Town Square

Post a New Topic

School dispute will cost Los Altos district

Original post made on Aug 24, 2012

The pitched battle between the Los Altos school district and Bullis Charter School unfortunately shows no sign of abating, despite a ruling from the state Appellate Court that clearly supports Bullis' argument that the district must provide the school essentially the same assets as those at its own schools.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 24, 2012, 12:00 AM

Comments (58)

Posted by Lalitha
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 8:35 am

Could this article be an more biased? The question to ask is whether the student population in LASD including Bullis charter has grown enough to need an additional campus. We could determine this easily enough by comparing facilities per student to nearby districts like Palo Alto. If the population has grown, then getting an additional campus and providing a campus for bullis charter is reasonable. They should get the new campus. If the student population ratio to facilities is on par with comparative districts, then it makes no sense to force closure of a high performing neighborhood school which will effectively result in redrawing school attendance boundaries. One thing is clear, we need more adults and wiser heads in this conversation. The legal costs on both sides is astounding! Isn't that better spent on the kids?

Posted by LASD Parent
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 24, 2012 at 8:42 am

Nice work. Really impressive. Let's see if I understand your POV: Anger over closing a Los Altos Hills LASD school is justified but anger over potentially closing a Mountain View LASD school is not? Mountain View families are supposed to just accept be displaced by an unnecessary and hostile charter school? I thought this was the Mountain View Voice, not the Los Altos Hills Voice. This editorial is about as thin and naive as I've read on this issue. The latest Prop 39 offer could well be compliant with the law and with the judge's mandate. I'm surprised that you're so willing to throw MV families under the bus on such thin rationale. Parents and community members have organized in opposition to BCS' hyper-aggressive legal maneuverings, not ignorant of the history, but expressly because they know the history so well. You might consider reading the helpful timeline printed by another local paper this week yourself to get a more complete view of things.

Posted by Matt Raschke
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 24, 2012 at 8:58 am

Thanks for presenting these facts so accurately. Many Mountain View residents attend Bullis Charter School. We deserve our fair share of public facilities for our public students.

Posted by beware choice
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

Matt Raschke is correct, BCS students are entitled to reasonably equivalent facilities, but this does not mean they are entitled to their own campus. The current facilities offer was finalized after the court's methodological correction and mandate so I bet it's reasonably equivalent. Egan hasn't enjoyed its own campus for eight years and now BCS wants to uproot an entire elementary community, turn all those neighborhood students into commuter students, force them to share with Egan - and for what? School choice. Beware the seduction of choice. BCS families chose to be commuters, the neighborhood families did not. BCS families: live with your choice.

Posted by ENOUGH
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 24, 2012 at 9:17 am

I know three BCS families and I've held my tongue about all this. No more. They must be called to account for what their school has done and is doing. Shame on BCS parents.

Posted by MV resident
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 24, 2012 at 9:43 am

I am disappointed in the obvious bias presented in this editorial. This is a difficult situation, but how can you suggest BCS students have more of a right to a campus than the students that currently exist on that campus? The BCS non-elected, non-accountable board does not care one bit about the harm they are doing to LASD students and they should be ashamed.

Posted by Matt Raschke
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 24, 2012 at 9:45 am


I'm sorry you feel that BCS is the culprit in this. But the facts point to LASD being the root of the problem. They have acted in bad faith for many years and now the only recourse is court action. The State Department of Education would not step in when requested previously. That left only court action as a means for redressing the grievances.

Posted by Joan J. Strong
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 9:52 am

Joan J. Strong is a registered user.

The story's basic premise--that the current campus that houses Bullis Charter School is not only inaccurate but is an intentional lie. Most likely this story, like others before it in this newspaper, was not written by MV Voice staff but rather paid PR agents of BCS.

Bullis Charter School already has a PERMANENT CAMPUS where is has achieved the status of the most successful charter school in California, and is home to opulent, private-school-like perks that public school students can only dream about and very few can afford.

The BCS campus consists of buildings and grass and blacktop just like every other school. It's location is ideal for the commuter school that it is (BCS MV students would have a nightmare commuting to Hills as the founders of BCS want).

