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Bullis, LASD battle 'escalating'

Original post made on May 6, 2013

The ongoing battle between Bullis Charter School and the Los Altos School District appears to be escalating -- with officials from both organizations accusing the other of breaking the law.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, May 6, 2013, 4:10 PM

Comments (31)

Posted by Criminals Hide, a resident of another community
on May 6, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Let us into your meetings. We, the tax payers, are funding you.


Posted by Criminals Hide, a resident of another community
on May 6, 2013 at 4:22 pm

correction: let us into OUR meetings.


Posted by Concerned Parent, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 6, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Please fund all kids equally and fairly. Out kids are being treated as third class citizens. LASD is using facilities to punish families that choose to send their kids to BCS. They are discriminating against kids that they are supposed to be providing facilities to. The facilities are far from equal, ask all the Santa Rita parents that spoke to the LASD Board. They all said that BCS facilities are terrible, that LASD kids shouldn't be sent there. So they weren't. No trading facilities. Clearly there are some LASD parents that feel that the BOT"S are justified in their actions, their own kids should get the best and BCS kids should suffer.


Posted by Parent, a resident of another community
on May 6, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Lots more comments on this article here:

Web Link


Posted by Figjam, a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 7, 2013 at 5:02 am

BCS has taken advantage of the Charter School mandate far beyond the original intention of the legislation. BCS has been consistently unreasonable in splitting the community schools taking precious educational funds away from all of OUR children for funding extensive litigation which they have LOST time and again. It is time for the Santa Clara County School Board to end this nonsense by pulling their charter. Then they can start their own private school, which is ultimately what they want but at our EXPENSE.


Posted by Bikes2work, a resident of The Crossings
on May 7, 2013 at 5:23 am

LASD has consistently ignored Prop 39 (the law) and denied reasonably equivalent facilities to BCS. LASD has unreasonably split BCS into 2 sites and now tries to illegally purchase land in another district. It is time the courts put a stop to their illegal actions and provide ALLl public school kids (charter kids too) within LASD boundaries equal access to proper facilities.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 7, 2013 at 9:34 am

The Bullis lawsuit request for a motion claims that BCS is the highest performing school within the district, with stellar APIs and wait lists. Yet at the same time the legal filing claims, without explaining how, LASD is "harming" the charter school with their facility offers.

If LASD is harming BCS, then how is it, in their own words, the best school around? Yeah, it sucks they don't have identical facilities as the other district schools. But they haven't been "harmed", no ones education is apparently suffering. Ken Moore and the rest of the board need to stop the "woe is me" histrionics.


Posted by It's a Weathly School District, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 7, 2013 at 10:52 am

I'm disappointed in all the LASD supporters who say BCS should just open as a private school. Do you really think that it's okay for my kids who got bullied at Springer & had a terrible fit for kindergarten teacher should only have the option of affording a private school or sucking it up? BCS is a PUBLIC option for kids who the LASD schools aren't working for. There is no motivation for any LASD school to change because everyone is circling the wagons, doing a rah-rah, and patting each other on the back. LASD BOT LOVES having BCS to worry about because it means they don't have to do any soul searching. They can just blame all their woes on BCS. Talk about a woe-fest just read poor Doug Smith's blog. I would say he's a PR marketing genius for raising up animosity but then I would have to attribute a well thought out process to him, and I just don't think that is possible.

So to everyone who is hating BCS and blames BCS for the issue, please realize that we ARE one of the wealthiest districts in the state. We should have the resources for multiple choices in public school options. You may not like that the LASD BOT can't run BCS but it shouldn't matter to you - it only matters to the LASD BOT because they don't want to deal with what they have control over. There is space to share. Covington would be a good option.

Let's stop throwing stones at one another and work together. No more woe is me. No more "but they are wealthier than me". The Moore family stepped up and helped create diverse programs and innovation in public schools when they were told many years ago to do it (by the LASD board). This animosity is unfounded AND definitely making it challenging for others to stand up for change. It's so much easier to just run away to a private school.


Posted by TJ, a resident of another community
on May 7, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Doug Smith's blog has links to two new BCS legal filings. Does BCS have new attorneys now?


