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Parents urge school board to deny or delay new charter school

Original post made on Dec 7, 2018

Anxiety and fears dominated the Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting Thursday night, as a sharply divided crowd of parents, students and community members gave an impassioned pitch for and against the creation of a new charter school in the district.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 7, 2018, 5:38 PM

Comments (64)

9 people like this
Posted by J
a resident of Jackson Park
on Dec 7, 2018 at 6:34 pm

I wonder if anyone will comment on this story...


31 people like this
Posted by Norberto Chang
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 7, 2018 at 8:50 pm

Norberto Chang is a registered user.

From what I have read online Bullis did very little to support or work with Low income/ESL or free and Reduced Lunch families in Los Altos. Now all of a sudden they care about them here? They encourage a $5,000 donation in Los Altos from the parents,and I wonder if they think that will fly with their new target market of Free and Reduced Lunch families here?

Bullis just started their outreach to English Second Language families only a few months ago, well after their Petition and plans were already decided to use this angle in their petition. Makes me really wonder if this is just a ploy to try and get warm bodies and support just to open their doors. I found them very disingenuous last night, and it only confirmed my fear that this really is an "Amway" scam to fill the pockets of the leaders behind Bullis.

I believe in collaboration with our public schools and for people and groups to make them better from within, and not to create a separate "private" school that takes public funds with less oversight, less transparency and all with non-publicly elected board members. Just because they claim to be "Non Profit", doesn't mean that there aren't people at the top getting paid a pretty penny.

I sure hope our district does the right thing and denies this petition and listens to the majority of MV families who don't want a charter school taking funds away from our public schools, teachers, kids and special programs. There was nothing that I heard last night from Bullis that was different from what our district is already doing. Let's all stand and fight against segregation and privatization our our great public schools!


16 people like this
Posted by Diane L Andrews
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 7, 2018 at 10:00 pm

Diane L Andrews is a registered user.

Can someone help me understand how a charter school is allowed to give enrollment preferences to a certain socioeconomic group like Free and Reduced lunch Families and this isn't breaking a law or even discriminatory towards others. Can our public schools give preference on enrollment to certain groups too or do they have to accept everyone without a preference? Where do we draw the line? It sounded like this charter school could fill their whole school with Free and Reduced lunch families due to their preference in their petition, which would create segregation and potentially lower the diversity we might see at other neighborhood schools right? Will they be paying for and basically busing all of these kids from all over Mountain View to their school? Sorry if these questions seem obvious to others, but I am genuinely concerned about the bigger picture ramifications of targeting a certain group and basically taking them away from their neighborhood school, and the impacts this might have on not only the well being of those kids, but also other schools that might become less diverse. Is this only possible because charter schools work under different rules than public schools? Could a future Charter school have an enrollment preference to allow kids that aren't Free and Reduced Lunch a priority over those that are in the future and would this be legal? Thank you


20 people like this
Posted by Bullis is playing us
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 7, 2018 at 10:57 pm

@ Diane Andrews,
Yes, Diane, the way the 1999 law was written, they are bringing innovation and quality education to those that don't have access to it. That's the justification for targeting a specific group of students.
But you need not worry. BMV is a temporary scam to comply with the County's diversity demands. They are only pretending they are interested in teaching Free and Reduced lunch Families because the County is on their tail about it.
They don't have any parent support in MV, nor are they trying very hard to get it. If nobody from MV shows up, they can always open a school in MV for the affluent Los Altos students (Charters don't have to enroll local kids). Once the County grants them whatever they want in Los Altos (Egan site?), they'll close BMV. Assets will revert back to the Los Altos charter. Blakely asked pointed questions during the meeting and their answers were revealing: we'll separate from BCS later, we'll hire teachers later, we'll nominate SED board members later, we'll get a community organizer to round up Hispanics ( a community organizer makes so much money they can't afford to spend the money up front--right!.. )
This is all a ploy.
MV residents, we need to bring this up to our elected officials. Bullis' lawyers and advisors are scaring us into thinking they are all-powerful and that we cannot possibly oppose them or find any flaw in their plans. Not true. This charter does not have solid funding, does not offer an educational program that is different from what already exists at the local schools -- and the county -- Grace Mah is giving it her blessing? Then she, and the rest of the County Board, needs to be held responsible.
Call your representatives, call Indivisible SF, let's resist. Our kids deserve nothing less.


39 people like this
Posted by A Parent
a resident of The Crossings
on Dec 7, 2018 at 11:24 pm

Six years of work with disadvantaged kids from Mountain View and Los Altos:

Web Link
Web Link


54 people like this
Posted by Facts
a resident of another community
on Dec 7, 2018 at 11:25 pm

The first thing to know is that each low income or ELL student in a charter school gets an extra $3000 in state funding. The second thing to know is that MVWSD spends about $15,000 per kid, but the BMV plan only shows them getting $10,600 per average kid in their school. There won't be any request for more funding from the parents of the BMV program. That program gives a low cost retirement plan to the teachers, which saves a lot of cost that is spent in Bullis in LASD, LASD as a whole, and of course in MVWSD as a hole.

Now in LASD there are only 150 low income Spanish-speaking ELL students in the whole district. The Bullis program there supports 1100 kids out of LASD's total 5500, but there is no preference for low income any time during its 15 years. The LASD program wasn't born to serve the low income population of the district. The BMV program is to serve the low income in a diverse mix where they are 40% of the school and the other 60% are other students of MVWSD.

I can't believe all the lack of knowledge. This stuff is all out there. BMV has a good chance of being successful. They are using a different school vacation schedule that I have seen done in some schools of other districts. By having more but smaller vacation periods they can (1) offer supplement educational programs during the gaps and (2) avoid the learning loss that occurs over the big summer gap between years. Also they will have a longer school day from 8am till 430pm and they won't pay the teachers extra for this. They will spend their money on their classroom teachers and associate teachers in the classroom, and they wont' spend any on various directors, coaches and other non-classroom teachers and support staff. It's all doable with a high chance of success.


41 people like this
Posted by Facts
a resident of another community
on Dec 7, 2018 at 11:31 pm

Oh, and LASD only funds BCS at a level of about $8300 per average student in that program despite LASD spending also about $15000 per average student in their traditional schools. So BMV is getting more funding per student and that's why
they don't need to out and fundraise to match the high expectations in LASD. There is a lot of special state and federal funding available for low income students, but such funding is not available for the students in BCS of LASD.

In LASD, a lot of parents spend a bundle on extra-curricular programs held between 2:30 and 4pm, beyond the $15K per student LASD covers. The PTA's at the Los Altos Schools raise about $300K each, or over $2 Million district-wide. This doesn't get included in the LASD budget numbers. Part of the LASD budget numbers DO include the $3.3 Million raised by LAEF. MVEF only raises $700K per year but MVWSD manages to get public funds of $15K per student anyway, about the same as LASD -with- the LAEF supplemental funds.

