http://mv-voice.com/square/print/2009/06/18/latest-bullis-spat-headed-to-court


Town Square

Latest Bullis spat headed to court

Original post made on Jun 18, 2009

Bullis Charter School officials have filed a lawsuit against the Los Altos School District for not providing the school with adequate facilities, which they say is required by law.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 3:20 PM

Comments

Posted by Los Altos Parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2009 at 11:37 am

This is not the first lawsuit filed by Bullis and all have been rejected in court so far. The Bullis board decided to postpone starting 7th grade back in December but still expects the district to provide space including a track, gym, video facilities, etc.
They also attempted to buy off the district by offering something like $3M for EXCLUSIVE use of the Gardner Bullis facility. Hopefully, the courts will kick out this lawsuit too without wasting too much money on lawyers at a time when the state is drastically cutting school budgets.


Posted by Parent Too, a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Why does the Charter sue for things that the Los Altos schools don't have? LASD elementary schools do not have 7th grades, gyms, video facilities. Gardner Bullis does not have a track. All of the schools use portables and Gardner Bullis uses portables for its library, office, computer lab, teachers' workroom, and several classrooms. How is the Charter being treated unfairly? This lawsuit is a waste of money at a time when we are being forced to make huge cuts and doesn't put the interests of the children first.


Posted by Carolyn, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 18, 2009 at 2:41 pm

I'm still waiting for someone to sue over the pretty much mandatory "donation" of $4000 per student.


Posted by LASD MV Parent, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 18, 2009 at 9:05 pm

It would help if the Los Altos Hills community knew what it wants and actually listened to what its Education Committee had to say (circa 2006)

An LASD K-6 at Bullis is not a real solution
---------------------------------------------

+ Will have to be filled with a large number of Los Altos children

+ Ignores BCS' LAH enrollment

+ Bullis will always be the smallest, most vulnerable school within LASD

see here:

Web Link


Posted by Parent for choice and competion in puplic education, a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2009 at 11:15 pm

Some of the posters at this site really seem to have a problem with innovation. BCS is a public school charted by Santa Clara County Office of Education. As a tax payer you are contributing many more funds to LASD than you are to BCS. BCS receives its funding of about $7000/student from the state. This is thousands of dollars less that students in LASD receive. LASD benefits from local property taxes and school bonds. BCS does not receive any money from parcel taxes. BCS pays rent to LASD for the buildings and the school site. To make up the difference in revenue BCS parents contribute a non-mandatory donation to the school foundation. We are happy to do this because it's a terrific school that offers an alternative to the one size fits all design of LASD schools.

BCS is suing the LASD board because there is no alternative. Prop 39 requires school districts to provide reasonably equivalent facilities to charter schools. LASD has repeatedly refused to do so. Many of your tax dollars have been squandered in LASD campaign against BCS.

Here are a few costly actions by the LASD-

-Unwavering commitment to a one size fits all, control from the top curriculum. Mountain View, Palo Alto and Cupertino all offer magnet school alternatives but LASD does not. LASD claims this is the way that it maintains such excellent API ratings. This is not the case.
It's the parents that really determine this. BCS also has excellent API scores but students at BCS spend many more hours a week in enriching electives and specialist classes.

-Reopening Covington---was this really necessary---or was it a way to get a new district office? Covington is located very close to three other schools---Almond, Springer and Loyola. It might have been a good idea to open Covington as a magnet school---but instead it was decided that it would become a neighborhood school, for an area that was already saturated with schools.

-Deciding to close Bullis-Purissima and moving everyone to the new Covington site, someone has to go there. Loyola was an alternative but wasn't chosen, it was already remodeled why? Hm.

-Rejecting the charter school--what is so wrong about having an alternative? The district has proven every step of the way that it afraid of innovation and competition.


-Deciding that the charter school would never be located at the Bullis Purrisima site and spending many dollars to make this so.

-Redistricting the entire district so that a very small school could be opened. Forcing some, like the residents of The Crossings, to drive very far to school.

