Sharing is the solution
At the April 8 Los Altos School District board meeting, families expressed their outrage with the proposal to relocate Egan ("Parents rally against moving Egan to Mountain View," April 12). The community believes, and I agree, that the proposed Bullis Charter School/LASD agreement is not in the best interests of our children. We all want peace, but not at any cost. We must find a better solution.
I request the LASD and BCS boards work together to implement a groundbreaking district/charter collaboration that benefits all students. I propose:
Joint collaboration to improve programs:
•Share gyms, labs and specialized teaching spaces.
•Jointly hire specialized staff for electives.
•Collaborate on staff training.
•Joint after-school programs.
•Share day care facilities.
•LASD offers access to programs serving special education and low-income students.
Facilities sharing to accommodate 900-1,200 BCS students:
•Two collocated schools at Mountain View site to help serve 800+ neighborhood students.
•300-400 students K-5 for LASD.
•300-400 students K-5 for BCS.
•600-800 BCS students share Egan and/or Blach with LASD.
•All neighborhood schools preserved.
•Dramatic increase in facilities and field space for BCS.
Benefits both LASD and BCS families:
•State-of-the-art neighborhood schools in Mountain View.
•Learn from each other's innovative programs.
Benefits the entire community:
•Reduced and dispersed traffic.
•End lawsuits and divisiveness.
•Allows community to heal and move forward together.
•Efficient use of taxpayer funds.
We can implement a win-win solution without painful loss to any single community group. We must urge the BCS and LASD boards to consider collaborative alternatives to relocating Egan.
Sangeeth Peruri, former LASD board trustee and president
In regards to Los Altos and Mountain View Whisman school districts' budget woes, there's a solution that has worked well in the past. It is alluded to in Mountain View Whisman's very name: district merger.
In July 2010, the Voice covered the county's grand jury report that (stated) unifying MVWSD, LASD, and the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District as one K-12 district would annually save $10 million.
The only way to truly stabilize funding, pay K-8 teachers more, and most importantly, streamline and synchronize support systems for students would be a K-12 unified school district combining Mountain View and Los Altos, similar to Palo Alto Unified School District. On the local level, not much would change everyone would still go to their local neighborhood school. On the Bullis LASD-Egan issue, a unified K-12 MVLA would also change the character of Bullis by broadening its diversity. A unified K-12 MVLA would open up many more powerful possibilities regarding the future of schools in North El Camino.
District offices in the past did not support it because it would mean some district administrators and board trustees would lose their positions, but voters today should take the 2010 grand jury report as a serious proposition.
Christopher Chiang, former MVWSD board trustee
Caltrain bike cars
Unless Caltrain's new seven-car electric car design includes 84 bikes per train with seats in view of bikes to limit station dwell time, the current Joint Powers Board will be ignoring the recommendation of their 2015 JPB predecessors, who mandated to staff that a ratio of eight seats to each bike space be preserved on trains in the interest of both carbon-neutral transportation and minimizing taxpayer subsidies for more costly means of accessing Caltrain stations.
Bicyclists are currently being bumped from trains with 77 bike spaces available on the average train. Bike-share companies do not serve all of the corridor and Caltrain will lose cycling passengers to automobiles. Please think of the climate and the environment that we leave for the next generation and provide 84 bikes per train with seats in view of bikes to maintain the commitment that the 2015 JPB made to support cleaner transportation choices.