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Bullis not happy with district's facility offer

Original post made on Apr 16, 2013

While the Los Altos School District described its April 1 facilities-sharing arrangement to Bullis Charter School as "the most generous that the district has ever offered," it seems that officials with the charter see it more like a cruel joke.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 1:57 PM

Comments (140)

Posted by observer
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 16, 2013 at 2:42 pm

BCS is not happy with something. YOU CALL THAT "NEWS". How about reporting when they are happy... Now THAT would be NEWS!

Posted by Mark
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 16, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Wow -- shocking -- knock me over with a feather -- next you will be telling me that water is wet! BULLIS IS NOT HAPPY WITH THE WAY THEY ARE BEING TREATED??? The arrogant, entitled, self-important Bullis administrators are NEVER happy with ANYTHING unless they get EVERYTHING. Sounds a bit like a spoiled little 8-yr. old taking his ball home when he doesn't get his way ... but since Bullis doesn't HAVE any balls, can't they just GO AWAY???

Posted by Enough
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2013 at 4:49 pm

We need to POUR through their records of acceptance and denials as well as fundraising. All of them. You'll see the pattern tied to $ and the weeding out of "Undesirable" students based on ESL or other issues. This is their biggest fear, and when the elitists are identified, they will be pariahs in our community. They are trying to gouge out their own private little school at the expense of the rest of us, and in essence, dumping lower scoring kids on the district "riff raff"
Bullis parents will get more than an eye roll next time I get to talk to one.

Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 16, 2013 at 5:05 pm

The "cruel joke" is that BCS wants a free private school funded by taxpayers. Having sent my kids to private school, paid tuition while dutifully funding public schools with my taxes makes this Charter School Scam particularly egregious. If you want to send your kids to a private school then get out your checkbook and pay for it. The Bullis Bullies have been a costly distraction to a well regarded public school district and it really is time to say "time's up - pencils down."

Posted by Only the lawyer wins
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 16, 2013 at 5:29 pm

If the parents cannot or will not pressure the board @ Bullis, the community at large should begin to pressure the parents to pressure the board. This may have to come from a different direction than the courts.

Posted by Davan
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 16, 2013 at 5:55 pm

From what I have been reading, there are questions about money that Bullis raises. Seems to me like I have heard the same thing about another charter school in Oakland and they are losing their certification by Alameda County. Why can't Los Altos go to the County and have these entitled administrators decertified? If Bullis won't show their uncooked books, then it is time to pull the certificate.

Bueller? Anyone?

Posted by When will this end
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Apr 16, 2013 at 6:01 pm

I heard Bullis is on purpose accepting more students to make it look like there's space/overcrowded issue??? Shouldn't there be a limit/cap on how many students are allowed to enroll???

Posted by MV tax payer
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 16, 2013 at 6:22 pm

This school has wreaked havoc to our community for over 10 years. It has diverted our precious funds and energy to a non stop flow of lawsuits. The BCS organization constantly bashes our successful local schools and over-inflates the success of their program through their marketing and PR machine. BCS's goal is to close and take over one of LASD's successful neighborhood schools -- which is so ironic considering that the one and only reason this school was created was because parents in Los Altos HIlls loved their neighborhood school and could not stand it being closed. It was not founded by education experts but by lawyers who did not want their kids to mingle with kids from another neighborhood once their school closed (that LAH neighborhood school has since reopened). Aren't the BCS board and BCS parents ashamed of their hypocrisy? I hope that BCS's suspect funding and their ability to weed out non english/low income/kids with challenges is brought to light. A true public school should accept all kinds of kids- regardless their ability to pay a $5k tuition, or their disability if it takes in government funding. If the BCS board and parents don't want those kids, simply become a private school.

Posted by Tired of BCS
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2013 at 7:52 pm

When is Bullis NOT unhappy?

The things that BCS people ask for is just ludicrous. They complain about not having a dedicated gym, not having a cafeteria, etc. etc. HELLO, my kids at Loyola don't have those either.

I may start doing some legal research to see what it takes to get a charter school de-certified...

Posted by Amen
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 17, 2013 at 9:45 am

I second every one of the posts above against BCS. I am so sick and tired of this nonsense, and still can't fathom how this charter school even came to exist in the first place when the school district is one of the highest performing in the state. It is a drain on funds and resources that would be better spent on our neighborhood schools.

Posted by fact checker
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 17, 2013 at 9:57 am

All posters commenting on the article seem to not know a thing about the school. Instead of going by what you "heard", how about doing some research yourself and speak from what you know, not what you heard someone say? How does the school select only the people who can afford to donate? Do they ask for W2 or income statement with registration? Those of you who allege that the school "weeds" out certain demographics, is that based on your experience of filling out the registration form? Is that based on actually attending the public lottery? Is that based on actual knowledge or hearsay designed to put doubt and sow discord in the community for some other motive?
Search your soul and think about the rumors you are spreading, and who you are hurting. There are 500+ kids attending/thriving at the school right now who would otherwise be attending one of the district schools. For all your pride in Project Cornerstone, it seems like the adults have not taken the lesson to their hearts.

Posted by LASD Mom
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 17, 2013 at 10:35 am

Dear Fact Checker,

When you have a geo preference for the Los Altos Hills, which BCS does, you are drawing from a large pool of those who can afford to attend and not from the diverse general public at large --- this is a fact!

Stop excusing the community at large of hurting or discriminating against kids at your quasi private school, your board is doing that with their single minded scorched earth tactics! The truth IS they are NEVER happy and all they want is more! This is not bullying, this is FACT! You are not victims, stop acting like it and start working with the community!

Posted by Fix LASD
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 11:28 am

What's really wrong is that LASD is segregated from Mountain View Whiaman. MVWSD has 50% disadvantaged kids and LASD has 3%. What should be done is to merge these two districts together so that the combined resources can work on the achievement gap between the disadvantaged and the rich kids. There are a lot of rich kids in LASD. It's criminal, and hopefully the state will step in and force a merger between the two districts.

Posted by Fed Up
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 17, 2013 at 11:33 am

Hey Amen, I am fed up too, but realize that a lot of our neighbors attend Bullis and we love the school. I'm fed up with the lies and distortions that BCS wants more than the other schools. Look at the LASD schools. They are way nicer than the portables assembled for us at Egan. It's the closest school to us, and it is OK, but now we are overflowing and Los Altos won't let us expand more at Egan. They are shipping us across town, half of our school 4 miles away. We will have 600 kids just like all the other Los Altos schools next year, but we are the only one being asked to split in two. We are K-8 but that's how our program is designed. Our 7th and 8th grade classes are 20% larger than the other Los Altos schools, and there are empty classrooms and idle science labs at Egan, and we are blocked from using them. I am truly fed up.

Posted by Fed Up
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 17, 2013 at 11:36 am

We want our 7th and 8th grade classes to be the size they are (25), but but Los Altos claims their classes have 35 kids in them. This is a bald face lie. The parents in Los Altos give money to cut their classes down to 21 students in Math, Science and English. BCS parents give a money so our kids can have library books. Yes, I am fed up. You are paying for the Los Altos legal team costing $1M per year just to harass BCS and torture us with clever thought up things like a school with no paving, and no place to eat lunch, not even grass we could put tables on. Know the facts. Stop buying the line that Los Altos is putting out about our school.

Posted by MVer
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 17, 2013 at 11:41 am

I agree with Fix LASD and I would take it one step further. MV Whisman, LASD and MVLA HS district should all be combined into one district. With the High School District taking the lead. The end result will be a much better education for all and a much better use of tax payer dollars. If works great in Palo Alto, why not here?

Posted by Looking for Equality
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 17, 2013 at 11:46 am

Bullis-If you want equality, open your books! Let's make it equal. What are you hiding and why? And why don't you "follow the law" as requested by the courts? You demand it of LASD, but you are immune? So sick of this festering sore in our community. It stinks!

Perhaps reaching out to all demographics in a way that is actually helpful could help your cause. Love the idea from the county board that you should offer immersion programs for the demographics in the area to attract a diverse socioeconomic studentbody. Work with the community.

Posted by MV Tax payer
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 17, 2013 at 11:53 am

Dear fact checker,
Criticizing this organization based on personal experience or facts is not bullying. I don't think anyone is criticizing individual families who send their kids to the school, nor the school's educational model per se, but rather are upset as to why this school was founded in the first place, what type of demographics it includes (even the County Board is expressing concerns), and how much damage it has created within our community over the years.

A lottery pulls candidates from the list of who applies- it is not a random pull of the entire community. Weeding happens before the application process and then once kids are in the school.

The below are facts:

- It is a fact that BCS has a geographic preference for the most affluent neighborhood
- It is a fact that all BCS communications until only recently highlighted the $5k donation- weeding out lower income families
- it is a fact that until only recently BCS asked for social security numbers and other personal information that may have deterred certain families from applying to the school
- It is a fact that BCS sent glossy brochures, email communications, etc to select families in the right target audience (not all families received the communications)
- It is a fact that families of more difficult kids were weeded out of the school (it is part of the lawsuit, not a rumor)
- It is a fact that BCS lied in the recent mailer to all LASD that LASD was adopting some of BCS's education practices

Since it's inception BCS has acted as an opponent of our community and our local schools instead of a partner. Had the school been created by educators vs lawyers maybe things would have been different.

Posted by Palo Alto
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Hey MV Taxpayer:

Los Altos Schools have an enrollment preference for kids from the richest neighborhood in Palo Alto, to let them get into Los Altos Schools. There are 50 kids from the Los Altos Hills city which is in PAUSD who go to Gardner Bullis in Los Altos Hills. That school is the richest school in Los Altos School District, way richer than the charter school. So what do they do? They make it even richer. Gross.

You can tell that BCS only gets about 1/4 of their students from all of Los Altos Hills, so explain to me what that means about how rich they are? Everyone knows Los ALtos is filled with poor people. Their houses don't even cost $2Million. You can get a nice home in Los ALtos for under $2Million--Maybe it needs some work, but $1.7 million will get you a nice property. These are the people going to BCS, and people from Mountain View too, but the richer area of Mountain VIew, I grant you.