-Making life as difficult as possible for BCS and hoping it will go away. This strategy has impacted all the students of LASD, not just those at BCS, Gardner and Egan.

I have often heard the comment, "well the charter school has a good program, but they just started it to get their campus back" Why is this important? Once they started the founders decided to correct the problems that they witnessed in the school district. They created a fantastic alternative which benefits the community.

BCS creates competition, which forces the district to consider creating new programs. It's existence helped parents in Palo Alto gain a mandarin immersion school and LASD parents to the get the board to consider one.

If the main purpose of the charter school was to get a school reopened at the bullis -purissima site--then BCS would have closed this year. Instead it continues to thrive. Its rumored that the kindergarten waiting list for in-district students extends into the triple digits.

BCS is a larger school than Gardner Bullis. BSC has significantly more LASD students and more students that live in Gardner Bullis attendance area than does Gardner Bullis. In fact, almost twenty five percent of Gardner students are out of district students.

The best thing about the LASD is the parents and the school district knows this. They have done everything they can to discredit BCS--including expending much needed funds. Why did they do this? They don't want any more charters to lore away district students.

We live in the world wide capital of innovation. BCS is an education start up. It offers an alternative that costs tax payers less. Why all the sour rhetoric? Think about the actions of the school board and district leadership- they are the ones that forced the issue.







Posted by Rolo, a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2009 at 8:11 am

I wish that BCS had a bigger campus that could enroll the larger student body. I keep trying to get my child in but I guess I'll keep trying - would much rather go there than our neighborhood school (Almond). Consider this: Almond and all of LASD ask for a PTA donation plus the LAEF amount which is divided up for differing programs. Where do these funds go? for such ridiculous things like the ice-cream social welcome back party, voluteer events, teacher appreciation, and halloween parties. Can we not have these things so that I don't have to pay money for what should be donated by parents and not paid for out of PTA funds? And what is the comment about voluntary donation? the school keeps asking for donations in every possible way. At least BCS takes the money for the purpose of developing a really good curriculum with qualified teachers and programs instead of the threat of it disappearing every school year.


Posted by Parents, a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2009 at 8:45 am

I don't have a problem with BCS itself. I think it's a great school for some students with a fabulous principal and considered it for my daughter at one point. I do take exception with the voluntary nature of the donation to BCS. I was told by the principal that parents should really look at whether they could make the donation before enrolling because that was the only way to fund their programs.

I do have a problem with the BCS board. The constant lawsuits, the offers to displace Gardner students for a mere $3 million, and trying to expand into junior high school leave a bad taste in my mouth. I'm friends with many BCS parents and they have told me the board does not represent their views.


Posted by BCS parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2009 at 11:06 am

I am a very happy BCS parent. We choose BCS because it offered an alternative and because it has great teachers and leadership. Including a school board that is responsive to parents. This is a direct contrast to the LASD Board.

BCS has a strategic plan and every year the parents at the school are asked to vote on what the main areas of focus should be. Tasks forces are formed to come up with action plans. It is through this process of parent input that the school has come up with its many innovative programs.


One the examples of this process is adding a 7th and 8th grade. Many parents are not happy with the program at Egan and Blach and would like to have their children continue at BCS.

BCS designed a plan much different from those at Egan and Blach. The plan was approved by the Santa Clara County Board of Education. Under prop 39, the school district is required to offer reasonability equivalent facilities. The district refused to offer any facilities.

If you are interested in finding out about the law suit please go to the BCS website-
www.bullischarterschool.com .


Posted by LASD MV Parent, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 22, 2009 at 8:00 am

BCS Parent

Interesting that the bullis charter school website doesn't provide a reference to this MV Voice article .... Any specific reason why?


Posted by BCS parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2009 at 9:18 am

LASD MV parent,


No reason that I can think of. Just needs updating. This article was posted after the other two that are listed on the BCS site.


Posted by James Hoosac, a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2009 at 11:11 am

I have no doubt BCS is very well run and can educate kids well.