Posted by Enquirer, a resident of another community
on May 7, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Have BCS and Arturo parted ways? Enquiring minds want to know!


Posted by Want Geometry?, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm

All those LASD folks who want Geomtry for their 8th graders should go to Bullis for 8th grade. Then maybe LASD would wake up and provide it.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Gemello
on May 8, 2013 at 6:45 pm

EVERY student in the BCS middle gets a diverse curriculum including:
Project Based Learning
Design Thinking
Engineering
Wood Working, Cooking, Sewing
Art
Drama
Dance
Sports, Fitness and Team Sports
App Design
Music
Spanish or Mandarin
Leadership


Posted by missing the point, a resident of another community
on May 9, 2013 at 6:08 am

If BCS wants to be a public school then it should act like one. Can you imagine if Loyola had a school meeting/planning session at a parent's private home and then admitted only those who were in the know?? Or kept a list of parents in the Loyola office to check off when their Foundation donation was received??? [Portion removed.]


Posted by you're missing the point, a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 9, 2013 at 1:26 pm

BCS does act like a public school. If Loyola had a school meeting and Oak wanted Loyola to be shut down & had all the Oak parents who were mad at Loyola show up to create a hostile environment, I'm sure Loyola parents would be furious. BCS is attempting to educate their own parent base about questions that they are asking the BCS leadership in an environment that is not hostile.

There are LASD neighbors out there RABID enough to spew hate on line twisting every word any BCS person says. These are the folks desiring to take TIME out of their day to attend meetings like this. These are folks who swear they don't let their kids know about what's going on yet their kids are bullying the BCS kids.

How many of you reading this would have loved a word-for-word transcript of the meeting you missed? Why? So you could twist every word to make the gossip you spread sound juicier?

As soon as LASD BOT realized that BCS was willing to compromise on a split campus the LASD BOT then made sure the compromise was totally unpalatable. LASD's idea of compromise is shut BCS down. If BCS asks for something LASD would rather cut off it's own best interest than give it.

I feel like I'm living in Stepford. You can do anything you want as long as it's the LASD way.


Posted by Vic, a resident of another community
on May 9, 2013 at 2:58 pm

The reason people are rabid is because BCS is trying to bully the district into closing a high performing neighborhood school.


Posted by missing the point, a resident of another community
on May 9, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Our tax dollars support this school (BCS). It's not unreasonable to want to understand how it is run, how the money is being spent, and what the parents really think of the programs. I don't think it's unreasonable to want to get beyond the sound bites and see what's good about the school and what could be improved. You do that by attending meetings and hearing from the administration and the parents. That's what happens at LASD and that's what should happen at BCS. You can't have it both ways. Either you are a public school or you are not.


Posted by Local tax v State tax, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm

None of the local LASD tax dollars go to BCS to support it. State tax dollars to go to BCS. What else does your State tax dollars support that you would take time out of your day to find out about? Or think you can control? Anybody want to attend a Water District meeting? I hear those are fun.

Give me a break. Quit being selfish and share. There are lots of options, other cities less wealthy than ours figure it out. The fact that we have so much money makes us all so selfish that we can't share a large school like Covington.

When you make choices just to make things bad for BCS (in hopes that they close) you don't factor in what might be best in the long run. I don't think anyone cares anymore what's best for the kids, I think the whole focus is just to eliminate BCS in the most painful way possible.


Posted by Vic, a resident of another community
on May 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Last year, LASD BoT floated the idea of sharing Covington and BCS parents rejected it.


Posted by BCS Parent, a resident of another community
on May 9, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Last year BCS parents were reacting to being split up or being crowded into Covington. The proposed campus would have left the district office at the site. Removing the District Office and gaining use of Rosita seems like a workable solution. The District Office could be placed at Blach.


Posted by LASD Taxpayer, a resident of another community
on May 9, 2013 at 11:36 pm

Last year, LASD posed the idea of sharing Covington at the last minute with no time to plan. The poor preparation meant that LASD parents were negative to the option as well. It's a 16 acre campus and Rosita is another 5 acres (or it's 15.2 and Rosita is 5.8 if you count the lease of the tennis courts to the city). In any event, it really could work, land wise.