BCS could NOT have asked for Social Security numbers. It would be flat out ILLEGAL. Where did you get that idea.

Your facts are bad. Bullis ran ads in Spanish in the Voice and tried to get some of the few low income students in LASD. There only about 100 low income students in Los Altos Schools, INCLUDING those from MOUNTAIN VIEW. It's really hard to recruit these students. I saw fliers posted at the Car Wash (Lozanos) I KID YOU NOT. They were in Spanish. Ok, Lozano's is filled with customers who are rich. But they don't speak Spanish. Bullis was trying to get a few of the 100 poor kids in Los Altos Schools. You have it backwards. You can't throw a stone without hitting a rich person in Los Altos. It's POOR PEOPLE who are hard to find!

Posted by Fix LASD
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 12:16 pm

MVer, The Los Altos school board fights the idea of combining with high school because even with their high teacher salaries, the ones in the high school district are even higher. The high school teachers have what are called subject area certificates or something. This makes them able to get higher salaries than those working in Los Altos, who have general certificates that let them teach multiple subjects to multiple grade levels.

You don't really need to combine in the high school district to save money. Cupertino has a very efficient Union elementary school district, called Cupertino Union School District. So you cite Palo Alto, I look at Cupertino. It crosses into other cities as well, not just Cupertino, but some of Sunnyvale and some of Los Altos. That portion of Los Altos does not attend Mountain View or Los Altos High schools. So, don't waste effort trying to get High school mixed in, all that is needed is to combine Los Altos schools with Mountain View's. Right now the Los Altos parents thing they run the whole thing, even if a good chunk of Mountain View is already included. Did you know they run high end preschools on the Los Altos elementary campuses, and charge tuition? They don't serve kids from Mountain View, and certainly not poor kids. The one school in LASD that is in Moutain View is Springer. Guess what. There is no preschool at that one school. The preschool at Loyola takes up half the campus. It is HUGE. It serves Los Altos Hills and a part of Los Altos. Tuition. No poor kids. Sickening discrimination.

Posted by Whose spreading rumors?
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 17, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Sorry Fed Up, but you can't demand equality and then complain when you get it. ALL of LASD is split between K-6 and 7-8. Just because Bullis changed horses in mid stream and "decided" a few years ago that they wanted an integrated k-8 program, doesn't mean that LASD is obligated to set up two IDENTICAL k-8 campuses and waste resources. And Fact Checker, the Santa Clara County Board of Education just resoundingly came down on BCS for a year after being told they need to work on having a more diverse population, as NOTHING has changed. Still disproportionately lower numbers of ELL and lower SES. And just how many lower SES families are going to apply when they are constantly reminded about the "voluntary" 5k donation a year? Or be called into Wanny's office, as was routine until last year, defend themselves and explain/justify why the 5k donation hadn't been made? Also, as someone else mentioned above, what good is 'outreach' when the number of available slots is so low? After giving siblings preference, and then saving 50% of the spots for LAH kids, last year there were only 15% of the Kindergarten slots actually AVAILABLE to anyone else. So yes, I think Bullis has a lot of control over who enrolls there. At least as of last year, they dropped the illegal requirements for signing up for the lottery (just to join the lottery, not to enroll, they were asking for info about IEP's, requiring documents that established the residency status of parents, etc), but are still appealing the court order that requires them to be more transparent about who enrolls, and where all their money to sue comes from. If the lottery process is so clean and fair, then why spend all that money refusing to turn over basic enrollment data to LASD? Why refuse to let anyone oversee the supposedly public lottery? Why refuse to let anyone know who is on the supposed waiting list? Their enrollment process is secretive, there are legal affedavits by parents of special needs kids who were told to leave Bullis because it was not a good school for their children, 50% of open spots are saved for the most wealthy and privileged families in the area, etc. As for Project Cornerstone, it's a free, county-wide program on citizenship and empathy, one that EVERY LASD elementary school has adopted...except for Bullis. So perhaps Bullis people aren't exactly in a place to judge if LASD is living up to Project Cornerstone, given they know nothing about the program.

Posted by Fix LASD
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 12:22 pm

To: Looking for Equality

There is no way a charter school serving LASD can have more than 100 low income kids until LASD and Mountain View schools are combined into one elementary district. The high school is already combined and those two schools are integrated with 20% more kids at one and 30% poor kids at the other. The problem is a charter school can only recruit from its own district. Well, that is, unless no one from the district wants to take a place. Bullis did get 30 or so 7th graders this year from Mountain View, but only because none in Los Altos wanted in. I don't know if they were low income. You can't give a priority for low income. It's not allowed in the laws.

So write the State Board of Education. Phone up Santa Clara County Ed Board. Make some noise. These two districts need to get together.

Posted by Fed Up
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Sorry Whose Spreading Rumours, but 600 kids is not that many. They would all fit at Egan. Egan should adjust its start time like Blach said they would do. Studies have proven that ones kids get to be teenagers they benefit academically in performance from a later school start day. Start Egan at 9am and BCS at 8pm. There go all the traffic problems. Share the empty rooms that Egan has like Blach is doing. That site at Egan is better for us because it is the closest school. Covington is twice as far away as Egan. While they are at it, Los Altos should ban parking on the road in front of Egan and put in a bike lane. It could stay being both a K-8 school with elementary students starting at 8am and a Jr High school with students starting at 9am. Egan has a lot more buildings that Blach and it is located closer to the Mountain View kids who go to BCS.

Posted by local parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm

I am still scratching my head at how BCS came to be in the first place. They were approved by the county board of education? Where are those people now and how do they sleep at night, knowing that the created this monster and this mess?

Isn't the whole intent of charter schools to provide a means for educators to try innovative ways to help kids who are failing or under-achieving academically?

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Charter Schools can be formed in any district and for any reason. There is no requirement that they serve low-performing students, only that if there are many charter school proposals, then a district can favor the one serving the low performing. The law is biased in favor of encouraging charter school formation. Some charter schools offer programs in non traditional settings, like correspondence courses and distance learning. Some provide support to those who do home schooling. In this case, the Los Altos charter school has little left to do with its original formation. I think it was the attitude by the district that they are perfect. That's really why the parents started that charter school. The district is misconstruing the demands on them which only require them to be fair to the charter school. Really, LASD could have solved this facilities problem a long time ago, even without closing a neighborhood school. They could have done a much better job housing Bullis at Egan. After all, no matter how you slice it, those kids deserve an education, and they'd all be in portables spread around all the district schools without the charter. It would be a sloppy mess with 500 more kids in various district schools, and only 125 or so of them at Gardner.

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Reading some of the above, I am moved to respond. If you were dividing Mountain View Los Altos High school area into 2 elementary districts, you couldn't do a better job of dividing the high property value residential areas with the largest lot size from the lower value smaller properties. The one wrinkle is the NEC area and back 40 years ago, this was a source of a lot of tax revenue for LASD being then a developed shopping up for the region with the San Antonio Center. Now that is redeveloping to high end condos townhhomes and deluxe apartments, which makes it fit right in with LASD. LASD and Mountain View Whisman should be combined. It's the only fair thing to do.

Posted by LASD MOM
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 17, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Hey Fact Checker:

I suppose you're going to blame the LASD Board for this too! Are you going to accuse the County Board of torturing your school too? Come on!! Get over yourself!

County board concerned with BCS’ lack of diversity, community discord
Web Link

Posted by MVer
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm

I can see how the teacher salaries may be problem, so combining the two elementary districts could also work. MV and Whisman combined a few years back and that didn't seem like much of a problem. I am totally with you there about the preschools on the campuses. They really focus on LA/LAH. They don't let in any transfer students from MV. My neighbor applied last year, they live right down the street from Blach - no dice.

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 3:03 pm

LASD Mom - I wonder if the county board realizes that out of 4900 public school students in LASD, just 128 are low income and just 105 are Spanish native language ELL students.

In Mountain View elementary schools, there are 4800 students overall. Out of these, 2198 are low income and 1508 are Spanish native language ELL students.

WOW. Now there's something which merits some attention. 15 times the disadvantaged students by two separate measures. No wonder BCS has trouble recruiting from the very limited disadvantage population in LASD. What some selfish Huttlinger group LASD parents are upset about is that BCS may draw attention to the disparity between Mountain View in Los Altos. Forget that. It's time to do something about it.

Posted by Laura
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 5:35 pm

It is worse than you think. You can transfer to LASD as long as you live in the Palo Alto Unified Portion of Los Altos HIlls. Using this policy, Los Altos School District actually discriminates against all of it's middle and lower income neighbors.
It all started with BCS. The charter school wanted to go back to original Bullis campus, there wasn't much there. I think they were running an all kinder program there. Anyway, I believe that the charter school offered to fund some of up dates needed for that campus. The LASD Board said no. The last thing that they wanted was the charter getting it's own campus, they have been trying to get rid of BCS from the start and offering them poor facilities is their weapon of choice. At the same time the charter school was trying to return to the bullis campus another group in Los Altos Hills formed trying to split the Hills off as a separate district.

LASD quickly reacted. They refinanced the bond and scraped up enough money to remodel the old Bullis Campus. Then instead of placing the charter school there, they opened it as a new school. Which quickly became a problem. There wasn't going to be any students. They had made a huge miscalculation. I believe they thought that a large portion of the BCS community would leave once a school was back it the hills. Apparently not many were willing to leave the BCS program. So instead they moved a large portion of Mountain View area of district to other schools - like playing a game of tiles, that's why the Crossings is at Covington.
They weren't finished trying to fill Gardner, they still didn't have enough students, so they begged Palo Alto Unified to let the LOS ALTOS HILLS portion of PAUSD attend Gardner.
Palo Alto pays LASD about $5000 for each student - the LASD tax payers make up the difference.
I think it is really evil They have room at every school to take a few more students. The middle schools have lots of room, but they won't let anyone OTD's from Mountain View in.