But it sets a bad example on the equality of education. What BCS tells the community is that a group of rich and powerful people can do whatever they want, forcing its way through the system, even in the realm of public education.

If we let BCS has its way, we will see similar efforts growing in other parts of the Santa Clara county, such as several areas of San Jose and Campbell. In the end our entire education system may be in jeopardy.

BTW, the comment that says BCS only takes money from the state and not from LASD is wrong. Every child that resides in LASD and attends BCS is a loss to LASD in terms of state education funding.


Posted by P. Geffroy, a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Not all parents at BCS are rich. My grand-kids go there and their mom is far from rich. I have met a number of parents at the school that are not rich. I think a variety of choices in a school district makes for a healthy environment. I wish all the adults would think of the kids first. My grandson was on a soccer team in the community and bullied by an LASD kid because he goes to BCS. This attitude from either side from kids has got to come from parents. It's time for all the adults to work this out for the sake of our kids.


Posted by Proud Sierra Club Member, a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 22, 2009 at 3:11 pm

More competition is needed for LASD to improve; therefore, I welcome the competition that BCS brings, and overall charter schools, to the public school system. Both Crittenten and Graham have sport facilities and unique field maintenance agreements with the City of Mountain View. It's time for LASD to get competitive and shake off their complaisance rather than espouse more parcel taxes for a burgeoning bureaucracy that serves the educators' interests and not the children.


Posted by BCS parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Mr. Hoosac-

You state-
BTW, the comment that says BCS only takes money from the state and not from LASD is wrong. Every child that resides in LASD and attends BCS is a loss to LASD in terms of state education funding.

I guess what you are really saying is all students should only go to LASD schools---forced---is really what you are saying. We are not slaves to the state----nor are we rich. We just want a choice.


Posted by LAH parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2009 at 5:31 pm

It is wonderful that Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and the larger community have a choice of excellent elementary schools. But at this time the lawsuits and rancor need to stop, and for better or worse most of this rancor is being perpetuated by the BCS board.

Facilities at BCS (and some LASD schools) are not ideal, but there has been great effort by LASD to keep them "reasonably equivalent." It is unfortunate that LASD does not have an excess of locations or facilities to house BCS, and it is just as unfortunate that BCS is forcing this issue again in front of the courts.

The strategy of the BCS board in attempting to "buy" the Gardner Bullis site was inappropriate. The latest shift of suing the district yet again over facilities is equally inappropriate, especially when part of the dispute centers around 7th grade facilities, which no district elementary schools house, and which BCS previously said would be on hold for this year.


Posted by Carol, a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 22, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Mr. Hoosac:

Schools in California are already in jeopardy through mismanagement. Just look at nearby Mt. View schools. Secretly we would all love a charter school in our neighborhoods over what we have no in Mt. View.


Posted by LAH parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Some of the comments posted by "Parent for choice and competition in public education" are interesting, but also reflect an unfortunate and destructive undercurrent. There is no overt or covert campaign on the part of the district to undercut the charter. This is an ongoing fear of many founding charter members (and others), especially those who suffered the closure of their school several years ago.

The current BCS board remains too influenced by old distrust. Everyone would be well served by looking more forward than backward, and all should hope that over time this will happen.

If the main purpose of opening the charter years ago was not to get back the Bullis site in LAH, then this was certainly high on the list. Highest on the list now seems to be to create an innovative educational environment, and everyone should laud this goal. But in working toward this goal, BCS has insisted upon complete independence from the district--time to figure out how to work together rather than continuing to fight over limited resources.


Posted by LASD Resident, BCS Parent, a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 22, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Hoosac writes: "If we let BCS has [sic] its way, we will see similar efforts growing in other parts of the Santa Clara county, such as several areas of San Jose and Campbell. In the end our entire education system may be in jeopardy."

If we let Charter Schools like BCS exist, other traditional schools may be forced to actually adapt and teach our children to be responsible citizens. My youngest son is learning Mandarin and is thrilled that he can now communicate with many of his Chinese-American friends. My oldest son says it is the best school out of the four California public schools that he has attended to date (he says the second best was Loyola). They both got to act in plays this year too.