Fact facts facts.


12 people like this
Posted by Diane L Andrews
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 8, 2018 at 12:03 am

Diane L Andrews is a registered user.

Thank you for your response. I also wonder if our district authorizes this Prop 39 charter school, if this will open up our district to much more liability? Isn't then our district more responsible for the actions of the Charter school? I agree our Trustee's shouldn't just approve it because they think approval is their only choice.

And everyone should also encourage our district to challenge those 144 intent to enroll forms as well before considering any approval of this charter. That whole process of obtaining signatures on the streets as a way of deciding how much space a charter can steal from our schools seems very flawed. They need to be verified.

Also, I agree with you about the financial concerns. After reading the petition tonight it appears that they do have limited funding and the fact that they only have $350k to open a charter school with 168 students doesn't seem like enough money to survive more than a few months. It also states that they eventually want 16 classrooms? Are they expecting our district to just give them a whole school or share a campus with another school? What happens if their school fails and where would those kids go if it were mid year?

This is all very concerning and I hope our Trustees have the courage to stand up to this strong private interest group and flawed laws. I think a denial of the petition will send a message to Bullis that trying to shove a Prop 39 petition down our throats without true and proper collaboration is wrong. I also wonder if Bullis is trying to push this through quickly because they are afraid of what new laws might now be coming down the pipeline because Tony Thurmond and Gavin Newsom will be in office? Another good reason to deny this petition.




34 people like this
Posted by Facts Facts Facts
a resident of another community
on Dec 8, 2018 at 1:41 am

Geeze. The $350 K is just for start up costs. They get funded with $1.6Million for 168 students, funds delivered month by month ratably. Where do you get this $350 K as being the entire budget. That's crazy.

Of course, they have to pay operating costs to the district for the space they use. They would have to pay extra if they don't get as many students as they estimate. This has all been taken into account in the laws!


44 people like this
Posted by Shake down
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2018 at 6:32 am

Bullis is for Bullis. Bullis is not for the community.
Total Bull-es.


36 people like this
Posted by Non-Hyphenated Name
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 8, 2018 at 7:01 am

"The petition states English learners will be proficient in the language as "quickly as possible," which is not very meaningful, said board member Ellen Wheeler."

Board member Wheeler is one to talk. She has sat on the board for going on two decades and has never held herself accountable for the achievement gap. But she has had no problem hiring charlatans for superintendents or for Stalinist purges of school principals.

I welcome Bullis because change doesn't come in small increments. It's a sledge hammer and what is needed, especially with the power hyphenated-name parents of the districts PTAs pushing for their own personal agendas. And don't worry, those hyphenated names will still come out and on top and as they always do. And BTW there has never been any spirit of collaboration or acts of good faith with the current school board or superintendent. They have run those wells dry over the last several years. Funny how they now want to listen, but when it came time to going after our Landels principal they all lost their voice.

Lastly, one would think board member Jose Gutierrez would be all for improving the odds of the Latino population with a school like Bullis. He himself attended the private Santa Clara University on a scholarship. He needs to stand up and put his money where is mouth is rather than continuing along the path of toxic leadership


48 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 8, 2018 at 7:20 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

By the Way - there are now three former trustees who have come out publicly, to say, this BMV might be a good idea so give it a chance (Chiang, Nelson, Lambert).
The Ross Valley 'crusaders' deserve to be ignored. -period-

The parent signers of the anti- letter? Let's see, the first posted letter had about 124 identified parent names. Those parents are associated with: 37% Choice schools (2), the next chunk the Wealthy schools (2), and in a single percentage digit the Poor schools (2).

That begs the question: why are parents That Already Have Choice for Their Own Children, opposing a charter school choice for other's children? The Privilege of having Choice and the Privilege of having Wealth - when is it ever going to be enough?

The Choice schools drain away resources and REVENUE from the neighborhood elementary schools! (fact) And yet, MVWSD seems to somehow survive! Stevenson is a highly segregated WEALTH FLIGHT school! (fact) And yet we as a community seem to just 'let it be' (opinion).


29 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 8, 2018 at 7:41 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

Trustee Wilson - Spanish speaking. Why did the Administration that you are responsible for overseeing, not have the focused competence OR INTEREST in getting their translation gear IN PLACE AND READY FOR PARENTS WHO NEEDED SPANISH TRANSLATION SERVICES?

Your failure Trustee Wilson (it happens sometimes to all of us). Your oversight failure. Your failure to hold your own administrators to the highest standards of community involvement! Your failure to speak up to the District Office in public.


28 people like this
Posted by Bullis' smoke and mirrors
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2018 at 9:17 am

To all the pro-Bullis MV people out there please educate yourself and look behind the curtain.

Bullis Los Altos stats:
- Parent Education - 88% graduate degree, 12% college degree
- English Language Learners - 90% start kindergarten testing at Intermediate to Advanced English. 0% are beginning English and 10% are Early Intermediate. Thus, 90% of Bullis' English Learners start kindergarten speaking English.
- Bullis has 1.5% Free and Reduced Price Lunch (LASD has 6.1%, MVWSD has 34.1%)
- Bullis has .08% Spanish speaking students (LASD has 2.7%, MVWSD has 17.3%)
- Compared to the LASD, Bullis has 25% fewer students and less intensive SpED service needs based on identified disabilities.

Bullis likes to show their test scores compared to LASD & MVWSD. But given the stats above it's no surprise their test scores are good.
1) Bullis students come from affluent and highly educated parents
2) Compared to the LASD & MVWSD, Bullis has the smallest percentages of English Language Learner students, Free & Reduced Lunch students and SpED students
3) Bullis Los Altos raises $4M/yr from parents who pay the 'suggested' $5,000/yr per student donation amount. This money is in addition to the per-pupil money they receive from the state.

Now let's get back to test scores. By 5th grade, Stevenson Elementary in the MVWSD has ELA and Math test scores that equal Bullis':
ELA Grade 3:Stevenson 85%, Bullis 91%
ELA Grade 3:Stevenson 87%, Bullis 94%
ELA Grade 3:Stevenson 94%, Bullis 93%

Math Grade 3:Stevenson 92%, Bullis 97%
Math Grade 3:Stevenson 89%, Bullis 94%
Math Grade 3:Stevenson 92%, Bullis 92%

So truth be told, there's nothing special about Bullis' teaching methods, they just benefit from having a student base where parents are highly educated and affluent.

So the net is the Mtn View does not want or NEED Bullis. Yes, as a district and community MV absolutely needs to do better for the kids who are not succeeding academically. We also need to add programs for families who need before and after school care for their kids so they can be out supporting their families. Mtn View, let's unite as a community and district to do this ourselves for our students, and say NO to BullisMV which is already dividing our community.