I agree it is time to combine.

Posted by parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Of course. When it's pointed out that they are lagging behind LASD in terms of serving ELL, low income and special ed, BCS folks deflect. They say LASD should be doing more rather than address the issue of BCS. LASD lets in all who live in the geographical region (as do all other public school districts). BCS has a record of discouraging those they consider "less desirable" from entering the lottery. Read the declarations of parents filed with the court.

Posted by LASD Observer
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 7:03 pm

BCS is expanding in size to 640 students next year. This year they only had 515. But this year they had 30 Mtn View Whisman students in their program, in the 7th grade. The Jr High grades are where the diversity problem in Mtn View Whisman gets the worse because about 150 students from each of the 3 middle school grades don't continue on in Mtn View Whisman. They take a hiatus until high school, and go to private schools. This means that in the 6th 7th and 8th grade, the low income proportion within the schools rises to 60% at one of the Jr High's. What should happen is that both LASD and BCS should take a share of some of these low income students. Take 150 so that this makes up for the rise to 60%. BCS should take its share, whatever that is. If LASD has 500 7th graders and BCS has 75, then LASD should take 125 and BCS should take 25. That would really help the situation at Graham Middle school, and help the disadvantaged kids who who transfered--they wouldn't be lost amidst 600 other disadvantaged kids.

Posted by Get the facts or stop talking
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 8:02 pm

It's clear that most of the people making comments don't know what they are talking about. As someone who has worked in LASD and MVWD I can say confidently that MVWD does not want to combine with LASD. There is a common misconception that MVWD wants or needs to be "saved" by LASD. Do you honestly think MVWD students want to be bussed into LASD? Don't flatter yourselves!

Does MVWD serve a larger population of low SES and ELL students? Yes! LASD, like every public school district, serves the students within their boundaries.

Someone asked why the County Board of Ed. approved the charter for BCS. I'm sure the donations many BCS board members made to the county board member's campaigns had something to do with it.

As for the "high teacher salaries", it should be pointed out that LASD teachers make less in total compensation (salary + benefits) than any of the surrounding school districts. It's clear that the parents in LASD don't see the teachers as being deserving of a living wage, although most of us have advanced degrees and work so many more hours each week than is made known. We are raising families and paying taxes just like everyone else. Our cost of living isn't lessened just because we make small salaries. LASD teachers have taken pay cuts for the last five years! If you haven't worked as a teacher, don't comment on the requirements and education of a teacher.

I could go on and on, but I am sickened by this whole conversation.

Posted by MV Parent
a resident of Gemello
on Apr 17, 2013 at 8:06 pm

LASD Observer,
Why not just combine the districts? If they were combined then MV Whisman students could apply to BCS as well. Maybe some things in LASD would be improved. We could get rid of the "neighborhood schools" idea which really only serves a small portion of Mountain View. Most of the MV portion of LASD including my neighborhood gets sent to schools that are in our neighborhood. We used to go to Almond but then we were moved to Springer. Almond is really close to my house, Springer is driving distance. Maybe we could start having magnet schools in Los Altos like they have in MV. I hear such great things about the spanish emersion program. Also I think MV has a much better middle school program. Advanced math students at Graham get Geometry in eighth grade.

Posted by No Accident
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Taxpayer - As public school districts, LASD and MV have to enroll any resident who applies. There's no opportunity for monkey-business. Charter schools only get applicants from a subset of residents and turn away many of those applicants. That leaves room for lots of unfair behavior.

For example, there are 449 ESL kids in LASD and instead of BCS's fair share of 44 kids, BCS has only 6 ESL kids. What happened to the other 38 kids they should have? They couldn't find them amongst the 449 kids available? They couldn't even find 20 kids. Not even 10. Just 6.

That's not an accident.

Posted by MV Parent
a resident of Gemello
on Apr 17, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Whoops - I should have said that Most of the MV portion of LASD including my neighborhood gets sent to schools that are NOT in our neighborhoods. Also there is a portion of my neighborhood that is much closer to Almond but is in MV Whisman. So they go to Bubb instead - Bubb is a great school but far away.

Posted by BCS Parent
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 17, 2013 at 8:25 pm

I don't know where you are getting your stats from but BCS draws from the entire district. How many ESL kids are at Gardner? Loyola? Springer? Oak? Not that many. In fact they have LESS than BCS. The same goes for SES. The truth is that almost all of the ESL students are at three schools - Covington, Almond and Santa Rita. Many of these students are Mandarin Speaking students who went to English speaking preschools. There parents are highly educated. They are not difficult to educate. THE TRUTH IS THAT BCS IS CLOSE TO THE DISTRICT AVERAGE FOR SPECIAL ED, ELL AND SES. BCS is demographically equal to the LASD Average. LASD is is super rich. Stop trying to act like you are the victim of BCS trickery. Maybe it helps you sleep at night, but it doesn't justify the way that you have treated the children at BCS.

Posted by No Accident
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 8:47 pm

BCS Parent - My data comes from the California Department of Education. Specifically their 2012 API report. Does your data come from BCS? Do they create true believers by feeding you misleading data? Because your data is deeply flawed. To wit...

Gardner has three times the number of ESL kids than BCS.
Loyola has five times the number of ESL kids than BCS.
Springer has eight times the number...
Oak has four times the number...

NOT ONE of LASD schools has a lower number of students or a lower percentage ESL than BCS. What propaganda has BCS been feeding you to help you sleep better at night?

And the logic in your first point is flawed: since BCS draws from the entire district it is entirely appropriate for me to compare their percentage to the percentage across the entire district.

Posted by Retired Teacher
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm

To Get the Facts -

I am a retired teacher and I live in Los Altos. My kids went to Los Altos Schools years ago. They were good but not great. They really were kind of complacent. They had some great teachers, and some burnout ones. There wasn't much teacher turn over. So I guess most teachers were happy with their jobs. It really was quite a bit different from were I worked in San Jose. I had students in gangs in my seventh grade classes. My students would leave for two or three months in the middle of the school year. I had students that were in and out of Juvenile hall. I had students in eighth grade that were socially promoted to high school because they had just turned 16, even though they were failing every class. I also had students who hadn't been in school for a few years because they had been in a refuge camp in south east asia. It was difficult to contact many of my students parents, many didn't have a phone, and many of them moved frequently.
Teaching is a difficult and rewarding job. In some places it is much easier to do than others. I don't think I am going at out on limb when I say that Mountain View is much more like San Jose. I don't think teachers in Los Altos have many of the problems that I encountered. They might have demanding parents to deal with, but I think that is a good thing. Teaching in Los Altos is easier than it is most any other area.
I don't think that LASD should be the savior of MVW I actually think it might be the other way around. I do think that all three districts should be combined, if only to improve the educational program for all of our area students.
One final observation, LASD doesn't spend that much money on it's current teachers but it sure is piling on it's retirees. They really have one of the most generous benefits packages in the entire state.

Posted by Loyola Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 9:09 pm

BCS Parent-
Check your facts.

Loyola has 38 ELL students ranging from Spanish, Mandarin, Hebrew, Cantonese, French, Finnish and more. This represent 6.5% of school.
Almond has 93- 17.7%
Santa Rita has 115- 21.4%
Covington has 58- 11.6%
Gardner has 15- 5.0%.
Springer has 31- 5.8%

Please don't lie to the public.

Posted by Retired Teacher
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 9:16 pm

No Accident -
Most educators know that ESL numbers are easy to fudge. First you have to decide to test the kids, then you have a range in which to place them, then you have to retest them to change their designation. Truthfully, there really is a difference in ELL students and it really depends on what grade they are entering school. An English Language Learner coming into a US school for the first time 6th grade needs much more support than an ELL entering kindergarten. I believe that most of our schools have ELL's entering in kindergarten. I don't think the same is true for Mountain View.

I don't really know why BCS has less ELL students than Los Altos. It could be that they tested less of their entering kindergartners. It could be that have less. If you are looking API stats then you are only looking at grades 2 and above. If BCS has most of it's students entering in kindergarten then there might be a few that were designated as ELL but were graduated out of ELL ( or at least out of counting on the API) by second. LASD as a basic aide district may need to leave their ELL's at lower levels to get additional funding.

In the end it doesn't really matter because having 4 ELL students is really no different than having 12. LASD has less than 6% of it's students in ELL. It isn't anywhere near critical mass. You really need to get up above 20 percent for it to have much of an impact.

Posted by No Accident
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Retired - Some good thoughts there. Obviously you're not endorsing BCS but I think you're giving them a bit too much benefit of the doubt. BCS's other demographic data (education, disadvantaged kids, race) are similarly skewed which shows the ESL data isn't a mistake.

The CDE says LASD is at 13% ESL which is still below your 20% threshold. The data shows that both ESL and non-ESL kids in LASD are getting a fantastic education. The problem with BCS having a substantially lower proportion of the harder to educate kids is partially the financial burden that LASD bears alone and partially the effect on test scores.

Obviously LASD is being very successful despite the disproportionate finances but we know they could be doing even better if things were more fair.

In test scores, LASD is one of the top 2 or 3 districts in the state. BCS accepts the most successful cross section of LASD students and than has the gall to suggest that their slightly higher test scores indicate some deficiency in LASD that they have solved. In light of the demographics, BCS test scores are actually lackluster.

Posted by Retired Teacher
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2013 at 11:05 pm

I don't really know much about the other stats, except that LASD is really kind of low in terms of free and reduced lunch kids. We had 70 percent of our students qualifying at the two schools that I worked at. So if BCS has a few and LASD has a few more I don't think that really can be used as a distinguishing stat. In my experience ELL students are not that difficult to educate. Many of them are excellent students. The real difficulty comes in with students that are both ELL and free and reduced lunch. Or just low SES, because being poor is really very difficult. We really are very sheltered from that here in our community. I think that the majority of ELL students in LASD are actually the children of highly educated, wealthy parents who have advanced degrees from American Universities. They came for grad school, and then got a job somewhere in Silicon Valley. I know that I have several neighbors that fit that description. I am sure there are some that might be ELL and low SES but not enough to have any effect on a school. I suspect that most kids test out of ELL support levels by third grade.