Building-wise, Covington has 30 classrooms for under 500 students, whereas the other elementary schools have less than 20 plus portables for varying numbers of students, some schools 560 or so. Besides the 30 classrooms, Covington has another 20,000 sq ft of built out space, including the most deluxe library/media/computer center in the district. Covington is a good school space to expand to serve two schools. The idea has not been given serious consideration due to all the blowhards trying to squash BCS like a bug and prove themselves superior.


Posted by LASD Taxpayer, a resident of another community
on May 9, 2013 at 11:44 pm

All the talk about crashing the parent meeting at BCS is misplaced. BCS has an open membership and a random lottery to whittle the interest down to a managable school size. Most of the school meetings are open. This particular meeting was called to discuss how to deal with the forced split of the school between 2 sites, where 1 site is 20% of the total and the other 80%. There were also arbitrary restrictions placed in the lease regarding not allowing assemblies of the entire school on either site. Hmm, those who wanted to attend but were not BCS parents should have been sent over to Blach where they could 'participate' in the school's annex. But I digress. Having forced this awkward situation on the school, along comes Doug Smith trying to interfere with the parents discussing how to deal with what LASD had done. They didn't ask the parents before making the decision. There was no open meeting about the hardship that the split would visit on the school. LASD in a dark corner made up a plan which just elected a number of students and split them off from their peers. They seek to force BCS to use LASD's model of having 2 schools, one K-6/K-5 and the other 7-8/6-8. Then when there is no chance to change the decision, they expect to idly sit by while the parents are working on the backfitting of a difficult situation, no doubt offering more illegal restrictions to add on to the pile already provided.


Posted by missing the point, a resident of another community
on May 10, 2013 at 10:46 am

Two last points and then I'm done.

1. At a public school, there is no "crashing" of meetings and there is no "membership". And yes, my tax dollars pay for this school except, of course, for the "donations" paid by parents who wish to have their names crossed off the school checklist.

2. The decisions about the BCS split were not made in some dark corner. They were made at well-attended board meetings where both BCS and LASD parents spoke and made their opinions heard. The vote by the board was taken in a public meeting.


Posted by You're still missing the point, a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 10, 2013 at 11:39 am

You're still missing the point. There is a minority of parents in LASD that are not represented by the LASD BOT and never will be. They may get to say things in board meetings but the board will NEVER take what they say into consideration. This happened 10 years ago when BCS formed, this happened in 2007 when redistricting occurred, and it continues to happen now. The homeowners close to a school will always be in the strongest position and they will always enforce their will on the entire district. Sometimes we're lucky and what they do helps the kids but right now it's just creating misery for everyone. The LASD board is the one in position of power. They are the ones that use their power to BULLY the district. First they bully LAH, then the bully NEC, and now they are trying to bully the town councils of Mountain View and Los Altos. There are smarter ways to run schools in Los Altos. But anything smart is lost in the plutocracy of power that the LASD BOT has evolved into.


Posted by LASD Taxpayer, a resident of another community
on May 10, 2013 at 1:27 pm

The decisions about the latest facilities offer to BCS were almost all made behind the scenes and probably not by the full board. There was no presentation made of the ramifications of various splits on BCS, nor for that matter on the traffic situation at Egan. If they had taken serious the BCS request that 200 or more students be sited at Blach, there would have at least been a discussion. They seemed to arrive at the current situation without any real deliberation or even a dicussion of the reasons for their actions. This is not an open meeting. It certainly is not the same situation as the problem discussion faced by the BCS parents at their meeting where Doug Smith tried to horn in. He was just rubbing salt in the wounds.


Posted by Fed Up LASD Parent, a resident of Waverly Park
on May 10, 2013 at 5:56 pm

I am really tired of our Board Members spending all this time on BCS. Give them a site or give them what they asked for at Blach and be done with it. Get to work on the teacher contract and Geometry. We have traffic problems at almost every school. Spend money in the classrooms, not on lawyers. I think we should turn Gardner over to BCS and get them to pay for the upgrades. Does anyone actually think it's a better idea to have this BCS problem year after year? Let's stop it now and live in peace. We can coexist.


Posted by Parent, a resident of another community
on May 10, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Sure. Let's give BCS Oak.