My point is that California public education is already in jeopardy, and it isn't because of Charter Schools. BCS is now populated by almost 100% LASD area kids. If they went to LASD schools, the funds transfered to BCS would be needed for additional teachers and facilities. Meanwhile, Gardner Bullis is starting to fill up with out-of-district students from properties that don't pay the existing parcel tax. Where is the outrage for that inJustus [sic]? By the way, BCS does not receive any money from the LASD parcel tax revenue.

Did anyone notice that the $3 Million offer from BCS to LASD was denied solely by the LASD Superintendent? Shouldn't an offer like that be evaluated by the LASD Board of Trustees?

Who really runs LASD? "Old distrust" in LASD won't go away until the leadership of LASD is replaced by someone who is as dedicated as Wanny Hersey.





Posted by LAH parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2009 at 9:39 pm

BCS is a great school. This is not a question regarding whether charters or BCS should exist. I am sure there are many parents/kids at both LASD schools and at BCS who could relate great experiences.

The question leading this discussion is whether leadership of BCS is making an appropriate decision in again suing LASD. Given what I understand of the history and the current situation, this hurts everyone.

It also hurts everyone when someone questions the dedication of either superintendent, hence another demonstration of the underlying problem. Both superintendents are outstanding, and until there is mutual respect and common efforts disputes may turn to lawsuits, as we currently see.

To keep things clear, only a very small number of out of district kids attend Gardner Bullis. For each of these children LASD receives money from PAUSD. And for each of these children and their LASD neighbors, an opportunity exists to build a neighborhood school, a situation we should all support--not a situation we should try to break by offering $3M.

Also note that neither the LASD board nor superintendent (nor I suspect the larger community outside many at BCS) supported the proposal to buy the GBS campus.


Posted by LASD Resident, BCS Parent, a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 22, 2009 at 10:57 pm

LAH Parent writes: "...an opportunity exists to build a neighborhood school, a situation we should all support--not a situation we should try to break by offering $3M."

Don't start talking about neighborhood schools to me. Notice that I live in the Crossings. My "neighborhood" school is across town past 2 closer schools all the way to Covington thanks to the fiscally irresponsible actions of LASD. And remember, the last lawsuit between BCS and LASD was brought by LASD when BCS gave preference to its founding neighborhood area.


Posted by neighboorhood schooled, a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2009 at 2:16 am

BCS would be a better neighboorhood school than Gardner Bullis because-

There are more residents of the of Gardner Bullis attendence area at BCS than there are at Gardner Bullis.

There are more many many more LAH residents at BCS than there are at Gardner Bullis,
including a bunch from Loyola.

There are about 100 more LASD students at BCS than there are Gardner Bullis.


But those are just facts---pretending that LASD reopened Gardner Bullis to build community is much more important. We should all fight to keep Gardner Bullis for those PAUSD kids and all those LASD kids that live close to Santa Rita but were forced to move. It really brings a great community feel to the hills.

It's fantastic that we can such a small school on a huge campus, Its a great place for 200 to roam around in. And really it's best for the community that 350 students are squished into a campus less than half the size. Really your right, the charter school should just accept that the district knows what's best for them. You know they really shouldn't complain about being in those portables, the Gardner library is in a portable! I know they tried to compromise with the district but that's not important---We all need to remember that LASD knows what's best for your child. They are looking out for you. Shame on that mean shelfish charter school.


Posted by Parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2009 at 8:49 am

Just curious and am not interested in an argument over whose responsibility it is to do this but ... other than Gardner Bullis, what location would the Charter consider to be reasonably equivalent? The Charter is so focused on Gardner - has it looked at other sites?? I'm wondering because there are many charter schools and private schools (thinking of Gideon Hauser) that are housed in untraditional buildings.