Posted by No Accident
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 2:38 am

Retired - LASD does have somewhat fewer poor students but they're not breaking any records. In our county alone there's 3 other districts with fewer poor students. LASD has more than twice the percentage of poor students as Saratoga or Los Gatos.

But BCS doesn't have just a few less ESL or poor kids. Their percentages of ESL and poor kids are nearly 80% less than LASD's percentage. That's huge and it's no accident.

Posted by Taxpayer in LASD
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 3:28 am

If the two districts were combined, it would not result in "busing" automatically. (Note: LASD doesn't offer any bus service no matter how far a student lives from her assigned school.) What would happen is that class sizes would be expected to be equal. So we'd stop the 30 student classes in Mtn View Whisman Jr High's at the same time that Los Altos offers 20 student classes to the same grades. That's fair. Then, if a student did WANT to transfer, we wouldn't have the school board viewing it as an inter-district transfer. LASD freely lets students swap around between schools. You could expect some magnet program or other incentives to provide better distribution of the low vs high income students at the Jr High level especially. Right now the high schools are both basically in Los Altos (or in the one area of Mountain View which is practically equivalent to Los Altos). Both are on the South side of El Camino.

Yes, this could spread the benefits of BCS style district-wide programs around both districts. Mtn View Whisman has some magnet programs of its own. Discovery Charter is coming to the area too as I understand it.

Posted by Taxpayer in LASD
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 3:36 am

@Loyola Parent-- Do you really think that a Tiger Mom child who is ELL and the grandson of a multi-millionaire Chinese businessman and who has plenty of attention and all the video games and cartoons and TV exposure here in Los Altos is the same level of challenge as most ELL students in California? Money makes all the difference. It's much harder to educate the Spanish speaking low income child who lives in an Apartment complex and has no media exposure to English after school.

LASD has very high ELL test scores. Do you really think those test scores reflect accurately the performance of the low income ELL students living North of El Camino Real? Is Loyola's ELL performance the same as Almond's? Sure some wealthy ELL's attend both schools but if you check you'll see that there are 10% low income at Almond and hardly any at Loyola.

Posted by Taxpayer in LASD
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 3:53 am

@Loyola Parent--

Here are API comparisons between Landels Elementary (340 tested) a mile or so away from Almond (357 Tested) and Loyola (427 tested).

Economically Disadvantaged
Landels 176# API 767 Almond 35# API 744 Loyola 4# (no score reported)

ELL Landels 193# API 796 Almond 72# API 878 Loyola 38# API 905

Hispanic Landels 174# API 776 Almond 47# API 814 Loyola 12# API 880

Posted by Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 6:05 am

Hey/- if BCS folks are so concerned about MVWSD why don't they open a second charter there? Why not expand into a lower SES area and really test the success if your program. Let's see if it really is the program or the kids.

Posted by Get the facts or stop talking
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 6:39 am

To Retired Teacher

I agree that teaching in some areas is easier than in others. However, LASD has students in families with illiterate parents, students that get free lunch, but the teacher provides snacks and sometimes breakfast, as well as a multitude of other issues. The district teachers are not sheltered to the fact that there are many different types of districts, parents and students all over the state, but we educate those that are in our classrooms. We can compare all we want, but facts are facts.
I agree that teachers should be paid more in more difficult to teach districts. When I addressed teacher compensation, I was addressing a comment posted by a different commenter that said teacher salaries were too high.

As for MVWD ELL kindergartners, most that speak a different language at home do not go to preschool (let alone English speaking preschool) and the number of ELL students entering kindergarten is quite high.

It's been proven over and over that smaller districts are more successful at educating students than large districts. Combining the local districts won't save money and will compromise the education of all students. Do some of the LASD parents need a reality check? Sure, but adults shouldn't use the children for that purpose.

I'm not sure who commented about class size, but the fact is the class sizes in LASD have grown over the last few years. They have a maximum class size in K-3 of 25 and in 4-6 the maximum is 30. On top of those numbers there are SDC students that are mainstreamed into many of the classrooms, pushing the numbers higher.

Our problems aren't going to be solved by pointing fingers, comparing districts, or comparing students. Debating online is not the same as getting involved and truly looking for a solution.

Posted by Teacher 2
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 18, 2013 at 8:26 am

I am sure the LASD teachers at one or two of the schools - the ones that serve the NEC area - have one or two, maybe even three students that are on free and reduced lunch and didn't go to preschool. I teach at a school in east San Jose. I have 33 students in my class. They are all are free and reduced lunch. Most are ELL. I know that there are a few schools here in Mountain View that are similar to the one I work at. I don't know if Get the Facts really is very informed. I doubt they are a teacher. I am sure that the teachers in LASD school district would not be complaining about one or two students that didn't bring their lunch to school.

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm

To Get the Facts:

It's ironic that you use that name and have such misinformation. LASD publishes its enrollment report, showing the actual size of every clsas in the elementary schools. The largest K-3 is indeed 25, but this comes up 5 times out of 19 K's and thee K average is 22.74. Out of grade 1, there are only 2 classes with 25, both at Springer with average of 21.73. Grade 2 only 1 class at Covington has 25 average is 22.68. Grade 3 is the one which has 9 out of 21 classes sized at 25, average of 24.14 per class.

The size of 30 is very rare in grades 4-6. Averages for 4 5 and 6 are 24.85, 27.47 and 27.11 Some classes are as small as 22 at Gardner.

Posted by SR Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm

My 4th grader at Santa Rita has 31 kids in her class.

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Santa Rita showed for 4th grade class sizes of 28, 29 and 30 as of 12/7/12. So someone must have been added to the class with 30. But compare that to Springer with 3 classes of 23 each. The average is 24.85 across all schools.

Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 4:18 pm

BCS is a semi-private charter school whose supposed success is entirely the result of their wealthy and affluent makeup. Not only has BCS been unable to replicate this success in a less affluent school district, they know that they cannot so are not even going to try. Like spoiled children, they will just keep suing LASD until they get what they want.

Posted by Taxpayer in LASD
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Hey No Accident:

You appear to be wrong about Los Gatos. It has 3.9% low income of its 3100 students vs. LASD's 2.9%. Now for Saratoga, yes, it has only 1.2% Low income but it only has 2100 students total. Campbell on the other hand has 44.5% of its 7600 students as low income.

Posted by Quiz Master
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 6:56 pm


Examine the data and see if you can NAME THAT SCHOOL. You can choose from any school in Mountain View or Los Altos

Okay here is school number 1

The first column is the number of students in each group.
The second column is the 2012 API score for that group.

Schoolwide 368 956
 Asian 125 989
 Hispanic or Latino 46 856
 White 143 955
Two or More Races 31 994
Disadvantaged 37 814
 English Learners 102 909
 Students with Disabilities 48 849

Here is school number 2

Schoolwide 368   941
 Asian 100 981
 Hispanic or Latino 65 815
 White 138 968
Two or More Races 40 976
Disadvantaged 61 805
 English Learners 122 898
 Students with Disabilities 55 802

Here is school number 3

Schoolwide 367 921
 Asian 47 965
 Hispanic or Latino 127 824
 White 139 975
Two or More Races 37 978
Disadvantaged 121 830
 English Learners 156 856
 Students with Disabilities 38 829

And here is school number 4

SSchoolwide 357 954
 Asian 103 992
 Hispanic or Latino 47 814
 White 174 962
Two or More Races 30 994
Disadvantaged 35 744
 English Learners 72 878
with Disabilities 49 865

The answers are -
1. Santa Rita
2. Huff
3. Bubb
4. Almond

All four schools have students from both sides of El Camino.
Huff and in particular Bubb have a much higher percentage of SED students. If you are an SED student you are much better off at Bubb. Bubb has 4X the SED students of the two LASD schools, yet their students score much better on the STAR exam. I call that high performing.

Posted by Santa Rita Mom
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 18, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Quiz Master
I think you need a better background in statistics before posting some of these comments. Where did you get the idea that the 814 API for the SED kids at Santa Rita is statistically significantly "worse" than the 830 API for those same students at Bubb? Which way is the trend going? Raw API is not a magic number, you know.

You sound like the folks at BCS that think their overall API is actually statistically better than the LASD overall API. I think they forget that some of us parents of LASD kids have advanced degrees in the sciences and are simply unwilling to play into their social status game. I wouldn't have my child go to BCS if I were paid and I certainly wouldn't spend $5000 a year for the "opportunity" to do so.

My child has to live in the real world when he graduates. I think the 22 (yes, twenty two!) different languages he might hear at Santa Rita prepare him better than a Mandarin requirement. He deals with ALL kinds of kids, not just those who have been creamed.

I also laugh about BCS's facility complaints. "We can't have all our kids in the MPR for an assembly!" they wail. My kid has assembly every Friday on the blacktop OUTSIDE, rain or shine. Santa Rita's MPR can't hold HALF the student population.

Man up, BCS folks. You are NOT being abused, so get over yourselves.

Posted by No Accident
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 9:04 pm

231 of 4505 LASD students = 5.1%
87 of 3188 Los Gatos students = 2.7%

Posted by Santa Rita Mom
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 18, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Incidentally, LAEF PAYS for the reduction in class sizes for LASD schools. If BCS thinks they are being shortchanged on the number of classrooms they are allocated, they should realize that LASD really should only provide them with the equivalent space they would get WITHOUT LAEF funding. They have plenty of funding to do their own class size reductions. They should not get the same class sizes as LAEF helps provide unless they pay for it themselves. I donate to LAEF to help the DISTRICT because that benefits the local children. BCS can pay for anything they want with their donations.

Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 10:21 pm

No Accident;

Fake Data! LASD dropped the Federal Free and Reduced Price Lunch program so it can make up its numbers on low income however it wants. Like I really believe the numbers jumped from 139 2009-2010 to 129 2010-2011 and then 231 2011-2012. That data has been cooked. LASD is getting a little sensitive about how few disadvantage kids they serve!

Posted by Embarrassed LASD Parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 18, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Can we please stop with endless comparing of BCS to LASD schools? Fellow LASD parents you are embarrassing me. You keep bringing up all the poor kids in LASD schools and then imply that BCS isn't helping with the terrible burden that has been inflicted on LASD. That is totally ridiculous. Do you want them to take five or ten more poor kids so Santa Rita has 27 instead of 37? Maybe you don't want any at all? Maybe you want to stop the district lines at MV border. The truth is that most schools have way more poor kids that LASD does. I am really tired of hearing about all the poor, ELL, and special education kids that LASD has to teach. The truth is that LASD would be happy if all the poor kids left, along with the really smart ones, that way they wouldn't have to offer Geometry either. The truth is that you can't take it that some parents escaped from status quo corrupt club that is the LASD schools.

Posted by Taxed
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 10:52 pm

Santa Rita Mom, How is that you live in the Crossings yet go to Santa Rita? Either that makes you super easy to identify, because you are one of maybe two people at the Crossings that pulled strings to go to Santa Rita OR you just made it all up. Either way a HUGE FAIL on your part.

Posted by No Accident
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 12:12 am

Taxpayer: LASD serves every in-district student who walks in the door, regardless of how rich or poor they are or what language they speak. They have nothing to be sensitive about.

Embarrassed: LASD's demographics match the demographics of Los Altos residents. Meanwhile BCS, a purportedly public school, has effectively excluded nearly all poor or non-English-speaking residents. It's scandalous. You talk about embarrassing - how embarrassing will it be when this story takes off and your sister-in-law calls from the East coast and asks: "this BCS scandal in the news - isn't that your school?"

Posted by Taxable Income
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 12:20 am

Los Altos has almost no low income students. LASD gets most of its low income students from Mountain View. I don't know why you think many low income residents can live in Los Altos. There just aren't any affordable homes in Los Altos. Los Altos is much more exclusive than Mountain View. Palo Alto has a lot more low income students than LASD does, and they don't fake the numbers by having their own free lunch program. But LASD takes kids in their schools who live in the highest income area of Palo Alto Unified School district--the hills area, just the Los Altos Hills portion of that. Those kids aren't in LASD but they can go to an LASD elementary school. So LASD is trying to bump up its low income numbers to make up for that and for the demographics of Los Altos. It has a formal policy not to take any transfer students from Mtn View Whisman though, where 1/2 the students are low income.

Posted by Can We All Get Along
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 1:28 am

Please, please forget about how BCS came to be and decisions LASD made in the past? BCS is here, those of us who attend like it and we aren't going to move away. We pay extra for what we chose. Yes, we like choice and you do too so you're not so different. Many came from private schools back to public schools exactly because of BCS, and now that we're public school families with you, you're unhappy about that? Waht can I say, not all families can afford BCS, but we shop at different supermarkets too so why is it important that we pay the same for education? I know families who would love to take my place and pay less than half a private school tuition for a similar mix of academic environment and social class.

Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 7:08 am

The above post is great! "not all families can afford BCS"

Bingo. That's why BCS is not truly a public school. They are a private school who are freeloading off of the taxpayers dime.

Posted by Can we say "clueless"?
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 11:01 am

Dear Can We all Just Get Along,

Thank you for admitting that BCS is a less expensive PRIVATE school. "I know families who would love to take my place and pay less than half a private school tuition for a similar mix of academic environment and social class". And, BTW, what mix of social class exists at BCS? many kids do you know at BCS whose parents did not go to college or even graduate HS...ZERO.

"not all families can afford BCS, but we shop at different supermarkets too so why is it important that we pay the same for education?"

Because, misguided soul, PUBLIC SCHOOLS are PUBLIC and must take all who come irregardless of how much they can "afford" to PAY the school.

Wake up an look in the mirror. If you want a private education and can afford one, go to private school. Otherwise, you are ripping off the rest of us by draining real public school resources to subsidize your "cheap" private school.

Posted by Zap
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 19, 2013 at 11:27 am

@fact checker: What subject do you teach at Bullis? Yeah, I know -- it's rough when folks judge people by what they DO instead of believing all of the BS "spin" that the Bullis administrators and employees put on things that they do. That's called "being a grown-up", few of which apparently are employed by Bullsh*t Charter School.

Posted by realist
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 19, 2013 at 11:33 am

I might not like it, but the fact is that realistically speaking, Bullis will never die and will never be a real public school as long as they own the county board that created their charter in the first place. At least Can We Get Along is honest and these charters that enroll only certain kids are increasingly common. It seems that birds of a certain feather still like to flock together

Posted by Can You Say "Jealous"?
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 11:45 am

seriously, this is 95% sour grapes. how are you harmed by a charter school you don't even have a relationship with? they didn't shut down anyone's school either

Posted by Santa Rita Mom
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 19, 2013 at 11:57 am

Just to fill in some info for the person that thinks I'm either "super easy to identify" or "lying", the choices offered by this service do not give my neighborhood (Monroe Park) any sort of option to choose, so I picked one at random since mine isn't there.

At for the foolish individuals that think LASD is cooking their books to show more low income kids than they have, you should know that I have been involved with the Hot Lunch service at Santa Rita for several years and am VERY well informed as to the number of FRL kids served.

Yes, it is true that this district has relatively few poor children. We all pay quite a lot to live here and many that are here sacrifice to do so just so their children can be educated here. That is a choice we make. However, it is NOT a choice to call yourself a public school, take money from the public school system, then behave as if you are a private school with closed decision-making, forced donations and no accountability to the public at large.

I have no problem with charter schools in general. I think choice is a great thing and we should have more rather than less of it. However, charters are supposed to accept EVERYBODY from the district they are in and they are supposed to IMPROVE those districts. BCS does neither of those things. They exist to vent the spleens of a small group of people that never learned that even grown-ups can't always get their way. Until and unless they learn to peacefully coexist with their neighbors, they will continue to be an unwelcome thorn in this otherwise welcoming and inclusive community.

Posted by TJ
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 11:58 am

Could anyone tell me where the money is coming from for the current BCS PR campaign? Those full page ads in the local paper must be costing somebody a lot of money. How do we know that they aren't using taxpayer funds for this?

Posted by BCS Parent
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I am a BCS Parent. My kids go to a public school. My kids receive less tax dollars than those in LASD. BCS is no less public because it is able to spend less and offer more. It is not our fault that LASD heaps lavish retirement benefits instead of spending them on their students. It is not our fault that LASD can't have parent volunteers do things like run the library because of state union work rules that do not allow volunteers to do jobs. LASD could do the same programs as BCS but they would need to put their retirees on kaiser. Guess they don't want to do that. BCS is in the worst facilities in the entire district. I hope you can sleep at night because you are really being very unfair to BCS kids, who are just like all of the other kids in our district. We have students from the NEC including Monroe Park.

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Los Altos is very wealthy. The average household income is $155,000. The land value is through the roof. To afford the mortgage on a $2M home, a family has to be making the average income. Many of the residents are retired people who own their homes free and clear and have relatively little income. There are hardly any apartments in Los Altos. Home rentals are few and very expensive.

Los Altos imposes about $800 in parcel taxes on each property in the city in order to fund schools. This adds to the cost, and produces abot $2,000 for each student enrolled in the public schools (but NOT the charter school). In Mountain View the parcel tax is $59 and doesn't produce nearly the revenue, although there are a lot more properties especially commercial properties to contribute.

Los Altos School district has huge campuses with nice buildings. Mountain View schools are tiny campuses, run down, sometimes 2 schools on one campuses (Stevenson and Theuerkauf). The Mountain View district rents out 2 empty campuses to provide needed revenue and the remaining schools are more crowded and not located in neighorhoods as a result.

Los Altos is wealthy, Mountain View is a mixture of poor people and better off people, and the poor people are being squeezed out of living there as development occurs and property values rise.

This Charter school has no way to stop anyone from applying, and no way to force anyone to contribute. It's all peer pressure which is not the same thing as a required contibution. They need some extra money to get up to the same level of funds as the other public schools (yes they are PUBLIC). If they go too far, it might be because of the lousy school set up they are provided by LASD, which is trying to keep people from attending the charter.

Posted by I hope you're happy
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm

@BCS Parent I hope you're happy at Bullis and I hope your child thrives but you people need to stop suing LASD over your campus. You knew what the school looked like before you went there, so it was part of the choice you made. Yes, Bullis is less public because it's 50% bought with private money and you know it! Sure, you don't get any parcel tax, but that was part of your bargain too. If Bullis was hurting for money, maybe you'd find sympathy, but you spend way MORE per student than LASD for essentially the same program. Except you don't have all those special needs and ELL kids, right? Now who looks like the spendthrift? I hope you can sleep at night knowing you broke your social contract. Calling it a public school really doesn't make it true and being indignant doesn't make anyone feel bad for you. You bought it.

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm

BCS Suing?

BCS sued once back in 2009 and said simply that LASD was grossly under-hsaring its vast land and portable/building resources with BCS. The trial judge didn't look at the facts equally and said, yes, it's less land by far, but that's ok, and that's enough portables. After a two year process on the SAME lawsuit, it was appealed and 3 judges wrote a detailed analysis of the situation which said that BCS was being vastly short changed in what it had. They said there are many ways this can be fixed and LASD has the resources, just share equitably. They said the judge should keep jurisdiction to make sure that this sharing went on in future years as BCS grew, and LASD grew, as the calculation has to happen each year with more or less space being allocated out to BCS students.