Posted by Oak Parent, a resident of another community
on May 11, 2013 at 12:28 pm

I don't think we should turn over GB to BCS. I also don't think we should turn over Oak. If you are going to turn over a school it should be one of three in the middle - Springer, Covington or Loyola. Any of those schools could close and the students going to them would still have a school school close by.


Posted by LASD Homeowner, a resident of another community
on May 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Neither Oak nor Springer make any sense to assign to a district-wide charter. Oak is way off in the south of the district serving a little Peninsula that protrudes into Mountain View and Sunnyvale and just about matches up with Oak's capacity. BCS students come in great numbers from every school in the district EXCEPT Oak and so they'd all be traveling much further than necessary to the worst possible location. Similarly there's no nearby place to put Oak students. Oak is out. Springer is the only school in Mtn View and it's just about full now that a group from Almond has been assigned there. Loyola is on its way to overflow, being the largest school in the district with a huge Preschool on campus as well. There was once a plan to assign a portion of Loyola to attend Oak and that may still be needed. You guys just need to look at this objectively. GB has some serious issue and is difficult to fill with students, having only 320 or so including a large contingent from PAUSD. But it's really too small for BCS, so the best way to use it would be to use it again for a district-wide magnet program. It's numbers were once pumped up by having all-day kindergarten offered to residents of other school areas. This could happen again. It already has a large Preschool too. Overcrowding at other schools could be relieved by drawing Kindergarteners to Oak with an all-day program.


Posted by LASD Homeowner, a resident of another community
on May 11, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Spend spend spend. All LASD thinks it can do to solve problems is to spend money. BCS being a little difficult? Budget $1M a year in legal fees to attack them. A little too much work for the district management? Hire another assistant superintendent. Need a place for a charter? Work up a far fetched scheme to spend $49M on a run down campus with no playground distantly located in Sunnyvale.

But in this case there is an obvious way to get BCS the 12 acre campus to which it is entitled by virtue of the interest students and parents have in enrolling. Simply bounce the district offices elsewhere, even breaking them up if need be and put BCS alongside Covington and arrange with Los Altos to share Rosita Park during the day. Much cheaper than some wierd scheme to take over Hillview by legal action.

Last year, LASD posed the idea of sharing Covington at the last minute with no time to plan. The poor preparation meant that LASD parents were negative to the option as well. It's a 16 acre campus and Rosita is another 5 acres (or it's 15.2 and Rosita is 5.8 if you count the lease of the tennis courts to the city). In any event, it really could work, land wise.

Building-wise, Covington has 30 classrooms for under 500 students, whereas the other elementary schools have less than 20 plus portables for varying numbers of students, some schools 560 or so. Besides the 30 classrooms, Covington has another 20,000 sq ft of built out space, including the most deluxe library/media/computer center in the district. Covington is a good school space to expand to serve two schools. The idea has not been given serious consideration due to all the blowhards trying to squash BCS like a bug and prove themselves superior. Never mind that this costs the taxpayers big bucks and doesn't solve anything or reach any peace.


Posted by Vic, a resident of another community
on May 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm

End this thing once and for all. Give the Gardner Bullis campus to BCS and move current GB students to Covington and Santa Rita.

Problem solved.


Posted by Agree with Missing the Point, a resident of The Crossings
on May 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm

The LASD Board of Directors are really just trying to confuse the public with grand gestures and do not wish to solve the problem.

BCS is offering classes that many parents at LASD would be quite happy to have.

Many of the LASD BOT are just plain dumb and unfortunately there are equally paranoid people on the PTAs who feel secure behind these really foolish actions. The blind leading the blind.

The three whose terms are coming up are the worst. Los Altos surely we can find some really smart people that live here who want to be on the Board.. these three really cannot tell the difference between the front and the backside of anything. They are not going to solve anything. Time to replace the senior staff and the BOT.

We certainly cannot give into all BCS demands and I am not pro BCS but just lets recognise that their school is growing exponentially and it is because they are offering higher education and smart families want it. So lets give them Gardner Bullis and end it once and for all. Sorry Gardner families, you have to relocate to Santa Rita but lets keep the solution simple. We cannot stop BCS from growing as long as they are good.


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