Lastly, there is NOT one guarantee that if Bullis MV were to open that they'll get the 35-40% low-income and English language learner students they say they want to serve. What then, if they only get 5-10%?? If they're only serving 25 students from this demographic is that success? And at what cost to the other 5,000 kids in the MV district.

If Bullis truly wants to help the low-income and EL demographics they state they do, they can better serve those students by partnering with the MVWSD on programs. That's the guaranteed way to help these students, by partnering they could hit 100% of these demographics. Open a school and at best you help a small number of these kids. That's fact.


12 people like this
Posted by It's about the $
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2018 at 10:36 am

Shallow people need to feel "exclusive" and Bullis provides that. That's why you gotta have the bucks to to well in their secret non-transparent lottery.
There is a HUUUUGE reason they won't let just anybody in.


52 people like this
Posted by Property owner
a resident of The Crossings
on Dec 8, 2018 at 11:07 am

The introduction of a choice school will bring healthy competition which will initiate positive changes. E.g. many LASD schools have adopted various BCS practices throughout the years like Project-based learning, drama musical production, new family buddy program, etc.

This will lead to improvement across the district which will strengthen our public high schools as well.

Bullis parents have been quietly serving low-income families in MV Whisman district by running free summer camps for them for years. I wonder how many of those who spoke at the hearing knew about this, or had actually attended the bridge summer camp and not know it was organized by Bullis since they have been super low-key about this.


35 people like this
Posted by Looking for truth
a resident of The Crossings
on Dec 8, 2018 at 11:11 am

BCS families are asked to contribute $5000 because LASD withholds that amount of public funding per child. Yes, LASD profits from each child going to Bullis. The family contributions are voluntary, and the voluntary nature especially applies to disadvantaged families.

BCS is not allowed to have on-site afterschool care like the other LASD schools. Facilities are so constrained that BCS runs two shifts of half-day Kinder to make it work at all. Between those and the (false) rumor that $5000 is expected from every family, it's not surprising at all that disadvantaged families, having less flexibility, might view BCS as impractical.

Bullis Mountain View is offering full-day Kinder and an explicit preference for disadvantaged children. Their funding model makes it clearer that the state provides money for disadvantaged kids, taking pressure off of families.

Here's the CAASPP data comparing BCS, Covington and Stevenson:
Web Link


10 people like this
Posted by STAND
a resident of North Whisman
on Dec 8, 2018 at 11:16 am

STAND is a registered user.

Those from the north bay were there to lend their support to the MVWSD public school proponents. Any “grievances” are aired in Sacramento at CDE/SBE meetings.

And calling us crusaders? Thanks @Steven Nelson for the compliment, given that the definition is:

a person who campaigns vigorously for political, social, or religious change; a campaigner.


44 people like this
Posted by Choice is good for children
a resident of another community
on Dec 8, 2018 at 1:34 pm

The only relevant consideration in this debate about charters is what's good for the children.

Bullis is a phenomenal school - there is a huge demand to enroll in the school every year. For the Mountain View parents that are not interested in enrolling their children, then don't. Why forbid other children from benefitting from an excellent education?

For the people that are concerned about whether BMV will succeed in educating disadvantage children- why forbid BMV from even trying?

Hidden in the agenda of these anti-charter folks is a desire for power and control by the PTA, the local school board and the teachers unions.

California law is clear - the people of California want our children to have a "choice" of excellent education.

If the beneficiaries of the BMV charter are high school students, they would be able to speak at these meetings and say "yes, please provide me with a choice of an excellent education and a bright future. It's a right given to me under California law, and I intend to exercise that right."

But the beneficiaries of the BMV are k-2 children who cannot speak for themselves. It's a real shame that adults choose to speak at these meetings to deny children who cannot speak for themselves a chance for an excellent education - a right granted to them under California law.


27 people like this
Posted by Brown Act
a resident of another community
on Dec 8, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Brown Act is a registered user.

I watched the meeting online. I was not surprised to hear Doug Smith at the podium. A long time hater of BCS and former LASD trustee, he will definitely be there with bells on to give lots of "tips" to MVWSD. His speech was cut short and he was asked to email the remainder of his comments. I do hope everyone realizes it is a violation of the Brown Act if he communicates with more than 2 board members privately. MVWSD's request to email his "tips" must be made public. Doug is an expert on the Brown Act and has tons of experience himself. So of course he knows to make his comments available publicly.

I wish MVWSD lots of luck on this difficult decision. I question whether the parents who are vocally against the charter coming to MV are using their elitism to draw conclusions about other families who struggle every day just to put food on the table. Usually, all parents want their children to access the best educational opportunities. Is it so wrong for families to have options in MVWSD? I do not wish to push my personal agenda if it excludes an educational opportunity for someone else's child. It is just wrong. I hope the MVWSD Board takes that into consideration when weighing the comments and opinions from their district parents. PTA's are notorious for being anti-charter of course since they must support the teachers unions. Too bad the PTA's get involved in that mess.


22 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 8, 2018 at 1:39 pm

Hey Brown Act, how come there weren't any Mountain View parents in support of Bullis Charter at the meeting?


19 people like this
Posted by Tim Baker
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 8, 2018 at 1:40 pm

Has there been transparency, trust and truth with Bullis in Los Altos? Or has it been litigious and their way or the highway? We need to protect our public schools and not create partnerships with people who have such a horrible track record. Is it true that Bullis Los Altos gets a cut of the revenue brought in from this MV Charter school?


20 people like this
Posted by MVObserver
a resident of another community
on Dec 8, 2018 at 3:48 pm

MVObserver is a registered user.

@Tim Baker: It is not true that BCS will benefit financially. BCS and BMV are set up as separate public charter schools with separate boards and separate operating budgets. BCS's foundation did provide significant seed money to launch Bullis Mountain View, because their stakeholders believe strongly in this mission.

There is a lot of mis-information about how public charter schools are funded. The state of California typically provides a per student average daily attendance rate (ADA) to a district for each student it enrolls. But because property tax revenue in Mountain View exceeds that amount, MVWSD has been designated Basic Aid (also called Community Funded) and they are allowed to keep the extra revenue. MVWSD must provide the ADA amount to BMV for each student enrolled, but they benefit from receiving the additional property tax funds while educating fewer students.

This additional revenue amount is projected to increase in the coming years, as stated in MVWSD's 2017 Financial Report: "As a community-funded district (basic aid), the District relies heavily on the local property tax growth for projected revenues to address increasing expenditures. The past two years saw double-digit growth in the assessed valuation of Mountain View."


14 people like this
Posted by Tim Baker
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 8, 2018 at 4:42 pm

@MVObserver
Thanks. You state Los Altos Bullis isn’t getting any kickback from MV Bullis? Then please explain to me why on page 161 of their petition it states that they will be getting paid a Business Fee. And is there a reason why this “business fee” isn’t disclosed in their budget on the same petition? What is the business fee percentage or amount? Let me know what I am missing.