But LASD didn't do this. Not quite as badly as their first really lowball offers, but still substantially, each year they have given BCS less and less per student. So BCS went back to court and pointed this out. Then LASD argued that this was a new year and the original decision was no longer valid, and the judge agreed with them that BCS needed a new lawsuit. So that's the genesis of the 1 additional lawsuit, and LASD has done everything it can to sandbag hearing the issues on that lawsuit.

But LASD has not

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm

LASD has spent more and more on legal actions, $1M per year lately, burying BCS in depositions and demands to produce documents, which are very obscure and detailed and complicated to provide. It's money which could go to the education of LASD students, but instead LASD is amping up the legal expenses almost to the maximum.

Posted by What's up with that
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm

So not that it really matters much but I wish people would stop representing them selves as someone that they are not. It can reflect poorly on those of us who actually are. There are several posts on here that I question,

Can we all get along? - I am pretty sure that you are not a BCS parent. There is no affording BCS - it doesn't charge tuition. Nice try!

Santa Rita Mom - I believed you about the Crossings mix up. There are so many MV communities that are left off the choices. I am not sure what you might call the other MV NEC neighborhoods that are in the LASD boundaries - Old Mill? Del Medio? Monroe Park is in Palo Alto, not MV so it wouldn't be a choice. You would select another community as your choice.

One more comment. LASD dropped the free and reduced lunch program and are now making up their own stats so it is really difficult to say exactly what is going on. I doubt there as been any type of influx of poor students since the last time that actual data was recorded in 2011 - at that point LASD had less than three percent of it's students qualifying for free and reduced lunch. Almost all of those students were at Almond and Santa Rita.

We really have to stop painting BCS as the rich kids schools and LASD as the poor kids school because on any comparison that I can think of they are really all rich kids schools. One of them, BCS, receives about $5000 less from the tax payers. Implying that this makes them a private school is completely ridiculous and makes you seem rather ignorant and self involved.

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 1:15 pm

BCS is a waste of tax dollars and a drain on the community. If they can't play well with the district, they should be shut down.

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm

BCS has spent more and more on legal actions, $1M per year lately, burying LASD in depositions and demands to produce documents, which are very obscure and detailed and complicated to provide. It's money which could go to the education of BCS students, but instead BCS is amping up the legal expenses almost to the maximum.

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Catch my error? The one spending the $1M per year on draining legal actions is LASD, not BCS. The wasted money is coming from LASD.

Posted by No Accident
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 2:37 pm

BCS Parent - you complain about retirement and health benefits and union rules but despite those issues LASD is one of the top 2 districts in the state. So what's the problem you're trying to solve?

BCS people continuously complain about their tax funding but then they produce numbers that just don't prove their case. But look at it another way: you would have us believe that LASD isn't spending enough money on the kids because they're wasting it on retiree and health benefits and wasteful union rules. And your solution to this problem is to switch to a school that has less tax dollars to start with???

That makes no sense!

Posted by That's what's up
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 19, 2013 at 2:44 pm

to "What's Up WIth That": nobody mentioned tuition at all

of course the bullis donation is voluntary not mandatory, then again Pnewood is voluntary too. If you don't want to pay it you don't go there and that's pretty much like Bullis

nobody is forcing you to go to bulls but if you choose to go there you better pay because its very clear it is expected from "everyone" and they even say "if you don't pay then someone else has to" so as LASD taxpayer says -- its peer pressure, not required

yeah right I got it now...

Posted by Santa Rita Mom
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm

You are wrong about Monroe Park being in Palo Alto. Half of the street has Palo Alto addresses, the other half is Mountain View. Try looking at an area map. There are two zip codes here, we get services from two cities and we have two different garbage days. Take my word for it because I actually live here.

As for Bullis having less, maybe they should try spending their money on the kids rather than advertising to try to make themselves look great. I loved the one in the MV Voice today. I can tell you that the LASD kids do NOT spend two weeks in China. I imagine the cost of that is close to the cost of a year worth of schooling in an actual public school. Guess it's easy to run a PR campaign, a travel service and a law office when you have a bundle in the bank.

Posted by LASD Critic
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 4:36 pm

That's silly. A lot of the LASD kids (well at least 25) were born in China and they are bound to spend 2 weeks in China every once in a while. What's so big about China? Is that a huge advantage? Do you really think their parents don't pay the airfare? Are you trying to limit where people can travel on their own funds if they attend LASD schools? Many many other LASD kids travel to France, Bulgaria, Russia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, African countries and so forth. You are nuts to worry about where a field trip goes if traveling internationally. There's nothing wrong with China

Posted by Foreign Born
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Los Altos is very cosmopolitan. 360 kids speak a language other than English in the home and are not proficient in English. 105 speak Spanish but the other 255 kids speak at home a language other than English or Spanish. Besides the 360 ELL kids, there are 970 kids who while they are proficient in English speak another language at home. Most likely Spanish is only a fraction of that too. Plus, international residents can come from English speaking countries like Australia, South Africa, U.K., Ireland, etc. Or they can have learned English as a second language at home like in India. Worrying about where people travel is a wasteful exercise. It does not make for a better education in a significant way. It's not something envied or needed by all the K-8 kids in the country.

Posted by Santa Rita Mom
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 19, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Clearly you didn't read the ad in MV Voice to which I was referring. The school, BCS, sends their kids to China on a field trip. If they are a PUBLIC SCHOOL, how can you assume that the parents pay for that? A public school legally cannot require a parent to pay for ANY field trip.

I don't care where any parent or child goes on their vacation. My point is that BCS is sending kids on international field trips (they do Costa Rica too) that LASD kids cannot afford, yet claim that their facilities are somehow "substandard". I am not aware of ANY LASD school going on international field trips. If things are so bad, why aren't those dollars being spent on facilities?

Posted by Inspector Detector
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 10:26 pm

What happened Joanie? Is that one wearing thin? Thought you might become Santa Rita Mom instead?

Posted by Education
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 11:06 pm

We won't it is not in our contract so you can't either. That should be the lasd motto.

Posted by Fact Seeker
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2013 at 1:06 am

Don't bust a blood vessel, but schools arrange week long trips all the time, and they get paid for by someone.

Web Link

Posted by Fact Seeker
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Wow, that link is not very clear up there.

Middle School Students go to Europe: Web Link

Posted by Santa Rita Mom
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Hate to disappoint you "Inspector Detector," but I'm not JJS.

I agree with much of what JJS says, but I am not the same person.

Fact Seeker, yes, other schools do international field trips. They are also not complaining that they have substandard facilities at the same time. That was the point of my statement.

Posted by Bored with LASD
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Who Cares?

Posted by Citizen Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Who cares? That's the problem. Most of the community does not care, but they will pay the bills when the appeal's court intervenes and forces LASD to follow their previous ruling. And crazy idea like foisted the whole school off on Sunnyvale--those aren't going to fly.

Posted by Tammy's Report
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Tammy Logan's report at the next LASD Board Meeting.

"I went to Mountain View City Council Meeting and had a pointed exchange of ideas with one their council members. I made sure to let them know that we expected them to solve our problems that we created. Really just continuing with the excellent work you started there, Doug."

" I also went to the County School Board Meeting so that I could call the BCS Principal a liar. I made sure to lie myself while I was at it. They asked me if I was there as a private citizen, representing myself or as a LASD board member. I told them that I was there as a private citizen, but don't worry I made sure to add that everyone of my fellow board members would support what I was saying"

Posted by Lie detector
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Tammy quoted Ms. Hersey in giving her interpretation of the Blach space layout and she admitted the description included actual data for the reader to evaluate the interpretation. Tammy was really stretching it to say that this could possibly be untruthful. However, when Tammy said there was a path for the kids to take to get to the sloped field out by the street, she omitted the idea of just tramping across the track and foot ball field. That would be a good solution too. The "ADA compliant" sidewalk Tammy identified is behind a fence and gate and is labeled "Private Stepping Stones Preschool Only". Plus, it makes no sense at all to even try to wend through that sidewalk, as any ADA compliance is lost well before reaching the destination.

Posted by Lie detector
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I think the best way to describe Tammy is "out of touch with the situation". If she had even visted Blach and checked things out she'd know about the fence and the signs on that sidewalk. And sure, sloped fields are very popular for soccer games. It adds an extra element of fun when the ball rolls downhill on its own.

Posted by LASD Rocks
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Our schools are so good, only 20% of the students go to private schools. This is way low. You'd never know we are so rich around here. Oh, and another 10% go to BCS but that doesn't have the class of a private school.

Posted by Mary A.
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 21, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I'm always saddened that BCS haters find one thing to fixate on to rationalize why they can vehemently trash the school on-line. In the comments here we have folks upset that BCS offers OPTIONAL field trips over seas for those students whose families want their child to go (scholarships are available for those who want to go but can't afford it). There are also folks upset that money was spent on advertisements. Given the pressure that BCS has been under the past year it's not a surprise that additional advertising has been used to reach new audiences that haven't heard of BCS before. All the haters will hate on this as well. In fact for a majority of the haters out there who feel happy to participate in a raging flame war against BCS, NOTHING BCS does will ever be good for them. They will ALWAYS flame on. To all you haters out there, look to your own hearts to heal yourselves. Your selfishness and evil words have ripped this community apart. Who will you hate next if BCS is destroyed as you secretly (and not so secretly) hope?

Posted by You Go Girl
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Thanks Mary A for you awesome comments. I really wish the haters knew that they are really making a very unpleasant situation for EVERYONE is our community. Please find something else to do with your time. Perhaps create a charter school of your own so that we have more choices and less of the LASD teach to middle forget about the top and bottom nonsense.

Posted by Ghost of Ron Haley
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2013 at 9:29 pm

I'm baaack!!

Did you miss me?

Posted by Santa Rita Mom
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 22, 2013 at 10:07 am

I find it telling that not one of the BCS supporters here has come up with even one idea of what will make them happy short of taking an LASD campus. What are your constructive ideas?

