anywhere in the district.

I certainly do not understand this idea, if you are going to go to all that trouble and expense, why not create a neighborhood school? Isn't that what LASD says is its main goal? Small neighborhood schools?



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Posted by Mark S
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2014 at 7:14 am

Mark S is a registered user.

There goes Mr Roode again. David is spinning and spinning pure conjectures into outright lies in an attempt to denigrate both the school district and our kids. David Roode, stop treating our kids like the lowest common denominator. You think packing them into ever increasing class sizes and decreased school acreage in an attempt to save down the last penny is more beneficial than the quality of education of our kids. At the same time you have NEVER stepped foot into a classroom, talked with our teachers, or participated in our district committees.

Slinging insults and criticism on how our proven top quality education system is so broken and inefficient while never stepping foot away from your computer just proves your ignorance.

No one will ever take you seriously as more than a rambling internet ghost until you step into the light of day and take part of the solution instead of causing the problem.

Will you ever come to a board meeting and communicate real concerns in person, talk to administration, or watch our classes in action? Simple question David.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2014 at 11:21 am

DavidR is a registered user.

@Mark S. Who said anything about increasing class sizes? LASD has always had below average class sizes. Last year The average class size for each grade were 22.56 for K, 22.15 for 1st, 21.09 for 2nd, 22.82 for 3rd, 24.51 for 4th, 25.8 for 5th and 27.37 for 6th grade. Overall it was 22.7. These are not expanded classroom counts. No squeezing has been done.

This is the chant of the school unions and the school bureaucrats. To be against wasteful planning of land use has NOTHING to do with harming the educational quality of the schools. WASTE is not necessary for good education.


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Posted by Mark S
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Mark S is a registered user.

Our classes are not that small. Again you trivialize by spouting out numbers out of context. Average is the wrong metric. Most schools have 25 and higher.

I'll ask you again, simple question:
"Will you ever come to a board meeting and communicate real concerns in person, talk to administration, or watch our classes in action?"


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2014 at 2:19 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

Your comment is not arithmetically believable. The average across all classes is reported as 22.7. To have most over 25 would make that impossible. The 25+ classes vary in number by school. Almond has 9 out of 22 non-SDC classes above 24. Gardner has only 3 out of 14 such classes. Covington is just 8 out of 22 and Loyola has the same 8 out of 22 non-SDC clases at size 25 or higher. Oak has 8 of 21, Santa Rita has 11 of 22 and Springer has 9 of 22. So you are factually incorrect in saying that MOST classes are 25+. In fact at every school half or less of classes (not counting the small SDC classes) is of a size of 25 or greater. The average is meaningful as this distribution shows.

Your personal question is not appreciated and is irrelevant to taxpayer waste concerns.


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Posted by Mark S
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Mark S is a registered user.

David, you do not have class numbers by school and by grade for this year. Why? Because you have no context than what you can find sitting behind your computer relying on outdated data, data that is incomplete, and your wrong interpretations.

David Roode, you have invested a lot of time and money behind your EACH PAC in criticizing our schools but not even trying to become a part of the solution. That's why my question is relevant. Otherwise your efforts will never be taken seriously. Just noise in the internet background.

Asking again, very simple question that you are avoiding: "Will you ever come to a board meeting and communicate real concerns in person, talk to administration, or watch our classes in action?"


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2014 at 3:11 pm

DavidR is a registered user.

To be clear, the numbers I presented where published by LASD not until months later, but they represent the official snapshot reported for 2013-2014 as of October 4, 2013.

These numbers are still valid inasumuch as data from LASD has reported that in grades K-6 only a total of 34 students were added, across all 7 elementary schools. The 'crowding' situation at LASD elementary schools has not changed since last year, student-wise. If anything, the class sizes will be smaller, when LASD finally releases the data. This is because LASD has added 15-20 additional portable classrooms this year for a total growth of only 110 students.


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Posted by Mark S
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Mark S is a registered user.

David Roode, you're still avoiding the question. This is not a personal attack. The article above quotes you extensively. You formed a PAC that spread misinformation to discredit our schools. You spent countless hours on social media doing the same. Therefore you ARE relevant but continue to be a ghost of the internet, as such no one takes you seriously. Even Ron Haley interacted with people in public to affect change.

I'll ask you again: "Will you ever come to a board meeting and communicate real concerns in person, talk to administration, or watch our classes in action?"


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Posted by Just Say No to Kool-Aide
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 4, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Just Say No to Kool-Aide is a registered user.