Posted by LA Parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2009 at 11:07 am

LAH wanted a neighborhood elementary school that would also accessible to children in the PAUSD district. Since BCS is already oversubscribed by LASD kids, it cannot by law meet that request.
LASD has done its best to provide a LAH neighborhood school while also reducing the too large size at Santa Rita and Almond. It is defenitely not the best arrangement for the Crossings, but putting BCS at Gardner would not fix the LAH issue. {LAH also sued LASD about the Gardner site.]
The main argument in the BCS lawsuit is that LASD is not providing space for the 7th grade including gym space and a track. As one parent says, there are no such facilities at Gardner, but somehow Gardner is ok. The BCS board made a decision not to even offer 7th grade in 2009 back in December, but now it is the fault of LASD because there was no offer of 7th grade space.
It's the twisting and waste that are frustrating as a district parent. Perhaps if the BCS board would work with the district for a few years instead of launching bi-annual lawsuits, the relationship would have time to gain some trust.


Posted by James Hoosac, a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2009 at 11:36 am

To BCS parent,

As I said in my post, I have no doubt BCS is a well-run school. Many BCS parents like you are probably very satisfied with the school.

But that is not the point of argument.

This is about the equality of education. If BCS can force its way and take over a campus of a reasonably good public school, we will have a huge problem. Any charter school with enough money and power can do the same and displace other students in a school it wants to occupy.

Sure, not all BCS students are from rich families. But let's not be foolish. The reason BCS wants so much to move to Bullis campus is to better serve the riches in LAH and Palo Alto Hills.

Those of you who are not rich enough and live far away from the Bullis campus are just taking a ride, for now.



Posted by James Hoosac, a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2009 at 11:43 am

And I believe it will be likely that, if BCS does succeed to move to Bullis campus, its charter will be smartly engineered so that LAH and PAH kids will take precedence over kids from other areas. BCS will then become a publicly financed school for the blue blood.


Posted by LAH parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Lots of misinformation or misinterpretation out there, and this is part of the problem.

Some info/reponses in no particular order:
1. The lack of a neighborhood school for the Crossings is certainly a problem, and a tough one. But this does not mean it is OK for BCS to try to break up a neighborhood school by throwing around their financial weight.
2. BCS, even if moved to the GB campus, could not be a neighborhood school for LAH and the immediate vicinity of Los Altos due to its-charter which gives access for admission to the entire district (and would not include access for any LAH PAUSD kids).
3. LAH did not sue LASD over the GB site. LAH did seek their own school district, a concept that was rejected by the county.
4. The lawsuit by LASD over the LAH preference at BCS was appropriate and was an attempt to provide equal access across the district.

GBS and BCS should be allowed to continue to thrive. Facilities should be improved for BCS. BCS should not be moved to the GB campus. Folks on both sides of the fence should act with mutual respect.


Posted by Parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2009 at 2:37 pm

I'm still wondering what BCS considers reasonably equivalent. Is there a site that has been identified by BCS as appropriate (other than Gardner?). If their current site is not working for them, are there buildings/locations that are appropriate to consider? I also remember the LASD Board stating awhile ago that a 7th & 8th grade BCS would have to be operated at a separate site because there was not enough room at their current site for a K-8 school. Has this been considered by BCS? Hoping for some answers


Posted by James Hoosac, a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2009 at 3:42 pm

BCS as it stands now is clearly not sustainable. With Bullis continues to operate, I believe eventually LAH parents will settle down on this neighborhood school, rather than going to BCS. So the mix of BCS kids will be more from adjacent LA and MV in a couple of years.

When that happens, even BCS parents won't support moving BCS to Bullis.

But the vision of current BCS leadership is to use BCS as a leverage to install a blue blood charter school for LAH and PAH kids, with high quality "filler" students from LA and MV, whose parents would use BCS as a cheaper alternative to private schools such as Harker.


Posted by parent2, a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Mr. Hoosac-
you are really funny. Where do you these ideas?