I also find it telling that no one has an answer for why BCS can both complain about facilities, yet spend money on things other than solving their problems. LAEF and the PTAs fund people and stuff that the district cannot provide. Why can't you do the same?

I don't hate BCS. As I have said before, I actually like the charter school idea. Unfortunately, BCS has not followed the model of best practices being shared among all area schools. How about trying that for a year rather than working on PR and litigation tactics for a change? I think everyone would find it refreshing.

Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2013 at 10:22 am

BCS claims to be a public school which does not charge tuition and here we have "Mary A." saying "scholarships are available for those who want to go but can't afford it". Scholarships? Really? I don't know of any public K-8 schools that have any need of giving scholarships.

Let's just call BCS what they really are--a private school.

Posted by Anita
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 22, 2013 at 11:19 am

Santa Rita Mom, BCS has spent years trying to work within the laws and find a site to house the school without going through LASD for facilities. Unfortunately this is NOT as easy as it sounds. All attempts lead back to the original LAW that instructs school districts to provide facilities for ALL public school students even charter school students.

BCS has made a serious compromise with the BLACH/EGAN split. They simply requested ANY black top space to attempt to make it actually a workable compromise.

I'm a BCS supporter, and I would suggest for next year give BCS some black top at BLACH, move the private preschool to the other parking lot, and in the future work on moving to a SHARED use of Covington with permanent buildings for all students.

Those are all solutions that wouldn't displace ANY public school children. It would inconvenience the private preschool, it would inconvenience the board offices. But really it's the Board who created this problem by selecting crappy portables for BCS initially and dogmatically dug their feet in year after year to attempt to prove themselves justified.

Posted by Mary A
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 22, 2013 at 11:29 am

Dear Reader, This is an example of hate filled vilification. BCS is a public school with public school children attending. They offer an innovative program that ANY LASD elementary school could offer. This innovations includes that they couple week-long trips in the upper grades to areas of the country or world that allign with the curriculum. LASD does offer this in Jr. High. Perhaps they too offer scholarships for kids who's families can't afford to send them. I don't know but I don't vilify them if they do or don't.

So I just let every hater know that these week-long trips are OPTIONAL and kids who do want to go but their parents can't afford it can go. That's what BCS's PTA does to help.

And you just flamed that of course it must be a private school then. This is another expample of rumor mill and gossip spreading and making EVERYONE feel bad.

Please stop spreading your hate. It's spreading to the kids. No kid should have to feel bad or bullied because adults participate in flame wars on line.

Posted by 4 Community
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2013 at 2:03 pm

The glares and stares are happening all around town. A couple of weeks ago I heard an adult at the LA Library make a nasty comment about how it was unfortunate that there were so many "rug rats" from BCS at the library. My children both over heard it as well.

Posted by 4 Community
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2013 at 2:08 pm

I should add that the adult in question was there with their own child. That child who I assume went to an LASD school heard the comment as did several other children in the area.

Posted by Common Tater
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2013 at 2:22 pm

BCS cannot be trusted. It was only a year ago that they were demanding exclusive use of either Almond, Covington, Gardner Bullis, or Santa Rita.

Their strategy may have changed by the end objective remains the same.

Posted by Yes LASD Rocks
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm

LASD really does rock, and one indicator of this is (excluding effects of Bullis Charter school on enrollment) there are a third less kids (%-wise) attending our local private schools than there were 15 years ago. Why spend the money on private school when LASD is just as good or better?

Posted by Still Waiting
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm

It was only a year ago that LASD backed out of the agreement to place BCS at their own campus because BCS is operating as the 10th campus. Keeping your children out of portables or being moved to another school. BCS has been in sub standard cramped conditions for 10 years. time for another school to take a turn. Instead BCS is willing to be split into two sites so that know one has to move. Instead of the community stepping up and supporting, we get emails like the ones above. The current offer is far from ideal - but it is close. All LASD has to do is move Stepping Stones to the other parking lot and let BCS put more students at Blach. Not a big deal really, unless your real intent is to get rid of BCS.

Posted by Still Waiting for Honesty
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 22, 2013 at 5:01 pm

we're all waiting for honesty from BCS, just stop lying already, there never was an agreement but you'll tell that lie forever apparently. It was a tentative framework from mediation that needed community input but the terms were so bad the community input was a loud "no way, kill it now!" Here's honesty: BCS is not a public school, it's a business with customers, it is run by a private nonprofit corporation that was mistakenly granted a permit to run a charter school by the county. It is unaccountable to our community and not even accountable to its customers, it tells them how it's going to be and how much to pay. No wonder all they can do is sue the school district. The leaders can't be voted out of office and they clearly don't care how badly they torture community relations. Community input on Bullis Charter School is also, "no way, kill it now!" Fight the good fight -- against privatization

Posted by Yeah Right
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2013 at 5:34 pm

I am still waiting for people to stop pretending that they are from Mountain View. There have been several recent posts with some questionable neighborhoods.

Still waiting for Honesty is from Cuernavaca? Do you even know where it is? Then there is Yes LASD rocks from Castro City? Please share with us the location of Castro City and where that name comes from.

Also That's what up from Old MV.

Yeah Right

Posted by Rock Bottom
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Yeah Right,

I was wondering about the geographically challenged posters. I mean if you are going to claim to be from MV at least pick a neighborhood that makes sense for LASD. Any hew I know what the random posts about percent of kids going to private schools comes from. It seems we might have some sort of insider leaking info -----

I was just checking out the Agenda for the LASD Board Meeting tonight and it appears that they got the demographer to make some changes to the forecast, including not lumping in BCS with LASD. They are trying to say that 25% to %0 % of the BCS families would be going to private school if BCS didn't exist. Guess they are paying them to do that. Really doesn't make a lick of sense because we all know people who have their kids at BCS and we all know that most of them did not apply to private schools. You all remember when there kids were in preschool with your own. You were all friends back then and would do things like discuss private schools. I sure remember it well myself. I recall that the ones looking at private schools interviewed at quite a few of them, they maybe didn't get their first choice, but they went private.
Then there were those who applied to BCS. They all applied to LASD too. It was really a big, big group. Some got lucky and got into BCS, some didn't and went to LASD instead.

Then there were those who applied to all three. I can't recall a single one that applied to a private but then was accepted at BCS so went their instead. I do know some that got into BCS but decided to go to the private school.

Posted by TJ
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Interesting. I think 25% is actually low. It is probably higher. Almost all of the LAH BCS kids would go private, so that's 25% right there.

Posted by Honesty? Honestly.
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 22, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Honesty, you're just stating opinion. Opinion put out by LASD board to continue to justify the digging in of their heels and never doing anything. BCS is accountable to our community, you just don't like the method of accountability. I don't think LASD is particularly accountable to our community. Only a few rabid fans vote. Most folks without kids could care less and are disgusted by the whole fiasco.

When LASD went in to a mediation meeting BEFORE talking with their constituents and then presented the agreement in a piss-poor way, of course they were going to get a lot of heat. Who is LASD accountable to? No one. And don't give me the JOKE of it's a democratic process. You can't say that LASD is truly democratic when you vociferously say that BCS isn't. Yeah, right. LASD board only listens to people who tell them what they want to hear. Who is running the LASD show? It sure seems like there is a hidden puppet master pulling some strings there. The decisions that they come up with are all stupid (Raynor Center?), against any change (Geometry anyone?), or pushing the problem down the road (Mountain View City Council request for help?).

If LASD board came out with a sharing solution and brought it to the folks of LASD when they redistricted, this pain and agony could have been avoided. Every step of the way LASD has taken the easy road to push any pain down the line. Every step of the way LASD says it's not their fault and blames BCS. Now it's painful for all. Next year it will be worse. And 10 years from now it will be even harder. LASD's strategy: Vilify BCS, try to close down BCS, make no decision, only follow the laws that LASD likes.

Posted by Ha Ha
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Yes, sure continue the lie. The kids that went private are the kids that went private. It is about 25% of the district. There isn't any private school goers at BCS. The private schoolers are in private schools. Wonder how much they had to pay to get them to say that. Yep LASD is sure are lying with their stats ---
1. Changed the ELL enrollment
2. Dropped out Free Lunch so that they could make up their own data
3. Now they got the Demographers to mess with their report.

Fishy, Fishy, Fishy.

Posted by Rock Bottom
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Oh and ................
I do know some families that applied to a private school but then didn't get into the one they wanted to go to.....they went to LASD schools.

Posted by no TJ
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 22, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Castro City is Los Altos.

TJ TJ TJ... you say that almost all BCS from LAH would go private if BCS were not there. Hmm, but how come the enrollment at Gardner dropped so much that they had to admit Palo Alto kids and swing the boundary down to nearly the Santa Rita campus? And even so it only nets out to 320 students? That's a pretty tiny school, smaller than when they closed it. So most of the LAH BCS students would in fact go to and LASD school if BCS was not there. Wait and see how small Gardner becomes next year....

Just look at the reality.

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Hey Yes LASD Rocks:

You completely misinterpreted the Demographers table where they show the ratio of Local Private school enrollments to LASD enrollments. First of all, there is little connection between these two numbers. They include St Simon which is not in LASD, and that is the largest,
accounting for 25% of their private school totals. St Simon has 500 students and it is a school which educates in the Catholic Faith. It draws students from all over.

LASD students who do attend Private school are about as likely to attend Harker Academy as they are to go to St Simon's parochial school. It's just one choice. Castilleja, Woodside Priory, the Los Altos Montessori School (In Palo Alto) and other draw some students from LASD territory.

All the chart is represents a ratio of selected nearby Private School enrollment (which has held constant over time) to total LASD enrollment). You can't draw any conclusions from this at all. If you know how many LASD students there were at the various Private Schools, that would be relevant, but this ratio just shows that LASD enrollments have gone up.