BCS used their $billionaire money to intentionally grow and intentionally create this crisis. The original plan was to stay small, as is consistent with a rich-person's private school. Then they hatched a plan to get the campus they wanted (read more: Web Link ).

BCS is a blight on our community, bringing shame to our area: Web Link .

BCS should be re-formed as a LASD-run magnet school for those who truly need it's special programs. Only then will this school operate in harmony with the community: Web Link .

Posted by ENOUGH
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 24, 2012 at 10:16 am

Dear Matt Raschke: the way I read the history LASD has offered the minimum required by law at every step which is proper and too bad if BCS wants more than the law requires. If LASD's offer is insufficient under law they must make it right of course but I don't see evidence of bad faith I see ambiguity in the law. In BCS's request for attorneys fees, they basically admit this when they say that acheiving clarity about facilties obligations under Prop 39 for all of California is the legal endpoint that justifies their action. I agree with those that say the current Prop 39 offer is probably legal and sufficient but I guess we will wait to see what the court thinks

Posted by bikerchick
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 24, 2012 at 10:52 am

bikerchick is a registered user.

ENOUGH is NOT enough. How can you conclude that some public school kids deserve great, convenient, small, neighborhood schools, while others deserve "the minimum required by law"? What is most perplexing to me about your stance is that there is an Appellate Court Ruling that indicates that the 2009 facilities offered by LASD to BCS were ILLEGAL (i.e. not meeting your very definition of "proper"). The good news is that there is a hearing next week, in which the Judge will consider if the current 2012 facilities offer is ALSO illegal. I, personally, am fed up with our LASD Trusees who continue to spend my taxpayer dollars against my family, continue to drag on expensive and time consuming legislation, and fail to have the leadership to settle this issue by simply providing BCS facilites that meet terms for which they negotiated in the Spring.

Posted by Joan J. Strong
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 11:12 am

Joan J. Strong is a registered user.

It's telling how BCS people talk about exactly one thing: the arcane sections within a vague LAW.

Get it straight: "legal" does NOT mean "moral". Just because your lawyers figured out you can LEGALLY do something doesn't mean you ought to do it. I can "legally" park my car in front of your house forever and play loud music all day long. I can get lawyers and make sure my car stays there forever. That doesn't make it right, and no moral person would ever defend those actions.

For the record, the 2009 facilities offer was deemed to have been calculated in a way that two trial judges found to be correct, and then an appellate court found to be not the way they liked it. They asked the District to correct the offer, and they did. The case had to do with "shrubbery" in which useless space was not counted. The appellate court found that useless space must be counted, and that BCS is owed its fair share of useless space. Now they are whining about the useless space they just spend three years and $1.5 million obtaining.

I too am fed up with a bunch of whining billionaires who refuse to buy their own campus for their private school. All of us LASD parents live in fear of our school closing--a fear that is in no way shared with any of the privileged elite of Bullis Charter School.

Some day we will repeal Prop 39 and change the laws regarding charter schools to disallow the formation of a Charter for the express purpose of making an end-run around the locally elected school officials as BCS did. Charter schools were never, ever meant to be this.

Posted by LASD Mom
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

Just FYI - now that Bullis Charter has opened a middle school, its student population is too large to occupy the Gardner Bullis campus. This means it would displace children from either Covington (serves Mountain View children), Santa Rita (serves Mountain View children), or Almond (serves Mountain View children). Are you still as cavalier about closing a Los Altos elementary school now?

Posted by MaddMom
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 11:36 am

Thank you MV Voice. Again you are the Voice of reason in what has become an ugly pissing match. Now LASD is demanding the names and addresses of all students at BCS and their family's tax returns? Are you kidding me? Wonder how these rabid LASD, anti-BCS folks will feel when BCS demands the same in return. Seems like a right to privacy should trump it all and the LASD should grow a pair and do the right thing. Everyone should be demanding the District end this mess by returning to the negotiations with BCS. This has just got to stop

Posted by ENOUGH
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 24, 2012 at 11:37 am

Hi Amanda! See you around the 'hood

Posted by Kristine Dworkin
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 24, 2012 at 11:40 am

Wow! What a biased piece!!