26 people like this
Posted by Fool Me Once
a resident of Gemello
on Dec 8, 2018 at 10:49 pm

How ironic that someone like Doug Smith, who created a disastrous situation for the LASD community, is resurfacing here. It is during his LASD Board tenure that the courts ruled that LASD had not been complying with the law. The LASD Board's unnecessarily hostile approach under Smith's "leadership" created and fomented division within the community. Litigation is a lot worse for both parties than if the LASD Board would have provided "reasonably equivalent facilities" as required and defined by law in the first place. Many students, families, teachers and administrators have been fortunate to have benefited from and thrived at this amazing school over the past 15 years, which is why Bullis Charter School's enrollment demand keeps increasing and why this is an incredible opportunity for the MV Whisman District. We should beware of Doug Smith's "tips" because his track record is one of significant failure that has been a real disservice to the interests of the children.


22 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 8, 2018 at 10:51 pm

It's hilarious when astroturfed Bullis folks come in here and talk about what a great opportunity it is for "us". How come no Mountain View families were supporting Bullis Charter at the meeting?


16 people like this
Posted by Diane L Andrews
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 8, 2018 at 11:07 pm

Diane L Andrews is a registered user.

"If Bullis’s true intention is to improve academic outcomes for SED/ELL students, that goal would best be accomplished by working directly with schools in our district to build upon the strategies already in place. If you engaged with our community at a deeper and more meaningful level, you would learn about the effective and supportive relationships between school staff, teachers and families that have been built through many years of partnership. SED students in Mountain View will not benefit from being uprooted to take part in an experimental educational environment that may be unprepared to meet these students’ needs."

Please sign this open letter to the Bullis board. Web Link


29 people like this
Posted by Great Choice
a resident of Gemello
on Dec 8, 2018 at 11:38 pm

Without presenting the very good reasons and track record behind the charter school petition, the article is missing one of the most important, foundational elements of the story. BMV will be able to leverage a deep set of educational models, learnings, approaches and tools that have been successfully developed (and are continually evolving) for customizing programs tailored to the specific needs of the Mountain View Whisman community (with preference to SED families). The hope is that, if BMV is successful in improving educational outcomes, it can share THOSE educational models, learnings, approaches and tools and programs as effective practices that public school communities all over our county, state and beyond may consider for its own SED students - a virtuous cycle for a critical need: improving educational outcomes for all of our children. Educators recognize that one size does not fit all, and the model used by Bullis Charter School (and that would be used by BMV) embodies that idea by meeting the needs of students as individuals and focusing on developing the whole child, not just as popular buzz words but very concretely through its programs - what a great additional option for SED families here.


10 people like this
Posted by Sheesh
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 8, 2018 at 11:38 pm

Blossom Valley is in LASD as is 25% of Mountain View. Not eliguble for the new charter. Wrong "us" .


7 people like this
Posted by Sheesh 2
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 8, 2018 at 11:41 pm

Doug Smith was the ex trustee who had LASD discourage low income outreach by BCS. Doug Smith very bad judge.


26 people like this
Posted by Andrea
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2018 at 4:43 am

LASD has a track record for catering to only high powered parents ( lawyers, doctors) and completely dismissing and manipulating other less fortunate families.

LASD wants land. they WANT some thing that belongs to Mountain View, and have CRAFTED a clever socially progressive message, yet totally phony.


22 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 9, 2018 at 9:27 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

INTERNET TIME: Silicon Valley talk for ASAP or 'don't drag your behind'.

Many parent comments at the Public Hearing were addressed to "delay". However that is just a problem, not a road to solutions (Economically Disadvantaged academic achievement GAP in MVWSD). This problem needs an INTERNET TIME approach, which some of us consider BMV charter offering, and not The Stevenson solution. Stevenson/PACT, as a Choice school, has had a continuing inability to keep and retain both Economically Disadvantaged and Hispanic students. It is a FAILURE in both regards (and not a success in their academic achievement GAP record). Stevenson now in No Way represents an average of ED % in the district or in the neighborhood school area in which it operates. (fact)

Mistral/DI Choice also has had the GAP problem continue! (yes, the Gutierrez family school). When something is demonstrated to NOT WORK "delay" is not the way this valley-of-innovation works. Although Choice school parents may make up the largest block of 'parent letter' signers, they are by far a minority of parents in MVWSD. And residents and property owners also have a big interest in this education issue.

I think it fitting that, by happenstance, a vocal advocate of Choice-school-leader opposition, should have 'book ended' the Public Hearing input with my own support for BMV's district charter application. :) wish I had planned that!

on another topic
Maybe the LASD Board member, Doug Smith, learned from his past mistakes? And is warning the MVWSD Board not to repeat the past mistakes of himself and the past LASD Boards. Seems a pretty stand-up-guy to do that!


24 people like this
Posted by Hear us!
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 9, 2018 at 9:32 am

BMV:
WE DON"T WANT YOU!
MV RESIDENTS WON"T SIGN UP FOR YOUR CHARTER!
LEAVE US ALONE!!
what will it take for you to hear the message?


19 people like this
Posted by JR
a resident of another community
on Dec 9, 2018 at 9:51 am

If BCS wanted to help low-income kids they could do so immediately by giving them priority admission in their school that already exists. The fact that they are opening a SEPARATE school for low-income kids is telling, they want those kids OUT of their own school into a new school miles away. Tell BCS that "separate but equal" is not equal, in fact it's segregation and illegal. Shame on BCS.


44 people like this
Posted by Choice is good for children
a resident of another community
on Dec 9, 2018 at 11:16 am

To all the anti-BMV posters here:

Question for you: Do you have an economically-disadvantaged child that will be entering K-2 next fall? If no, then what right do you have to speak for them? What right do you have to say that "other" people's children cannot take advantage of an opportunity for an amazing education?

The fact that a small group of people are organizing to make sure "other" people's children cannot benefit from "choice" of an excellent education is appalling, especially when the targeted beneficiaries are disadvantaged families that probably don't have the time or the resources to speak at these meetings.

Just because you live in the same city as these families doesn't mean you have the right to deny "other" people's choice in education, as granted to them by California law.


21 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 9, 2018 at 11:22 am

"Choice," (almost surely affiliated with BCS), if you want to help economically disadvantaged students, why doesn't the BMV charter guarantee that they will enroll at least a minimum percentage of economically disadvantaged students from Mountain View? Seems like a bit of an unintentional oversight! We can only assume BCS is engaging in good faith and this will be revised immediately.


21 people like this
Posted by Norberto Chang
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 9, 2018 at 11:47 am

Norberto Chang is a registered user.

Is it really a good idea to turn our public schools into competing businesses fighting over kids and our limited funds?