Posted by Tammy's Report
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2013 at 9:47 pm

And here is her actual report as posted in the LA Patch

Tamara Logan: Ive had some fairly controversial appearances recently. At the MV City Council meeting. In case you have not heard, the city was not supportive to our request to talk with them. Mr. Pear is not interested in selling his property, which I knew, but he had a surprising suggestion to move all those kids to MV-Whisman district.

-------Why even mention the suggestion, Tammy. Do you support it? That's what I want to know.

Posted by MV LASD Voter
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 22, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Yep..... Tammy's trying to through off the NEC. Wonder how much support she'll get for that. After all we are the parcel tax cash register.

Posted by MV LASD Voter
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 22, 2013 at 10:24 pm

and ti is time to go to bed.... I should have said throw.

Posted by Gadfly
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 23, 2013 at 10:26 am

IT Department - Who? Did you hack in? Or are you speculating?

Posted by LASD Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2013 at 10:36 am

It is interesting that the demographer continues to forecast declining enrollment for LASD (starting in 2013 and declining every year through 2020)

It seems the prudent thing to do is to give Gardner Bullis to BCS and consider switching the rest of the district to K-5/6-8 model.

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Decrease is a probability but not a certainty. A lot depends on various bubbles. Will investment from overseas in Los Altos real estate continue? Will Mtn View succeed in its quest to build many apartments without having them be appealing to families? Will the apartments that are built actually attract high income young singles who currently reside in San Francisco and commute by bus to Google? Will housing prices continue to rise and will families with school age children continue to be able to afford them? Will low income families continue to find work in the area?

One thing the demographer said makes little sense. They have only 564 kindergarten signups for next year, which were due by Feb 1. Since BCS hadn't had its lottery at that point, some kids are signed up for both schools. They forecast a drop off of 15-20 from the LASD K count due to BCS expansion. But BCS has 80 spots in K, so it would seem like there'd be more drop off than that. Or have they already taken some off who didn't get eliminated by the lottery from BCS?

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Correction. We have 464 K signups for Fall 2013, not 564. This includes some number who will instead attend as one of 80 BCS students in K.

Posted by Rock Bottom
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2013 at 2:11 pm

LASD Taxpayer,
As I explained above - the 80 that are going to BCS will all be from LASD schools. ALL of them will have also signed up for LASD. So the kindergarten enrollment for LASD will be somewhere south of 400.

Please note that some might have applied to a private school - and they will go there if they get in - BCS will still have 80 in district students in the fall 2013 class. The drop comes out of LASD not BCS. Take note BoT's who insisted, for their own evil purposes, that the enrollment of BCS K would be only 75 students.

Posted by LASD Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2013 at 2:31 pm

To Rock Bottom,

"evil purposes"? Evil? Really? You need a better grip on reality.

The LASD Board of Trustees are elected officials just trying to do their job.

Posted by Rock Bottom
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm

The elected officials are the trustee's of the State of California's property. Their job is to provide equal facilities to ALL public school children that reside within the boundaries of the of Los Altos School District. Offering a split undersized campus and then SHORTING them classrooms by claiming that they will have less students is EVIL. Plain and Simple.

Posted by Santa Rita Mom
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Thanks for the last statement, LASD Parent. I was just going to question how the LASD board is not accountable to the public. They are a body of people who have been elected to those positions. They ARE accountable and they recognize that. It is quite true that they at one point seemed to be making some sort of deal to give a campus to BCS. They pulled back when it become VERY clear that the constituents they serve were very much against that deal.

Anita, I am glad to hear your side. However, I do take issue with the statement "crappy portables". A fair amount of the classroom space at Santa Rita is portables. They are just fine inside. They are even air-conditioned, which is better than the permanent classrooms I used as a child (and yes, I recognize that that was some time ago). Your words are the only ones I have heard from a BCS person that not include the idea that they should take campus. I am also glad you recognize how hard finding space is for a site. It doesn't get better just because LASD is the body looking.

I am a bit confused at the vilification of Tammy Logan here. How is it unreasonable to request that the MVCC put some effort into helping solve a problem they are only making worse? The new units popping up all around me are clearly going have kids in them. Why is it okay for MV to dump the issue in the lap of the LASD and do nothing to help? The condos going up at the end of my street are 4 bedroom units. Who do people think will be sleeping in those rooms? Cats?

I for one find it really embarrassing that the city I live in thinks this is okay to do. I expect more for my tax dollars.

Posted by Concerned Voter
a resident of Slater
on Apr 23, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I don't understand why the City of Mountain View needs to provide schools. Why don't they just combine all the school districts and then use some of the Schools that we are not using in Mountain View?

Posted by Springer Parent
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 23, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Send the six graders to the middle schools - then you will have more room at the elementary schools. Spend the money on getting rid of the portables at Santa Rita and every other school. Add Geometry while you are at it.

Posted by LASD Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Rock Bottom,

I'm sorry you feel so slighted by LASD shorting your precious kindergarten class 5 spaces. They are just exercising their legal right to counter projections (backed by historical enrollment data). BCS has a long and well established history of not being able to meet their in-district projections and filling in with out of district students. You might want to get a better understanding of the word "evil". Either that or get back your meds!


Posted by LASD Critic
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2013 at 6:16 pm

LASD did not just short K by 5 spaces. They shorted K-3 by 5 spaces, so 20 total. Moreover, they play games and inflate the projected enrollment at the comparison schools so that it appears that the typical student has less space than the numbers show. Then with Kindergarten they used some crazy calculation to squeeze the numbers by trying to deny space to BCS based on their using the same space for two different classes, morning and afternoon. They already accounted for that but now they are double-cutting the space allocation still more. The duty of the trustees is to be fair and so each and every one of them is individually liable for charges of misfeasance in office for having done this. There is no way that any impartial observer would view this as fair.

Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm

The demographer might be right that some of the BCS parents may have counted on getting into K and not applied to LASD. The question is how many. The parents who have siblings already in the school are pretty sure to get in, and they know this. I don't see how they can estimate the number at only 15-20 who were uncertain about BCS success though. It seems like it is bound to be 35 or so, and then as someone pointed out, 10% or so of the BCS students might have also applied to private school, and if they get in, they may go there, even if they have a sibling at BCS. And other LASD parents do apply to private schools and not get an answer by Feb 1. LASD can mistreat Kindergarten studens who delay in applying by bouncing them to a further away school, so everyone is motivated to apply by Feb 1 even if they are pretty hopeful about the private school. It's tough for the demographer to predict.

The demographers in their written report said 10-20% of BCS students might have gone to private school if not BCS. Then in their presentation to the board they said it's hard to tell and some evidence suggests 25-50%. Yeah, right, that's just crazy high. Telling the BoT what they want to hear.

Posted by Mind Not For Rent
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2013 at 10:02 pm

LASD Parent,
Your attitude is really discouraging. What LASD is doing is illegal as well as immoral. Instead of placing a few more portables at Egan and a few more at Blach. The LASD Board is playing a game Ha Ha got you! Really there is no other logical reason. And then their are the LASD groupies like yourself, prancing around yelling, neener, neener, neener. Sadly you are acting like a child. Someone needs to act like an adult. Some of our local children are being mistreated by elected officials.

Posted by Mad Man
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Now it appears to be the case that the county superintendent alerted LASD that to house BCS outside the district is not acceptable under Prop 39. So LASD is doing this just to anger BCS, and to elicit more lawsuits. LASD is nuts.

Posted by A public trust
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Concerned Voter says "I don't understand why the City of Mountain View needs to provide schools."

The City of MV's only obligation is to its residents not the Los Altos district. But cities and school districts often don't
share boundaries, there's a large and growing population of MV residents living within the Los Altos district and they don't go to MV district. If the City of MV has land and if the WANT to serve MV residents well they might think about reserving some of that space for a new LA district school for MV residents so they don't have to commute so far to school.

If nothing else, creating a new LA district school in the NEC area will reduce traffic and improve quality of life for many MV residents and this seems a good use of MV City resources. Unless the CIty of MV instead wants to grow residential density but not provide a local school site. That will lead to resentment against MV leaders among MV residents.

Then when these MV residents get angry enough they will force LA district trustees to seize property with imminent domain to accomplish what the MVCC couldn't, and in the end the LA trustees will appear to be heroes for MV families in the NEC neighborhood. The city of MV should think more about what MV residents want and need for quality life and less traffic. I hope they don't let the developers pave over everything when green space and schools is what we need someone to protect

Posted by LASD wasting time and money
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2013 at 10:00 pm

LASD needs to bite the bullet and move six graders to the middle school, place BCS at a permanent campus, redraw the attendance boundaries. Stop trying have everything your way. You have lost site of your chief mission. We shouldn't be spending so much time and effort on this. I could care less that a few Los Altos/Los Altos Hills parents will be sad because THEY might need to make new friends in boundary lines are redrawn. LASD could build a school for the NEC at the Egan Camp site.

Posted by LASD Sanity
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2013 at 12:59 am

LASD needs to stop using terms like "generous" when describing its BCS offer. By the same standards, one could say LASD provided the most generous school facilities ever to Santa Rita and Almond this year. LASD loves to pretend that BCS is somehow taking away from its own efforts. So where are all the empty classrooms in LASD? What is the so called harm that the charter laws cause LASD? This attitude is offensive because it depends on the idea that the BEST school district cannot afford the dilution of having some of its students use alternate programs. That's the attitude which helped motivate BCS in the first place, the attitude that LASD is near perfect and any criticism is unwarranted.

15-20% of Los Altos residents choose private schools. LASD depends on this to reach the level of funding which they provide to its students. The charter school gets a much lower level of public funding. Is the problem that 15-20% of BCS would otherwise choose private schools? Even if you somehow feel that that fraction of BCS does not deserve public funding (why?), the net effect of BCS still draws away much less funding per student than LASD spends per student.

Is this how LASD is generous? It 'tolerates' an alternative program which entices some small fraction of those choosing private schools to stay with a public school program? Is that why LASD is so rigid in what programs it offers? Is it secretly afraid that this would draw more students back into the public school program?

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