The City of Mountain View needs to realize their part in this dispute. They're puting the squeeze on the Los Altos School District too!! Mountain View's continued crazy development of the North of El Camino area--- development that has not included a school for the burgeoning population of families living in NEC has not only put a squeeze on the school district, it has robbed residents in the area of the neighborhood school experience and forced them to be flexible and ultimately inconvenienced when boundaries are redrawn.

Posted by Tax Payer
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 11:56 am

What the article fails to point out is that while BCS is filing lawsuit after lawsuit, they took taxpayers funds and made an illegal loan to one of its officers. So, in addition to wanting a different campus and dislocate an existing school (note they do not ask for their own separate site they want to displace a school), they took our money and made an illegal loan to one of its officers (read the court filings).

Posted by view from both sides
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

How refreshing that Mountain Voice is not being "politically correct".
Another news outlet who is not "politically correct" is
Los Altos Politico. Web Link

The first site (and perhaps the only site so far?) to report the fact LASD BoT President Mark Goines has been fined $3000 for violating California FPPC rule, for failing to recuse himself around discussions of Santa Rita and Pilgrim Havens project. How many other instances of conflict of interest for Mark Goines?

Posted by Tax Payer 2
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Tax Payer says that BCS is filing lawsuit after lawsuit. Really? Last I read, it's LASD who is filing lawsuit to "compel" BCS to tell them the income, net worth and address of BCS parents. LASD BoT apologists out there, please tell us why that is okay?

Posted by I don't get it
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Can someone explain to me exactly how children are harmed if the LASD redraws the boundaries, puts everyone in one of their existing schools, and ends all this nonsense? I don't see how BCS is getting anything better than a LASD student, just the same. And in the end of the day, why is that outcome so bad? It seem logical and it would certainly end the acrimony. I am sick of reading about it. Enough is enough.

Posted by Kristine Dworkin
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Dear I don't get it,

If you really want to know what the harm is, go talk to folks who live out in the Crossings! They have been reshuffled every time the boundaries are redrawn. The City of Mtn View should have worked with LASD to include a school in the development in the North of El Camino area instead of forcing them to move every time it is determined they need to!

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm

As catchy of a phase as 10 schools and 9 campuses is, the reality is that LASD has 10 schools and 10 campuses (including the Egan Camp site). The question is, how to best utilize the Egan Camp site such that ALL LASD children are treated equivalently. There are lots of ways to do that, but one is clearly not to stuff 465 kid on that site. It's not fair to BCS or to Egan. Perhaps create a new school for the growing Northside? Perhaps create a new magnet school that draws from the entire district? LASD BofT has created a mess by refusing to make hard decisions, be leaders and be creative. Why is it that so many people want to attend BCS? Perhaps LASD should be asking that question and figuring out how to give more residents a choice in the type of school they believe best works for their family. Palo Alto, Cupertino and MV all do. LASD clearly has abdicated their responsibility to the Courts. Any reasonable reading of the full Appelate decision means that it is highly likely that the Court will find the current offer non-compliant. If that happens, will LASD spend more of my tax dollars fighting it? No doubt... Finally, really, really childish of LASD to withdraw the 1/2 use of the Egan gym and providing a MPR room ONE DAY BEFORE SCHOOL STARTED. Why does anyone support this?

Posted by I don't get it
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm

But when was the last time they were redrawn? Hasn't it been 10 years? And, I am sure most of the residents in the Crossings would be thrilled to be closer to their own neighborhood in a re-draw anyway instead of passing two or three schools. Sure seems like there is lots of blame to go around yet everyone is clutching their "neighborhood" school selfishly at the expense of fairness. Now it is the City of Mountian View's fault? As a taxpayer, I am tired of footing the bill for this folly.

Posted by Santa Rita Mom
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Kristine is 100% correct. What the Mountain View Voice SHOULD be asking is why the Mountain View city council feels it is okay to put more of a burden on the LASD without contributing ANYTHING to help support the system that educates the children living in the buildings THEY approved. It is irresponsible of the city to approve building, then lay the burden of their decision on the backs of another city. I am highly offended that their attitude is so selfish. It makes those of us that are Mountain View residents into poor neighbors, which I don't appreciate.

