LASD sees problems with new Bullis requests | February 8, 2013 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

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News - February 8, 2013

LASD sees problems with new Bullis requests

by Nick Veronin

An open letter from the president of the Los Altos School District's board of trustees to the chair of Bullis Charter School indicates that district officials are pleased with the charter's decision to temporarily accept a two-campus solution, while also making it clear the two educational organizations have yet to reach an accord.

The letter, from Doug Smith of LASD to Ken Moore of Bullis, begins by thanking Moore for announcing BCS officials' intent to accept the split campus as a temporary solution, as well as the charter's commitment to engaging in dialogue with the district and the public in the search for a permanent fix to the years-long dispute — and calling the BCS proposal a "step in the right direction."

But then Smith shifts gears, noting that the proposal, which Moore referred to as a "big compromise," includes some requests from the charter school that the district will at the very least have to examine in much greater detail and perhaps reject.

"Upon a preliminary read, the proposal needs some work because it again fails to pay sufficient heed to the impact of BCS's proposed configuration on the highly successful programs at Egan and Blach," Smith wrote.

Before writing his letter to Moore, Smith told the Voice that some of the strings — or requests — attached to Bullis' acceptance of the two-site solution, aren't likely to be approved by the LASD board. By way of example, Smith pointed to a map of Bullis' proposed expansion on the Egan campus.

LASD officials do not want to see Bullis' footprint expand on the the Egan campus, he said. Furthermore, the proposal put forward by Bullis would cost the district at least $1 million, but the district is looking to spend somewhere in the realm of $300,000 in its 2013-14 facilities offer.

Smith wrote that he wished the letter had acknowledged the ongoing legal dispute between the two educational organizations. He said that if the charter school would like the district's undivided attention in negotiations, it would be better if litigation could be ended.

He said that the court has ruled multiple times in favor of the district, but still litigation continues. Smith called for Bullis to end the legal stand-off, saying, "No thoughtful dialogue is likely to occur if BCS simultaneously is launching grenades at the district."

In an informal response to the letter, Moore told the Voice that while it seems the two organizations are still at an impasse, the reality is officials from both sides are talking to each other trying to reach a new compromise that will satisfy both Bullis and LASD.


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Posted by Incompetence
a resident of another community
on Aug 14, 2014 at 3:07 pm

The blame for this refusal to compromise with Bullis belongs on the entire school board. After another 2 years and another $4 Million of taxpayer money spent in court, LASD trustees finally went back into negotiations that they had terminated. The result was to hammer out details of the proposal made by Ken Moore of Bullis back when this article appeared. What a waste. What incompetence. They didn't like state law so they spent $10 Million in litigation delaying the inevitable recognition of Bullis Charter's right to exist.

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Posted by Shameful
a resident of another community
on Aug 14, 2014 at 7:14 pm

It's a shame that BCS is so set on damaging the district. The court has rules against their desire to enact revenge. Bullis will continue to lose their court cases, yet defending against their predation costs the district both money and attention.

It is clear that the best thing for education in this area is to have BCS de-certified as a charter school. They can continue to exist as a private school without taxpayer money. How can we get this done?

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Posted by Shameful indeed
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 15, 2014 at 8:42 am

What's shameful is these clowns ("Shameful" & "Incompetence") digging up something from over a year and a half ago to try to stir up controversy. The charter and the district now have a 5 year agreement in place that should form the basis of a lasting peace. I guess these guys just don't want to see an end to the conflict unless BCS completely takes over the district. Get a life guys...

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Posted by Shameful indeed
a resident of another community
on Aug 15, 2014 at 8:43 am

To clarify, I meant to say that these guys don't want to see an end to the conflict unless BCS takes over the district OR is completely shut down.

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Posted by Solution
a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2014 at 1:30 am

Merge LASD with MVWSD. That's the end game. This just wastes taxpayer money to put it off. LASD spent TWO MILLION DOLLARS this past year on keeping Bullis from realizing the intent of state law, which is just that their 600 students who live in LASD should be provided with the same type of classrooms that LASD provides all of its resident students. Unspoken over the years by all these yahoos with the criticism is that if they kill off the charter school, they still need another 2 schools to house the extra students who remain in grade school with or without the private school. And if you think their parents are going to raise money to make up $4K per year in extra funding per kid, you are nuts. They do it now because they are denied a share of the LASD parcel tax and the LASD excess property tax revenue, but if they are all in the district monopoly, then the public money has to be stretched to cover them too.