Bullis is not on the way out. In fact if it wanted to it could probaly have 8 Kinergarten sections of LASD kids. ( I'm just guessing but I know someone who lives in district who was something like 155 on the waiting list)


Posted by LASD Resident, BCS Parent, a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 23, 2009 at 5:17 pm

LAH Parent (aka Pefley) writes: "...(and would not include access for any LAH PAUSD kids)."

And it shouldn't be the responsibility of LASD to serve those kids at all. Deal with it. LASD is not serving the students inside its borders as well as it is serving those out-of-district leaches. They get multi-year transfers, while in-district students have to apply year after year. Thanks for nothing Mr. Justus!


Posted by wake up, a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2009 at 10:15 pm

"And it shouldn't be the responsibility of LASD to serve those kids at all. Deal with it. LASD is not serving the students inside its borders as well as it is serving those out-of-district leaches. They get multi-year transfers, while in-district students have to apply year after year. Thanks for nothing Mr. Justus!"

GREAT POINT! I am really tired of Mr. Justus, and the LASD board.
They have been spending money on things that have nothing to do with educating kids and everything to do with winning their war with the charter. I feel sorry for all the pawns in their game. How much more money will they waste? It would have been so much better to let the charter have the GB campus in the first place. The Chater school seems likes its doing a better job of relieving overcrowding than GB anyway. GB is a total drain on resources.


Posted by Parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2009 at 2:45 pm

IF you are tired of the LASD Board, then run for election next time! There is little competition for these positions. Gardner Bullis is more than a drain on resources. It is the Board fulfilling its promise to reopen this school. It is a thriving community of involved parents, thrilled teachers and motivated students. It is more than a "Hills" school. Orange Ave area, University, the triangle - these are all Los Altos students who love their school. This is not a Charter vs. Gardner Bullis issue. It's a Charter vs. the Board issue. Gardner is here and is not going away. Look to another site for the Charter.


Posted by LAH parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Well guess what. First I am not Mr. Pefley or a member of the LASD board nor do I have any other association with LASD. (It is perhaps instructive though how interested voices get labeled as such.) Simply trying to add politely to the discussion. Bottom line is that I am proud of both BCS and LASD schools, but tired of BCS pushing various financial, geographic, and legal buttons to get their way.

When LASD was redrawing boundaries a couple years ago, BCS likely could have had the GB campus if they simply would have worked with LASD on some flexibility in their charter. Instead they have always chosen 100% control vs any flexibility, and more power to them in regard to this strategy and their continued success. But this has also meant that LASD then rightfully chose to put a school at their LAH site that could actualy serve the neighborhood students (from LAH, LA, and a few from LAH PAUSD), and over which they could have some degree of oversight.

So that was then and this is now. Moving to the present in light of the reasonable decisons of the past means there is no completely satsifactory site to house BCS, and this is not the fault of LASD. It would serve the situation better to offer solutions (which no longer include moving BCS to the GB campus), rather than jumping to criticize Mr. Justus or anyone else. Best long term solution in my opinion would be to develop a permanent site for BCS right at their current location--this idea or others is where we should be aiming our research and discussion.

BCS and GBS, and all the other schools in our area are excellent, and no doubt will continue to thrive. The number of LAH students at BCS is likely to decrease in the long run as more families choose their neighborhood school. But certainly the overall enrollment at BCS is likely to grow as the school continues its success, and a permanent site is necessary.

All are hurt by a lawsuit, whether it is brought by BCS or LASD or anyone else. This robs precious money, attention, and resources from everyone within the district, and a time when this is especially difficult to afford. And to think this lawsuit came about in part over facilities for an added 7th grade that LASD was told would not be starting in '09 certainly adds to the frustration.


Posted by James Hoosac, a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2009 at 3:24 pm

I think BCS is in transition. The "old guard" from LAH is doing their best to fulfill the original objective - occupying Bullis. But this objective will become less and less aligned with the interests of the "new blood" from LA and MV, because the current Bullis school dramatically reduces the input of students from LAH to BCS. The LAH faction of BCS will be gradually marginalized.