I live in Mountain View but my child attends an LASD school. Why should MY child be uprooted from his home school in order to appease the board of a school that has an agenda that includes retribution for an injustice they feel was done to them ten years ago? I don't have a problem with the existence of the charter school, but I do object to them causing such a rift in the community. Closing a high performing school to satisfy their agenda would be a disservice to the community as a whole. If they were truly concerned with the education of children, they would work with the LASD to get a school site rather than trying uproot another community to soothe their hurt feelings. Is that REALLY the example they want to give to the children? Because it was done to you, should families that were not even involved be made to suffer too?

As for the Mountain View Voice, as journalists, I would expect less bias and more common sense. What a shame both of those things are so rare these days.

Posted by MV Native
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm

The LASD Board of Trustees (BOTS) have systematically favored areas of Los Altos over Mountain View. Just because the district is called the Los Altos School District doesn't mean that it is just there to represent Los Altos and that Mountain View is there as an after thought. Just like Mountain View, LA is divided into two different districts the same is true of Los Altos Hills.

The BOTs have a long and storied tradition of poor decision making and out right corruption. Here are some facts that every LASD Mountain View voter should know:

1. The BOT's decided to reopen Covington campus to get a new District Office.
2. The BOT's voted to spend millions of tax payer dollars building office space at Egan and Blach. Many buildings at these campuses sit empty for much of the day.
3. Since the opening of Covington the BOT's have been moving the district around to try and fill it. There really was no reason to stick a school so close to three other schools.
4. To keep Loyola open the BOT's let in a bunch of out of district kids and sent them all to Loyola - that is why Loyola has such a large population now. The practice stopped when the district became basic aide — but there is still quite a few out of district kids there and most likely a bunch more using fake addresses.
5. When they reopened Gardner they ended up with two empty schools. So they moved every school around to try and fill it. - Like a game of tile squares. Mountain View got that brunt of it, with the Crossings moved to Covington and a large section of Almond moved to Springer.
6. Gardner and Covington could be easily combined into one school — with BCS getting the open campus. Then the district could use the space to either build a smaller elementary school at Egan ( one that is really needed to relieve crowding at Santa Rita and Almond) and or they could move six graders to the middle schools.
7. LASD lets in out of district kids from Los Altos Hills but not from Mountain View. I am sure everyone knows Mountain View residents who live much closer to Almond, Oak or Blach than their assigned Mountain View School. Yet MV families are routinely rejected for transfer. LAH families who live in the Palo Alto Unified School District are welcomed with open arms — and LASD tax payers make up the short fall.

LASD BOTS favor Los Altans living close to the schools. Mountain View has been paying the price.

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Certainly there needs to be more communication and developer dollars when large developments occur. But the blame lies on both the City Councils and the School Districts. LASD has been way to complacent about this for way too long and that is why we have the mess we have.

It is time to move away from the past and deal with where we are today. 10 schools and 10 campuses. Time for LASD to use what it has more wisely -- treat everyone equally (yes, may result in school boundaries being redrawn but that is going to happen anyway given demographics), and use the Egan Camp site in a more useful way. Wouldn't it be fabulous to offer all LASD families an language immersion program? Or an Science and Technology focused program? Time to move away from the mantra of the same thing for everyone. That is not best practices. Yes, high test scores but is that really all we want to judge success by?

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Sorry for the typos and grammer mistakes above -- too and a language...

Posted by LASD Non Parent
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm

The editorial recommends using Gardner Bullis to house Bullis Charter school, and none of the current Mountain View residents are assigned to that campus. I agree with the logic from their viewpoint, since it is indeed the smallest population in LASD, and would result in the least crowding affect on the remaining campuses.

Most importantly, the editorial recommends LASD stop trying to get around the court decision and provide equally for the kids in the charter school.

Posted by ABA
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Just to set the record straight, for Mr. or Ms. Enough, while you may think a previous poster is me, it is not. So I guess the anonymity remains on equal footing.

Posted by Oak Mom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I agree with comments of LASD Taxpayer. Regardless of what happens with BCS I think LASD should have Magnet Schools. LASD schools spend too much time focusing on tedious test prep. It would be great to have an alternative.