"The point is that competition as a philosophy doesn’t work when you are talking about our public goods. Let’s consider our public park system as an analogy. Would anyone suggest that we hand half of our public parks over to private corporations to run them as good little capitalist enterprises (think Budwesier signs on the fountain at the Point, oil derricks in North Park, casinos in Gettysburg); then siphon off state funding meant for the parks and hand the money over to those companies; and then tell the remaining public parks they need to manage with fewer resources and “compete” in order to attract visitors?

Actually, some people have suggested just this. But most people realize that our beautiful natural resources are not about increasing someone’s bottom line. They are not even necessarily about attracting visitors (we value remote wilderness for reasons other than its ability to pack in a crowd). We ask our government to own and manage green spaces for us because those places belong to all of us – they exist for the public good – whereas private companies are legally obligated to answer to their shareholders.

Public schools exist for the public good. They benefit not only individual students, but also society as a whole, which requires an educated citizenry in order to function. They are mandated to educate every child in every corner of the state and with every learning need. We are right to insist that our public schools deliver a quality education and work to fix problems where they exist. But the problem is not that our public schools lack competition. It’s that they are being systematically starved of funding."

This is written in this article and a great read.
Web Link


And another great article written on the fallacy of school choice and Charter
schools.
Web Link

We need to all Stand and fight the privatization of our public schools.


5 people like this
Posted by @Norbert
a resident of Castro City
on Dec 9, 2018 at 3:30 pm

Yeah Norbert that's right. Keep private nonprofits like little league out of our parks!


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2018 at 3:34 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Simply put,

Privatization of education has been the major contributor to the decline of the public competency.

Prior to the early 1970s the education system was great. But when the college students go too big for their "britches" demanding that the government get us out of Vietnam, provide Equal Opportunities for the "racial" minorities, women, and the lgbtq community, the government systemincally underresources public education so it could "control" the opinions of the public. EXCEPT FOR THE RULING CLASS THAT PROVIDED ITSELF A PRIVATE EDUCATION.

After 40 years of undersosourcing the public education system, NOW they want the PRIVATE sector to be given the same treatment as public education. BUT PRIVATE EDUCATION IS A FOR PROFIT BUSINESS. Public education is not. SO the same problem will continue to get worse. The public can't even really understand how it is exploited by the "RULING" class becasue they succeeded in making the citizens easy to minipualte via education or lack of it.

I strongy urge people to either watch or read the "untold history of the united states". It gives an great alternative viewpoint regarding the ways that the system has made the same mistakes because the "RULING" class exploits the "accepted" propaganda regarding history. a great example, the U.S. manipulated the Japanesa into attacking the U.S. in 1941, and the dropping of the atomic bombs did not win WW2 becasue the Japanese were going to surrender within 90 days beacuse the U.S.S.R. was about to attack their western front with more than 2 million soldiers.

There are more.

We are slipping into the future described in the comedy movie "idiocracy"

And the "RULING" class is laughing at us.


52 people like this
Posted by Choice is good for children
a resident of another community
on Dec 9, 2018 at 3:39 pm

@LOL

My affiliation with BCS is that I am a BCS parent, with no personal relationships to anyone in the BCS administration.

I share my opinions here because my child has had an amazing education at Bullis Los Altos, and I sincerely hope that more children can have access to that education.

Our child, who is not particularly studious, tests 3 grades above for reading, and 2 grades above for math, despite having had no academic math/reading classes outside of BCS. We attribute this achievement to the wonderful education provided by BCS.

Our child is also very outgoing and curious and have had the opportunity to perform in multiple drama performances, dance, choir, as well as build robots, play instrument...the list goes on.

But all this pales in comparison to the best part about Bullis, which is the passionate educators. Thanks to the Bullis teachers and staff that are so incredibly passionate about teaching, my child has a love of learning that I hope will be lifelong.

I hope that all these things that Bullis has provided for my child can be shared with more children.

I don't know the head of BMV personally, but from the talks she has given and casual interactions with her, I know her to be a a passionate educator who will be an incredible asset to Mountain View. It will be a real loss to MV if the charter school doesn't open.

It's disappointing to me to see so many neighbors come out strongly against having "other" people's children have access to such wonderful education, especially given that California is ranked 10th from the bottom.

If you don't believe in charter schools, then don't enroll your child. Or, make your voices heard in Sacramento. Please don't prevent other people's children from benefitting from an excellent education because of your personal political beliefs. It's a right granted to them under California law.


26 people like this
Posted by Reminder
a resident of Castro City
on Dec 9, 2018 at 3:44 pm

Tge charter school will be funded with $3000 extra for each low income kid. One person on here wants to stop any poor kids from enrolling. Another says they should be forced to have a minimum number. Is this the same person? There are 5000 kids in MVWSD. No doubt the 168 or 330 won't be noticeable. Keeo that 4700 from enrolling. Just don't be so stuck on your own good fortune that you dis the poor kids who will benefit from thus new school. Take a look in the mirror and answer what YOU have done for the education of the less fortunate. You shoukd be ashamed of many of the comments on here. Especially you Marin County astro turfers


25 people like this
Posted by Cfrink
a resident of Willowgate
on Dec 9, 2018 at 8:48 pm

Cfrink is a registered user.

This discussion has put so many people on opposite sides of this issue. I would just like to point out a couple of eventualities that we should all be focused on: First, whether you like or dislike, support or do not support Bullis, as educators they have a successful reputation for managing solid charter schools. Second, Chater schools can be fantastic school environments for children and parents. Third, the reality of our district is that the number of socio-economically challenged students in our district is declining. This information was presented to the district on multiple occasions throughout the multiple boundary discussions we’ve been having over the past few years. It is simply too expensive for these families here. If this is true, the intended target student body for this school is limited at best. It will be very difficult to reach the intended 35%-40% if this downward trend continues. If this is the case, the school should really reconsider it’s intentions and clarify them in the event that they are not able to find the students they intend to serve.

Finally, being a bit of a political hobbyist, I can’t ignore the timing of the request just after the midterms in which a couple of well respected, powerful legislators who have expressed concerns about how Prop 39 is managed in the state, have recently been elected. Their election could change the ability of Charter schools to insert themselves in districts in the way they’ve been able to do so in the past. If these new legislators require charters to work more closely with districts they wish to serve, that could only be a good thing, even if it complicates the start up process.

As it stands, the law is on Bullis’ side. They will get their charter. Our community needs to get busy mending fences and doing what’s best for the children. Bullis can be a strong partner in that conversation. The question is will we as a community continue to naysay and sit on the side lines or will we get involved and be a part of the conversation that strengthens all of our schools.

I believe this conversation is the most worthy. Let’s get to work!


5 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 9, 2018 at 9:46 pm

LOL is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language/poster banned for repeated violations of terms of use]


8 people like this
Posted by @ Steve Nelson
a resident of another community
on Dec 9, 2018 at 10:32 pm

@ Steve Nelson is a registered user.