Time for the LASD crew to stop the shenanigans. Even life long schools supporters are not buying it this time. People are figuring out that LASD runs for the in crowd, Board Members, LAEF cronies, employees, parents that live next to schools, Hutts. This group of political insiders is happy to spend your money on fru fraught at each and every school. What they are not willing to do is give up power. They are large and in charge, at least in their own minds.

They need 55% to pass the bond, doesn't seem likely. Come up with a real plan and maybe it will have a chance.


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Posted by Mark S
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2014 at 7:23 am

Mark S is a registered user.

David Roode, why are you avoiding answering a very simple question? Why don't become a part of the solution and not a distributor of negative commentary hiding behind your computer by coming out to join in public meetings, talking to parents, and observing our schools in action? What is stopping you?


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Posted by Bikes2work
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 5, 2014 at 10:30 am

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An article in the Daily Post today reported that the PAUSD elementary (K-5) enrollment actually dropped by 97 students this year. Do we have the latest LASD enrollment numbers yet?


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2014 at 11:14 am

DavidR is a registered user.

Yes, the numbers have been unofficially released by comments in board meetings and in one case Tamara Logan posted the total. The increase such as it has been has mainly been in grades 7 and 8. The numbers are unofficial so not necessarily precisely what will be reported to the state and published in a few months. Blach this year is 530 vs 512 last year. Egan has kids attending who live in the Blach area so the break between schools is arbitrary. Egan this year ballooned sort of to 618 vs. last year's 560, i.e. over 10% at this one school. That means between both schools, 7th and 8th grade combined saw an increase of 76 students or 7% over last year.

The elementary enrollment saw a tiny increase on the order of 1%. This was totally predictable because of the way the upper grades have been 70-75 students smaller than the upper grades. Graduate 75 more 6th graders than you see enroll in K, and you reduce the population. This is the birth decline in actual effect. With switches from private to public and move-ins to the district, the net increase in K-6 year over year was just 34 which is just barely under 1% of last year's enrollment. (3471 became 3505).

The net change to the district as a whole was 4543 becoming 4653 or 2.4% for this year.


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Posted by DavidR
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2014 at 11:20 am

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The one striking thing about the LASD Board as it has operated over the last two years at least is that it does not pay attention to all the information presented to it in board meetings.

The demographer's analysis has been paid for by the district and yet the board continues to focus on expanding the number of elementary schools and spending money at the 7 elementary campuses. Yet the demographer has shown a birth decline effect is reducing enrollments at the elementary schools.

The district hires financial consultants on taxation and money raising (Bonds and Parcel taxes). They overlook data provided by these folks too. They also apparently don't heed the legal advice they also pay for. It can't have been recommended by the lawyers that the district would ultimately prevail in their quest to thwart the charter school by denying it facilities. At least now for the next 5 years they have come to their senses and are increasing the sharing of space marginally. This allows the charter school to drop litigation which has cost the district nearly $2 Million per year for the last few years. Why not provide adequate space in the first place? They have repeatedly used the excuse that they don't have space to share, but this is a contradiction, since the law just says, whatever you have just share it on a somewhat equal basis. Divide up the pie. The law doesn't say you can plead you need to bake a new pie before giving a slice to a charter school. The district's lawyers have certainly been advising the board of this fact but they have ignored the advice and plowed on with a waste of taxpayer funds.


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Posted by Mark S
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Mark S is a registered user.

More interpretations from the view of David Roode, wrong as usual. Again, David, stop avoiding the basic question. Why won't you come out from behind your computer and join the real world by engaging in honest conversations with real people? What has kept you hidden these past 2 years from engaging with board members, parents in the community, and seeing first hand how our schools are run? Otherwise everything you say is pure conjecture based on no real world experience.

So, what is your answer?


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Posted by almond parent
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm

almond parent is a registered user.

David Roode, why don't you answer the question already? If you can't answer that simple question why should I even pay attention to you?


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Posted by Landers
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Landers is a registered user.

These postings are beginning to look like harassment - Mark S asking the same question over and over again (which seems pretty ridiculous and has nothing to do with the online posts) and now joined by another. It's good to hear discussion on the topic but personal attacks are unwarranted and immature.


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Posted by LeeroyR
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2014 at 6:53 pm

LeeroyR is a registered user.

David Roode is a subject in the article above. He is also a source of many online postings against how the schools are run. I think the question is entirely relevant. I too would like to know why this person hides behind online postings instead of acting like the many other parents who do so much for this community by volunteering their time I work with LASD to improve our schools?