Posted by Oak Mom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm

MV Native comments that MV school district residents are not granted transfers to LASD. I know of at least four families that live in the MV District section of Waverly Park who requested a transfer to Oak or Blach and were turned down. They live in walking distance to both schools.

Posted by Member
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 25, 2012 at 7:01 am

I've been watching this battle for some time now, in the papers, and on Facebook where people from both sides spend endless hours making themselves look like absolute fools. The constant mudslinging and the endless rehashing of the same accusations, shows that this issue will only end with a court mandate. But what is so striking, is how childish and immature the vocal core group of combatants are in this case. You can see them on Facebook every hour of every day, trying to "outsmart" each other with the irrelevant minutia, acting as armchair lawyers, threatening the end of one another's districts. I would ask these people, to take a single day away from the internet threads they spend non-stop hours on, and ask themselves if they are doing anything more than tarnishing their own reputations, while continuing to contribute to the abscess of their own minds. You folks are simply incredible! And I'm hoping your children never learn of your childish folly.

Posted by Vote for change
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2012 at 11:30 am

The entire LASD bot needs to go. At least we can elect new, fresh folks who want an end to the conflict. Vote for change and healing. Support Amanda for School Board.

Posted by Vote for Amanda
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Amanda is an educator who cares deeply about our schools. She is the best choice for healing our community.

Posted by Change
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm

If only we could get rid of the BCS board too and get some fresh perspectives! Too bad they are self-appointed.

Posted by Ron Haley
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm

LASD wants to burden the community with another bond measure the build a 10th campus that's not needed. There are currently 740 open slots in the LASD elementary schools. Reorganizing to K-5/6-8 like all the surrounding districts would remove another 500 students from the elementary schools, creating enough space to house BCS AND close another school. And this doesn't take into account the 500 students the demographer says LASD will lose by 2018.

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm

740 slots open. Have question here, what is the breakdown of each slot in each grade in each classroom for each school?

Posted by Change
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm's okay that BCS "does it differently" but then BCS wants to tell the district to reconfigure its top-performing junior high to a middle-school, move kids around from one school to another just to make room for BCS? Sounds crazy to me and the reason BCS formed in the first place

Posted by Let's Be Creative
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 25, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Why not make every school a magnet school Orem a charter? Our current model turns out good test score's and our neighborhood school is in bike riding distance (too far to walk) . I think it would be great if every school could create different programs. why can't we all be a little or even a lot different? we have great parents and teachers that will create some great programs, let's take advantage of empty space and give everyone a choice.

Posted by Cant we all just get along?
a resident of another community
on Aug 26, 2012 at 1:12 am

Kudos to "Member from Cuesta Park" for the most correct post on this topic I've seen in months. You speak for the silent majority. The most vocal folks, real and fictitious, on BOTH sides of these facebook groups and local paper message boards are indeed foolish, immature, and destructive. The amount of time they spend spewing divisive comments, inflammatory catchphrases, and irrelevant minutae is pathetic and an obstacle to a solution to a tough problem. You influence leaders and common folks on both sides who should still be trying to work on solutions together to become more militant and polarized. You care about your egos more than the community's kids - though you are too obsessed and nuts to realize it. Shame on you!

Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 27, 2012 at 5:43 am

This conversation is hilarious. I'm from New Jersey, and grew up assuming that New Jersey was the most corrupt state in the Union. I mean, come on, The Sopranos is practically documentary. But you people are ASTOUNDING: Californians, especially in Silicon Valley, take self-obsession and narcissism to levels undreamed of, even by New Yorkers. Your hubris and your complete lack of any sense whatsoever of "the common good" is sui generis.

California was the Light Of The World when I first came here in the 1970s. This Valley was STUNNING in its beauty. Your education system was the envy of the nation. Then came Proposition 13. Now you're 48th in education, importing H1B visas from Third-World sewers to do the heavy lifting in your pathetically doomed tech monoculture. Even NYC hedges its bets on Wall Street with funding for the arts. You do no such thing, and you continually outdo yourselves in pure sociopathy, ever grasping for more and more, as if wealth were an infinite resource.