Oh, and this wasn't the first year that the district spend more than 1.5 MIllion $ on legal fees. No, no, they have been spending that much ever since 2009 when Bullis finally took the matter of the discrimination and inequity to court. All through the time when the Bullis appeal was being fought off, the district spent way more than it would cost to simply rent the portables and split up the vast land holdings equitably. Now they say they need to buy more land. What a joke.

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Posted by No More Cronies.
a resident of another community
on Aug 17, 2014 at 8:48 am

Last time I checked we were still a democracy. Here's to hoping that LASD voters are tired on the LASD BOTs and their anointed Cronies. Why should we continue with more of the same wasteful spending and status quo look good on the outside, but lack luster on the inside schools? If you want innovation do not vote for Vlad or Tammy. Both are reactionaries, trying hard to keep things the way that they are, both are willing to bumble around to make that happen.

The other thing that really bugs me about Tammy and Vlad is that they both seem very self involved. They want to move assets like Hillview and other city parks to the LASD balance sheet. That might give them a box to check off, but it is clearing stealing from the rest of community.

Just say no to Cronies.

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Posted by Remember
a resident of another community
on Aug 17, 2014 at 10:06 am

Remember..the core of the Bullis Charter School: "Public money used to fund private schooling for primarily wealthy families. Corruption--pure and simple."

Keep this in mind when listening to the ranting of their supporters. Makes it so simple to interpret.

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Posted by No More Cronies
a resident of another community
on Aug 17, 2014 at 10:13 am

Dear School Board Trustee and or Cronie

Last time I checked BCS was a public school - spending much less money per student that does LASD. That doesn't make it private. Anyway… except for a few hard core union members and supporters, NO ONE CARES. Especially parents who just want to make sure there child gets a great education in our local public schools.

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Posted by No More Hypocricy
a resident of another community
on Aug 17, 2014 at 12:13 pm

@Cronies -- you seem to forget that nobody appoints or "anoints" LASD trustees. They are actually elected by the voters. Contrast this with the clear crony politics of BCS leadership. They are self-appointed and accountable to no one. Secondly, you continue to raise the issue of the local parks even after the Trustees explicitly took that option off the table for any potential new sites. Pretty weak attempt to create controversy where none exist. If the BoT were as "self involved", or as bent on empire building as you suggest, why would they have responded to community feedback in the way they did? Thirdly, BCS does NOT spend "much less money per student than LASD". They demonstrably pay more per student in total, and when you adjust for their lack of disadvantaged students, they pay substantially more. Finally, "keeping (some) things the way they are" is exactly what the voters want. Keeping the neighborhood school model intact, while continuing to roll out enhancements and innovative changes to the overall curriculum is what LASD parents expect of the trustees. And it's exactly what people like Tammy and Vladimir (and hopefully Sangeeth) will deliver. How about a little more honesty, and a little less hypocrisy in your posts @Cronies.

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Posted by Let it go
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 17, 2014 at 1:58 pm

I agree that we need Board of Trustee Members that put children first. The first step is letting go. The war is over. I am looking forward to a more peaceful Los Altos School District. I am an LASD parent, I don't want BCS to take over my children's school but I think BCS is a great school. I hope that we can work with them to improve the LASD program we are not any where close to what they are doing but there is no reason why we can't get there.

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Posted by Bikes2work
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 18, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Bikes2work is a registered user.

@No More bad spelling:

Steve Taglio was originally appointed by the other trustees when Margo resigned. That made him an incumbent for the next election cycle with a statistically higher chance of winning.

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Posted by No more Cronies
a resident of another community
on Aug 18, 2014 at 9:32 pm

@ Bikes to work

Exactly…… Tagilio was a Crony. Put in place to hold the power for Covington., and already very powerful school that was able to send special ed off of it's campus and over to Springer ( they kept the k-1 students that whose test scores didn't count- how generous of them!)

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Posted by No More Hypocrisy
a resident of another community
on Aug 19, 2014 at 8:13 am

@Bikes2work [Portion removed; don't speculate on the identity of anonymous posters.]
BCS supporters and anti-LASD zealots always have some excuse why the Board composition is what it is. It's inconceivable to you that an educated, informed electorate actually generally approves of the job the trustees have done and elect those that reflect the values that have made LASD successful.

Next you'll be saying that Sangeeth Peruri is also a "crony" simply because he's been actively involved in both Covington and District wide programs. If you did any homework at all, you'd also know that Mr. Peruri sits on the board of Beyond12 (an educationally focused non-profit) along with at least 3 other board members who actively work in pro-charter school causes. I could just as easily argue that he's a clever plant for BCS [Portion removed]

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