On the other hand, trashing LASD, one of the best school district in California, is not going to sell well. It will be perceived as sheer arrogance and elitism.

The ongoing state budget crisis will not help either. No one has the extra resources to entertain "crazy" and uncertain ideas.



Posted by LAH parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm

Yes, BCS is in transition. Still dominated as far as I know on the board by ties to the LAH founders--but as a school population and in location becoming more and more a part of the larger LA/MV community. Not sure for instance why the larger community would support an LAH/"old Bullis area" enrollment preference, but pushing this issue is an example of the still heavy LAH influence in decision-making at BCS, and the continued desire to undermine LASD (taking students away from GBS). Perhaps nice for me as an LAH resident, but not fair to the larger community.

Also better for BCS as part of the larger community to continue to grow at or near its current location, and to move on from the fight to take over a campus that now belongs to another thriving school. Compromise rather than millions of dollars should have been offered long ago--that game should be over.

Time will be one factor in relaxing BCS-LASD tensions, especially as this allows a BCS board that more accurately reflects shifts in the school's population and location, as GBS adds more and more LAH families, and as all are less affected by the clouds of the past.


Posted by an idea, a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2009 at 10:37 pm

what could be a win/win for everyone (except LAH PAUSD)

It's just a thought -
Move BCS back to GB-
BCS will stil be a neighboorhood school. BCS has more students that live in the LASD GB attendence area than does GB (this includes kids that live in LA parts of the GB attendence area). Also BCS has many students from the Loyola Attendence area. GB students can return to a less crowded Santa Rita (see below) or Covington---Many of the GB students live closer to Covington than they do to GB anyway. PAUSD can return to their excellent schools or go to Covington.

Open a new Mandarin immersion program at the current BCS site. Give priority to students at current GB(including PAUSD kids), residents of The Crossings and to students at over crowded campuses---particularly Almond and Santa Rita.

I know there is a new school already opened, prehaps its thriving. But it is not fair to open a school and keep it going so that out of district kids can have a shorter walk to school. Nixon has been closed for a very long time, I doubt you purchased your home hoping to go a neighboorhood elementary school, instead you choose a fantastic palo alto school system.


Posted by GB Parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2009 at 7:09 am

Priority enrollment means nothing when the classes are full. GB students have moved from one school into GB. They won't be moved a second time.

BCS won't help with the overcrowding of the other schools unless it takes students only from a specified attendance area.

A better idea to help the overcrowding at our schools is to move BCS to a site closer to El Camino where the student population is expected to grow in the future.


Posted by parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2009 at 10:14 am

BCS is serving the role of relieving district crowding---but that is not its mission. It is the closest site to El Camino. BCS is chartered by the County, not LASD. LASD refused to do so.

There are not any locations along El Camino to build a 10 acre site--
can you suggest any? 10 acres is the size of all the other elementary schools in LASD. Bullis has only 4.5. and had to bring in a multipurpose room because the district wouldn't provide one.

LASD should have opened a neighborhood school at the Egan site if they were really interested in solving overcrowding. The opened the neighborhood school at GB because they hoped it would kill BCS ( didn't work almost all stuck with BCS) and they feared the move in LAH to form a separate k-12 district. So now the entire district pays for bad decision making by LASD.


Posted by LASD Resident, BCS Parent, a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 25, 2009 at 10:31 am

The Covington campus would appear to be the best location for BCS at this time. That school was originally a middle school, so it could accommodate the addition of 7th and 8th grades that the BCS charter now authorizes.


Posted by Parent 2, a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2009 at 10:45 am

Actually the poster has a good point. Covington has a huge campus and Rosita Field provides additional room. Also, if BCS is chartered by the county does it have to be in the LASD or can it be in another city in the county?


Posted by mv native lasd and tax payer, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 25, 2009 at 4:01 pm

I have a couple of observations that might be important to those of us who live in the mv sections of LASD.

LASD is a basic aid district---this means that it gets funding from local property taxes. So let's think about where the bulk of the taxes come from---and the answer might be the LASD section of Mountain View.