Enjoy this little fracas while you still have the wealth to indulge in it. Your time is short. San Jose is the Detroit of the 21st Century, and Mountain View is its Flint. Sell your overvalued real estate to whatever recently-arrived immigrant is gullible enough to give you "market value" for it, and get out with as much as you can as soon as you can.

Silicon Valley is so hopelessly out of touch with reality that it can only end badly, and soon. It can't end soon enough for this amused spectator.

Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 27, 2012 at 5:48 am

Why are you wasting money on schools when you could have a High-Speed Rail connection to Bakersfield?


Posted by Voice of Reason
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 27, 2012 at 8:04 am

This very biased piece certainly generates a lot of attention.

Amanda as a BCS parent never stood up against the UNELECTED BCS board for the benefits of the LASD community in this CONFLICT between LASD and BCS. It will be absurd that she is on the LASD board.

Posted by Voice of Reason
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 27, 2012 at 8:04 am

This very biased piece certainly generates a lot of attention.

Amanda as a BCS parent never stood up against the UNELECTED BCS board for the benefits of the LASD community in this CONFLICT between LASD and BCS. It will be absurd that she is on the LASD board.

Posted by Neighborhood parent
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 27, 2012 at 8:11 am

"Opinion - Friday, August 24, 2012" says it all.

Posted by amazed
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Interesting to think back when the MV and LA superintendents jobs were both open. I don't think Mr. Golman was ever crazy enough to waste his time/career on stuff like this!

Posted by Whose Opinion Anyway
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm

It appears that this "opinion" piece lacks credibility. Could you please print the author's name so your readers can determine its bias (or non-bias)?

Posted by Andrea Gemmet
Mountain View Voice Editor
on Aug 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

Editorials are written by Tom Gibboney, the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Voice.

Posted by CA parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Old Ben, you are welcome to leave California anytime.

Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I'm sticking around to watch it collapse.

I like the weather and the quasi-legal pot.

Posted by About the Kids
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Most communities welcome a Charter school, I know where I come from (east coast) they are fully supported by both parents and districts. All the comments about wealth- REALLY?? You should be ashamed of yourselves. LASD closed a campus, redistricted hundreds of students. A charter school was formed. Rather than supporting and growing the Charter school, the district has tried to crush it, and is willing to spend millions to do so. If I were the Los Altos parents, I would vote out this school board and replace them with level headed representatives who focus on successfully educating ALL the LASD children. Residents seem to forget that this could just have easily been Loyola that was closed and a charter formed. Would the responses be different then? Smells like politics to me. No rational group would spend over a million dollars to crush a successful public school within their own district....

Posted by Concerned Taxpayer
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 28, 2012 at 7:34 am

Wow LASD is going for broke! Can't imagine what the Judge will do to them on thursday. I am really mad that they are spending my tax dollars on this stuff. I think that many folks are in for a very rude awakening. Spend the money on the kids not on your egos!

Web Link

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I am going to toss my view into the hat, don't have any kids here but if I did, would be scratching my head. LASD lost their case, the BCS school is not going anywhere anytime soon. A site has to be found for a school to house the BCS students and the LASD students which staff for each one. We must start looking at designing and building schools for the BCS and those kids that will lost out. BCS needs are a K-8 campus couldn't we house them in a large single building. LASD needs mabye 2 more schools due to what is going on in Mtn View, so a smaller school site will be needed. The only problem I see it getting the money.

Posted by About the kids too
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2012 at 3:29 pm

"About the kids" Do you really think that Loyola parents would have created their own school had Loyola been closed? It was a very difficult decision to close any school. At the time of closing Bullis/Purissima, it was stated that when enrollments got larger, BP would be re-opened. Flash forward a few years and it was.

Oh course BCS cynics claim it was opened solely to prevent BCS from getting the campus. Regardless, it was re-opened and could have taken the existing BCS students into its fold. Unfortunately, BCS's sense of entitlement would not let that happen.

When LASD closed this neighborhood school (which BP was), LASD upset people who are used to getting their own way. Their response was "let us use charter law to create a school where one really isn't needed and call it a school that offers "Choice."" After all, charter schools were originally created to help low performing (mainly urban) schools perform better. (check it out for yourself - look into the charter movement which began in Minnesota - go Vikings). But since LASD neighborhood schools aren't low performing, BSC need to come up with a good reason to be different than those "regular" LASD schools taught by overpaid and under worked union run teachers. Choice became the catch phrase.