Doug Smith is "not a stand up guy". He is about as nasty as they come and continues to work his magic in cahoots with Tammy Logan behind the curtain of Prop 39 (non) negotiations at the present time. These two lovely people were selected by the current LASD Board to fight their battles to protect LASD from the evil charter school. Perhaps Doug is offering his battle services to MVWSD.


13 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 11, 2018 at 8:15 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

@ I don't know Doug Smith, and have not studied how he work as a politician. However - like most in Mountain View I have studied the LASD political problems, both past and current, through the reporting of the MV Voice and the LA Town Crier.

I can "swear and affirm" :) that Doug is now "a stand up guy" - I swear I saw him stand up in public before the MVWSD Board and essentially apologize for 'some' of his bone headed decisions and 'directions to the administration' that he was guilty of during his part in the LASD-Bullis wars.

The MVWSD Administration has 'apparently chosen' their own anti-charter pit bull legal counsel from the firm of DWG, "Sue Ann." This is the "counsel" that Ross Valley SD has been using in their classroom-by-classroom battle against Prop 39 charter school space. Sue Ann has helped carry the fight up to the Appellate Court level - where Ross Valley SD was unsuccessful (the charter got one more classroom for space, of the two more they were negotiating for).

Hope the MVWSD BOARD, which sets public policy and 'the direction' of it's Administration, listens to what Doug said.


26 people like this
Posted by Just Curious
a resident of another community
on Dec 11, 2018 at 9:13 am

Just Curious is a registered user.

I wonder why the people are so opposite to having an alternative option? I can understand why district and their in-pocket PTA activists are not happy, but what is the risk for a regular parent? The default option is just not to apply and continue to go to your neighborhood school. If nobody shows up, BMV won't happen. If some people apply, they will get what they chose.


14 people like this
Posted by Diane L Andrews
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 11, 2018 at 1:54 pm

Diane L Andrews is a registered user.

How is Bullis working out for the Los Altos school district?

Bullis now wants to take over a whole Junior High School and increase their market share between 1600-1800 students going forward in Los Altos. Their goal and actions will be the same here. It's all about numbers and making more money for them. They aren't looking for collaboration. They know the flawed Prop 39 laws are on their side and they will exploit whatever they can to increase their strong hold in any district. Once you let the Trojan Horse into our city, our public schools will be under assault, divided and weakened for years to come.


36 people like this
Posted by Middle S Parent
a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 11, 2018 at 2:52 pm

Middle S Parent is a registered user.

I am amazed at the negativity displayed here towards Bullis.

@Diane, Bullis "increases their market share" because more more and more parents are choosing to send their kids there. So they must be doing something right! Los Altos has never treated them fairly and that has led to endless conflict and legal fights. We don't need to make that mistake here in MVWSD.

BMV has put together a very solid plan. Perhaps their community outreach could have been better, but let's face it the MVWSD district has done worse! Just think of Teach To One or the firing of four principals!

They plan to start small. Let's give them a chance and see how they do. Yes, this addresses a different population from what they serve in Los Altos, but their plans are better and more concrete than anything MVWSD has ever put together!


20 people like this
Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Dec 11, 2018 at 3:20 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

It's my understanding is that the State of CA requires Mountain View school departments to offer reasonable and equivalent support to Charter Schools that it provides to the rest of its schools --- including classrooms and on a timely basis. What, exactly, am I missing here? A bunch of people who are advocating defying State Law?

Just how much support are the teachers unions giving this anti-Charter effort --- and how many of the people commenting here teachers in conventional public schools??? Competition will improve the quality of education in MV & LA. Surely teachers want improved quality --- or do they?


16 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Dec 11, 2018 at 9:09 pm

psr is a registered user.

Glad to hear that some people have seen what Bullis has done to LASD with their constant litigation each time they feel they have been "wronged" by the district. Keep in mind that they have NEVER won any of their frivolous lawsuits, but they have wasted district money and time just out of spite. They have been quiet recently, but only due to a settlement agreement made during the last trip through the court system. The 5 years is nearly up, so it shouldn't be long before they are dragging LASD to court again over something. I predict 5 years and one day.

As for those who tout that they are "doing something right" in order to have so many people trying to enroll their children, you have on rose-colored glasses if you don't see what that "something" is. Exclusivity, in a nutshell. It's private school on the public dime. Then they squeeze $5000 from the parents for each child (not too hard when you consider the demographics of the parents) so they can teach Mandarin (cheaper than Chinese school) and send the kids to China on field trips. That is FAR cheaper for the private school experience than the other, honestly-named, private schools in the area.

Add to that the fact that they actively discourage SpED children ("We don't have the resources to give your child what they need. They would be better served at the district.") and publicly shame those who don't cough up the $5000 for their "public" education, which sorts out more of those children who actually cost real money to educate, and you can see what they offer that the district can't. They sort out those children, then compare their cherry-picked student body against the district and claim some sort of victory. In reality, their performance numbers are not really significantly higher than the district when you take that into consideration. However, all those perks for the small price tag is a pretty sweet deal and you can save up enough money to allow your child to drive a Maserati instead of a Mercedes when they go off to college.

I imagine that the real reason they are trying to open in MV is to leverage their presence and try to look less morally repugnant. Their latest attempt to infiltrate the LASD school board failed, so they gained no ground in Los Altos. Maybe they feel they will do better in a fresh hunting ground.

I am generally a supporter of charter schools, but I like the real ones. Ones like Ace Charter in San Jose, in a neighborhood with terrible schools, low grad rates, poor teachers and every other problem you can imagine. That is what the charter laws were meant to address and remedy. Los Altos has none of those problems and LASD and the high schools here are some of the highest-performing in the state. Why do they need a charter?

The answer is that they don't need one. Bullis is a school born out of spite and maintained as a perk for people who want to have their cake and eat it too. They are trying to use MVWSD and you should listen to those of us who are trying to warn you. A tiny, short-term gain is not worth the price you will pay in the end. Bullis has deep pockets and a self-important attitude. They are going to help you even if you don't want it.

If a deal sounds too good to be true, the odds are good that it isn't true. Be warned.


17 people like this
Posted by ResidentSince1982
a resident of another community
on Dec 12, 2018 at 12:30 pm

ResidentSince1982 is a registered user.

I concur with William Hitchens that the state laws should be followed. It's ironic that facilities should be a factor at all when Mountain View Whisman is in the flexibile position of having built out so many school facilities in advance of expected growth. Switching some kids to charter use sharing the existing classrooms should be easy. There is also a lot of empty space at some of the schools, and the district is already working to shift kids into attending them. So it's no big problem.

I question the psr line on Bullis lawsuits. There were only 2 lawsuits, both about facilities. One was 15 years ago and was resolved quickly and simply. This was the one where the Bullis group made a claim on their old closed elementary school campus because they were a conversion school trying to serve the same area. The district resolved this by reopening the school, first as a campus with only 5 kindergarten classes so they could rent the rest of the site out and make some money. It seems like there were questions which warranted challenging the denial of use to Bullis, but they lost. This is when the district succeeded in establishing the Bullis permanent home at Egan Jr High where it has been since its founding.