Prop 13 really effects tax rates---if you bought your house after prop 12 passed then you pay higher taxes. But let's say that you bought your home or commercial property after prop 13 then you are hit with a higher tax rate. Los Altos and Los Altos Hills to a lesser extent are filled with ranch homes that were built in the 50's and 60's are large percentage of these homes are owned by seniors who are the original owners or bought them before prop 13. They pay much lower taxes and they can be excused from paying the property tax.

The MV portion of LASD contains new Commercial properties, and Developments along El Camino and at San Antonio Shopping Center.
Walmart is post prop 13 as is the strip center in that shopping center. (remember when it was Liberty House?) And then there's the crossings which where built on the site of Old Mill. The Crossings most likely generates more property tax revenue than the ranch tracks in central or south Los altos. Yet the MV residents of LASD are at the most crowed schools, Santa Rita, Almond, Springer and Oak. And the Crossing Residents have to travel all the way to Covington.

So why did the school district open a school that wasn't needed at GB?
I will have to take the side of the charter supporters. It would have better for those of us in MV to let have BCS have the GB campus. Especially if a new neighborhood or Magnet school was opened at the current BCS site.



Posted by for choice, a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2009 at 4:15 pm

LAH Parent-

You write:
"Not sure for instance why the larger community would support an LAH/"old Bullis area" enrollment preference, but pushing this issue is an example of the still heavy LAH influence in decision-making at BCS, and the continued desire to undermine LASD (taking students away from GBS). Perhaps nice for me as an LAH resident, but not fair to the larger community."

In what way is BCS taking students away for GB? The last I checked no one was forcing anyone to attend BCS. BCS does not take away students from GB? People choose to enter the lottery to get a spot.
In fact they choose to drive past the neighboorhood school to a small campus with portables. In fact people all over the school district do this. I guess they are all trying to undermine GBS. Prehaps you can round up some more PAUSD kids from your neighboorhood to fill GB.


Posted by James Hoosac, a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2009 at 8:33 am

"ma native and lasd tax payer" is wrong on taxes. In terms of tax revenue per student, students from LAH should be higher than LA or MV, because of its much higher property tax per house and lower number of students per household.

I believe that is exactly why BCS was created. LAH parents thought it was absolutely unfair for them to lose the old Bullis school in their neighborhood when they contribute much higher taxes per student than rest of the LASD.


Posted by LASD Parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Since the board is not going to throw out all of the money spent on the research, redrawing attendance lines, remodeling Gardner and reopening the school, it's time to look to the future - not the past. Look for solutions rather than ways to create more divisiveness. There are many creative, innovative parents at the Charter. Surely there must be someplace that is acceptable to locate the Charter other than Gardner. If there isn't, then stop suing the district and work on the current site. It's time to move on and move forward - for everyone's sake.


Posted by check the data, a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Here is a link to the data that you mention

Web Link

It is already incorrect. GB is about 100 students short of projections.I predict that this will continue to be the case. Nor will the number of GB students at BCS continue to decline while all the others increase. What a bunch of bull.

BCS has done everything it could to work with the district. The district continues to do everything it can to get rid of it. Including wasting taxpayers money on a non neighborhood school.


Posted by LASD parents, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Sounds like this is really an Egan - Charter argument. Egan doesn't want to inconvenience itself by setting up a schedule to share fields/multipurpose room. The Board needs to set up the schedule as part of the facilities agreement. Period.


Posted by Parent, a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2009 at 3:27 pm

The Charter attorney said in his arguments yesterday that the Charter should be given the Gardner Bullis site and that the Gardner students could just be absorbed or sent to other schools! I find this argument a bit incredible given that the Charter school was created because of this same scenario. Sure, let's kick out 250 innocent kids so that families who chose to go to the Charter, knowing its facilities and location, can take over the site. Sounds like they're really putting the best interests of the kids first! They seem to be intent on dividing the Los Altos community. Use the money spent on lawsuits to find a suitable VACANT site for the school.