Choice began at BCS with the idea of making BCS a school that taught about agricultural know, kids can go on field trips to Westwind Barn. Ah, nature taught in a integrated school setting. Nah, that isn't unique enough to show the chartering folks at SCCOE. We must have programs! Mandarin sounds good, trips to the Galapagos - excellent. Now that is what I call "choice." And so things evolved into adding more after school programs. After all, one needs to substantiate the large "suggested donation."

Oh but wait we must have our own campus because we require it. Choice deserves its own permanent campus. Here is an idea. Lets take the Gardner Bullis campus, you know the one that LASD took from us. After all, turn about is fair play. And if we don't get it, lets sue and sue and sue some more. Our pockets are deeper and we have God (Ken Moore) on our side. God wasn't elected like regular LASD board members, so he isn't publicly accountable to tax payers. But accountability is over rated anyway.

So where are we? Well BCS sued because facilities weren't equivalent and calculations were wrong because the non usable space at other LASD schools weren't included into the calculations. LASD increased land space and gave BCS its fair share of non usable space. Well if it ain't usable for LASD than why should it be usable for BCS?

BCS thought it should add 7th and 8th grades which conveniently would require more needed space. LASD gave BSC more space but at different campuses, k-6 at one site, 7-8 at another (similar to regular LASD schools). Nope BCS needs all its space together - BCS programs are unique and fully integrated. Sounds like entitlement to me.

BCS claims to have a wait list a mile long. Well who wouldn't want to go to a school with smaller class sizes where you get to go on fantastic trips and stuff... I'd sign up for that if it were free but BCS programs can't go on without full parent participation which concerns those of us who don't have a spare five large to spend. BCS enrollment policy (whether intended or not) eliminates many of the more expensive to educate students. Lastly and I don't think many BCS parents and supporters get - BCS's education model can't work with a large student population. So when BCS leaders and parents ask for a campus all to themselves, they will have to restrict their enrollments which will make BCS de facto a private school.

I hope you can see through all my sarcasm to see although BCS might be an excellent school, there are a ton of problems with it that many BCS supporters don't see.

Posted by Fed Up
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm

This is just sickening. Time for both parties to return to mediation and hammer out a fair arrangement. It is time.

Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 29, 2012 at 8:19 am

Otto Maddox is a registered user.

Good lord.. all this complaining about something that could so easily be settled.

Absolish public schools. The best schools are private. That's just the plain truth.

Give us our money back and let us send our kids to private school.

Until then.. stop complaining about BCS. They are working within the laws. If you don't like the law then talk to the people who wrote them. Vote them out of office. Don't blame a group to taking advantage of an opportunity. That's what the law was written for in the first place.

Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 29, 2012 at 9:35 am

The idea of "the common good" is as dead as Julius Caesar, that much is obvious.

In America, you are what you take.

Posted by Bullis are Bullies
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 3, 2012 at 9:40 pm

I don't understand why the Bullis School system should get their own campus. They should get a proportionate amount of space. No judge has insisted otherwise and LASD is fully entitled to deny and defend their well performing district from the predatory practices of Bullis.

Posted by Blast from the Past
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2014 at 9:38 pm

This editorial was ahead of its time. The lawsuit from 2009 is still active and it appears to me that Bullis will eventually prevail in its quest for equivalent facilities. Unfortunately, the offer for 2012-2013 was still seriously lacking and the situation has in many ways deteriorated for the following years. But there is hope, as the matter is in the Appeals Court once again, the original lawsuit from 2009.

The point is that LASD has in many ways ignored the decision of the Appeals Court in the 2009 case (where the Appeal ruling was made in 2011, and then LASD fought it but lost finally in 2012).

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

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

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Mountain View Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Marriage Interview #17: They Renew Their Vows Every 5 Years
By Chandrama Anderson | 11 comments | 2,135 views

Tree Walk: Edible Urban Forest - July 8
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 1,401 views

New Zealand-inspired savory pie bakery coming to Montara
By The Peninsula Foodist | 1 comment | 1,240 views