Then there was one other lawsuit, which has clarified the law for charter facilities in the state ever since. The California Supreme Court backed up a detailed 3-judge Appeals court ruling that spelled a lot of things out. These rulings affected the whole state, and they took a while to move through the courts, but it was all one lawsuit.

LASD has had dozens of lawsuits from people other than Bullis mostly about Special Ed. Bullis has a lot of special ed services provided as part of its program and doesn't discourage applicants.


8 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 12, 2018 at 3:39 pm

ST parent is a registered user.

@ResidentSince1982

"It's ironic that facilities should be a factor at all when Mountain View Whisman is in the flexibile position of having built out so many school facilities in advance of expected growth."

This is the problem with having some info, but not the details, you jump to incorrect conclusions. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

In fact, the massive amount of facilities work done at all 11 MVWSD school sites was NOT about any expected meaningful increase in enrollment. The facilities work done was to REDUCE the the enrollment at the 3 badly over-crowded schools (Huff, Bubb & Landels) by removing the expensive LEASED portable classrooms at those sites while renovating all the school sites to properly support 450 kids at each site to 21st century standards. Some capacity was also lost at Monta Loma due to the bad conditions.

The Castro and Stevenson sites got some new buildings, but not much additional capacity. The only major change was the addition of a new 450 school next to the old Slater and is called Vargas. But the reduction of capacity at the over-crowded schools offsets Vargas.

"Switching some kids to charter use sharing the existing classrooms should be easy."

I suggest you actually look at the design layouts for each of our 11 schools and you would find it's not so easy at all. None of our schools has any "extra" spaces for things like separate admin spaces, Multi-Purpose-Room, Libraries, etc.

Yes, a couple of our K-5 schools could give Bullis the 7 classrooms they are demanding as a starting point, but no campus has "extra" major facilities to set aside for Bullis and sharing would be quite a huge burden on any of our existing K-5 schools.

But more to the point, none of our existing schools would be able to support the future requirements of Bullis on one site.

"There is also a lot of empty space at some of the schools, and the district is already working to shift kids into attending them."

Yes, so that they can REMOVE excess and expensive LEASED portables at various sites that cost the district serious money each year. The total capacity of the 9 K-5 schools has NOT increased much and is now spread out fairly evenly across those 9 schools.

"So it's no big problem"

At any of our existing K-5 schools it will be. Some empty classrooms can be found at various sites, but not at any one site without once again plopping down leased portables and nobody has a real solution to the major facilities like a Library, MUR, Admin spaces, etc.


14 people like this
Posted by ResidentSince1982
a resident of another community
on Dec 12, 2018 at 4:35 pm

ResidentSince1982 is a registered user.

ST Parent is uninformed. The district has built enough space at Castro/Mistral to be two full 450 student schools. That's a big increase. Two story buildings were used. The decision was that every school should have room for 450. There was some cutback on Stevenson when the budget ran out.


25 people like this
Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Dec 12, 2018 at 6:06 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

There's a very serious and relevant question that I have made that has not been clarified. So, I'll repeat it with a bit more "bite". Maybe we can give support to parents who want superior education for their superior students --- from public school districts obsessed with "closing the inequality gap" and not providing superior education for superior students.

The blunt question is:

How much anti-charter school criticism here, lies and screed, is coordinated by teachers' and administrators' unions??? And how many of the people commenting here teachers and administrators in conventional public schools??? Teachers and administrators who are trying to protect their overpaid salaries and grossly overpaid PENSIONS??? Charter school competition will improve the quality of education in MV & LA. Surely all teachers and administrators want improved quality for all --- or do they just want to protect their jobs and the mediocre status quo?

This anti-charter school argument is all about money, and not quality of education for ALL students.


16 people like this
Posted by MV Teacher
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2018 at 7:14 am

MV Teacher is a registered user.

@William Hitchens

We live in dark times where when people don’t believe facts, they call them fake news. When people take academic discourse for screed. When people surmise that the teachers who can’t afford to live anywhere near where they work are considered overpaid. Furthermore, it’s disgusting to me that there are people out there who aren’t interested in, to use your words, “closing the inequality gap”, and “providing superior education for superior students”.

Public education is meant for all - using public funds for the advancement of a few elite students is not what our country was built on. The public education your children are receiving in this small town is top notch. Students leave our elementary schools to our middle schools, then go to our high schools before going to top universities in our country. More importantly, though, we graduate students who would not enter an educational discussion spouting elitist drivel - our students learn to process thoughtful arguments, weigh both sides, then discover that when things aren’t when they seem, it’s because they weighed the facts - not because they got bored reading half way through and gave up thinking.

Thankfully, sometimes the apples do fall far from the trees.


4 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 13, 2018 at 9:29 am

ST parent is a registered user.

@MV Teacher and all others

This is nothing against teachers, this is responding to the facts versus fake news comment.

"We live in dark times where when people don’t believe facts,..."

When so-called "facts" are determined by either popularity contests OR by adherence with a political agenda, then it's not a fact, but a manipulation of the ignorant public.

"...they call them fake news."

When those people we are supposed to trust to keep the public truthfully informed about the properly researched and verified facts still CHOOSE to remain willfully ignorant so they can tell lies and sound sincere, that is truly dark times.

I think it's a far darker thing when nobody even bothers to try to find out what the factual truth is, but that's where we are.

If a lie is repeated often enough by enough people from various positions, then the average people simply accept it as truth and not only never bother to check, but when the factual truth is available to them, they resist knowing the truth because they would have to admit to themselves that they have been fooled for decades.

Yes, there is a huge amount of fake news, and yes, even on the major news networks, and yes, fictional TV shows endlessly reinforce the lies.

The majority of people are too lazy or too afraid to know the truth about important issues, so the lies pass from one generation to the next without anyone checking.

As far as teachers go, they also teach quite a lot of fake news without even knowing it.


6 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 13, 2018 at 9:52 am

ST parent is a registered user.

@ResidentSince1982

"ST Parent is uninformed."

About the theoretical physics of string theory, maybe, but not about what's been going on in this district the past 5 years. I have been deeply involved and have attended most of the board meetings for the last 5 years. I have also served on critical committees working directly on these issues.

You seem to have utterly failed to read and understand what I wrote, so I'll try to type slower for you.

"The district has built enough space at Castro/Mistral to be two full 450 student schools."

Correct and spent something like $43 million to do it.
They share one huge MUR and Library and admin buildings and play spaces.

The district also spent about $40 million on the new Vargas school for 450 kids.

"That's a big increase."

ONLY in relation to those specific school sites, NOT for the district as a whole.