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Posted by Just Say No to Kool-Aide
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 5, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Just Say No to Kool-Aide is a registered user.

I think we can some this all up:

Don't like the message? Attach the messenger.


apparently over and over and over again. It's interesting that that the attacks on the messenger all come from the LASD side. Am I wrong? Attacks on BOT's and the hoping to be BOTs in this thread are not personal here, they give reasons - example Vlad's support of Joan J Strong shows bad judgement. Tammy Logan's actions at various city council meetings were not well received by those councils and did much more harm that good.

You know what might be more interesting? Why not discuss ways to improve LASD schools, because they are not as fantastic as you are claiming and every LASD parent knows it. Resting on good test scores, is a poor way to run a school district. Kids are more than test scores and schools should be teaching more than the material on the test. The fact that LASD devotes so much of the school day to what's on the test is not really a good thing.


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Posted by Just Say No to Kool-Aide
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 5, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Just Say No to Kool-Aide is a registered user.

Darn spell checker -
should be Attack the messenger although attaching things to the messenger is what they are trying to do…..


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Posted by Lee
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 5, 2014 at 7:36 pm

Lee is a registered user.

Many of the problems in LASD schools are caused by the seniority/tenure system. Teachers pick their assignment based on seniority regardless of their actual skill and qualifications. There is no reward for great teaching and taking risks to try new things. Its difficult to get teachers to do anything extra or new, in fact they are pressured by the union not to.

I wonder what everyone else thinks..... It seems to me that the best way to improve LASD schools would be a change in the tradition seniority system. assign teachers based on need. Reward teachers that are credentialed in math, science. Reward teachers that try new things. Reward teachers for good teaching. Stop rewarding for just sticking around.


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Posted by Just Say No to Kool-Aide
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 5, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Just Say No to Kool-Aide is a registered user.

@ Lee

You are right…. you can volunteer all your time and effort as a parent, but it won't do any good as long as the union is in charge. Some teachers deserve more pay. Some do not. LASD is completely controlled by unions. The best way to fix things is to vote for Trustees that support good teaching, not teachers unions.

Ms. Logan BTW has a long track record as CTA cheerleader.


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Posted by Mark S
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2014 at 8:31 pm

Mark S is a registered user.

I'm still interested in David Roode's reason for hiding behind an internet name for over 2 years and not taking any meaningful action by interacting face to face with those in charge? That is the best and only way to fix anything! There's a board meeting this Monday ready for him to make public comment. Will you be involved in the facility meetings David? Amazing how silent you have become David Roode.


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Posted by Landers
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Landers is a registered user.

One thing that I find funny is when folks think that the schools are great because they have high test scores when the reality is that the schools have great test scores because the kids being tested are smart kids that come from affluent, educated parents that are interested in their kids' education. Test scores are ALWAYS a reflection of the socio-economic level of the students and affluent kids will always score well (as a group) regardless of the quality of education being provided. So don't credit LASD for high test scores- credit the parents.


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Posted by MarkS
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 5, 2014 at 9:27 pm

MarkS is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


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Posted by MarkS
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 5, 2014 at 9:31 pm

MarkS is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


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Posted by MarkS
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 5, 2014 at 9:34 pm

MarkS is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


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Posted by Dread Pirate Roberts
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 5, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Dread Pirate Roberts is a registered user.

This thread has become filled with pathetic anti-LASD extremists making wild, unsupported claims like "LASD is controlled by the unions", or "LASD isn't that great", or "ALL the credit for good test scores goes to the parents" blah, blah, blah, blah, blah... Clearly each of these people have some personal axe to grind. Maybe for some reason their kid didn't have a good experience with LASD and they are out for vengeance. Or maybe they are so miserly they are willing to trash one of the top performing districts in the state to avoid paying a few hundred dollars a year in additional taxes to support the bond. Or maybe, like David Roode, they have developed a strange, unhealthy obsession with criticizing everything the LASD administration and Trustees do from the safety of his mom's basement.

Voters with children who have attended LASD (unlike David Roode) will make up their own minds on whether their experience merits further support of the district and this bond measure. But for the large percentage of LASD voters who don't have direct personal experience with the district, please, please do not be influenced by these vengeful, cheap, or just plain crazy people posting here. Talk to your friends and neighbors whose kids have attended LASD schools and ask about their personal experiences. Then form your own opinions, and voting decisions based on that. LASD isn't perfect, and the trustees are not without past mistakes, but I'm voting "yes" on the bond because the district has earned our support by serving this community well.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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