The Huff, Bubb and Landels sites have expensive LEASED portables spread all over their sites which are being REMOVED so that Huff, Bubb & Landels will be REDUCED in capacity from 650 down to 450 capacity. In addition, some of the classroom buildings at Monta Loma are being removed because they are either beyond repair or located improperly. All of this is a net LOSS of total district capacity.

As a TOTAL effect to the TOTAL capacity for the district, there was very little change of TOTAL district capacity.

"Two story buildings were used."

Yes, because of lack of ground space, same for Vargas, not enough extra space to place ground-floor buildings.

"The decision was that every school should have room for 450."

MEANING that 4 school sites REDUCED their prior capacity DOWN to 450 from 650.

"There was some cutback on Stevenson when the budget ran out."

Stevenson got all the rooms we were promised, except that the MUR has not yet been completed. Stevenson is indeed now a proper 450 school for the first time in the 21 year history of PACT. In the past, Stevenson was barely able to shoe-horn in 400 kids by converting some rooms that had been used for extra instructional spaces and projects into regular classrooms.

Only this year is Stevenson able to handle 450 kids.

The ONLY budget difference for Stevenson is the use of "modular" buildings rather than permanent "stick-built". But that was planned in from the start.


7 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 13, 2018 at 10:19 am

ST parent is a registered user.

@ William Hitchens

"It's my understanding is that the State of CA requires Mountain View school departments to offer reasonable and equivalent support to Charter Schools that it provides to the rest of its schools"

Correct, but how many school sites do you know of where the district built an "extra" MUR, Library and Admin building just sitting there unused in the expectation that a charter school might need them?

What most people don't understand is that it is easy to go lease portable classrooms and plop them down into a blacktop area of a school (removing play spaces or parking lots in the process) so that you can cram more classrooms onto an existing site. It's a vastly different thing to quickly double-up on MUR, Library, Admin, not to mention things like electrical and water and sewer capacity.

Most of the MVWSD schools has been forced to LEASE expensive portable classrooms from time to time to add classroom seating capacity, but MPME of our school sites has been able to expand the major support facilities. Those are just massive projects with prohibitive costs.

Portable classrooms are expensive to lease, but only a fraction of the cost of a new MUR or library or Admin.

" --- including classrooms and on a timely basis."

Additional portable classrooms can be installed with about 10 months notice, 8 if you really rush the job, but it's all the other stuff that requires years to build, assuming you can get the money to pay for them.

"What, exactly, am I missing here?"

A basic understanding of how schools can LEGALLY get built, for starters.
Government approval takes many months by itself.

" A bunch of people who are advocating defying State Law? "

No, a bunch of people who are still in the thick of a massive multi-year carefully planned district-wide construction boom and a total redistribution of enrollment and site capacities. AND NOW being told they MUST figure out how to squeeze a whole new school onto one of our sites where we have shifted everything around to make all schools to 450 kids by REDUCING capacity at 4 of our schools.

We want TIME to comply with the laws.


23 people like this
Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 13, 2018 at 10:41 am

Common sense is a registered user.

William Hitchens may take some rhetorical liberties above, but his main message is accurate.

It wasn't "tak[ing] academic discourse for screed" ("MV Teacher's" phrase) when the Voice recently intervened to delete several comments signed "Miney Corr, a resident of Slater" -- whose own rhetoric was straight from recent teachers'-union political ads -- on the previous article on this topic Web Link . (The Voice left a note at one of the deleted comments, citing the misleading name used.) It's impossible for regular readers here ever to know how many comments posted under throwaway pseudonyms actually reflect the far-ranging lobbying efforts of the NEA (largest US labor union; in some state elections, it and the smaller AFT together have outspent all other political-campaign contributors *combined*).

Dispassionate, penetrating analyses of US public-school performance problems routinely fault those unions and their defense of every teaching job, poor performers and problem personalities included (so that, for decades now, removing one incompetent tenured Bay-Area public teacher can cost a district a million-plus, or several years' potential salary for a competent one). One gadfly of that union establishment asks the core question always evaded in public discourse: Is the main point of public instruction to educate, or to supply job security for teachers?


10 people like this
Posted by mavericks74
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 13, 2018 at 3:26 pm

mavericks74 is a registered user.

Here are the salaries of Mountain View teachers and administrators.

Web Link

I think parents deserve choice and kids deserve choice.


8 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Dec 13, 2018 at 9:46 pm

psr is a registered user.

ResidentSince1982 has clearly not been following the litigation history of Bullis against LASD if they think there were only two lawsuits. There were more than that during the time my son attended schools in LASD and he wasn't even born when the initial litigation about the closing of the LAH school (Bullis Purrisima) happened. I suggest you look into the history a little more before calling anyone else "misinformed". You have some significant gaps in your knowledge regarding this situation.

Each time Bullis renegotiated their space (twice in the 9 years my son attended LASD schools), they would complain about the amount of space they were allocated. The last time, they complained because they had less space than Gardner Bullis, but it was shown in court that they actually got MORE usable space. The extra "space" was actually steeply graded slopes around the school that contain landscaping and are off-limits for the children to use. Rather than admit that they were getting more usable space than the district children, they dragged the district to court, wasting time and money for the district.

They regularly complain that their kids are being taught in "portables" while failing to mention that the multi-purpose room at Santa Rita is a portable, spare classrooms on almost all the schools are portable and many district children get their educations sitting in portables. Why are their children deserving of better facilities than the district children have? Or did they even consider that the district could build more permanent classrooms if they didn't have to keep enough cash on-hand to deal with the latest trip thorough the court system, courtesy of Bullis Charter?

During the preliminary phase of one of these court cases, people from Bullis were on the Santa Rita School property, looking around and measuring. When asked why they were there, they replied that they wanted to be prepared when the court granted them exclusive use of the site. Imagine what goes through the mind of a 7 year old when they find out somebody wants to take the school they love away from them. Can you? Do you think that is something done by people who claim to want to "best serve the children"? If you do, you have some very odd standards of reasonable behavior.

I stand by every word of what I have written regarding the behavior and past tactics of BUllis, not because I have heard stories, but because I have LIVED through it. Reading stories in the paper is nothing compared to sitting through school board meetings with Bullis parents making demands for better facilities than your child's school has or watch your children worry about if his school will be taken from him by some group of kids he doesn't even know. If you were bullied in school, you might have a clue. If not, maybe you think their behavior is okay because you identify with the bullies.

BUllis has to do a LOT more than educate a few low-income children to rehabilitate their image in the eyes of those of us who have watched them operate up close for many years. If you are buying what they are selling, I think you should question your judgement.


2 people like this
Posted by ResidentSince1982
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2018 at 12:10 am

ResidentSince1982 is a registered user.

There are so many uninformed people posting here. They seem to have little to do with the charter school. The ST Parent says that Castro has not been expanded much and then he agrees that it now has been built out for 2 separate 450 student schools (with shared MUR space, Library and Admin. But that's a capacity of 900 students and previously Castro had only ever peaked around 620 back before the dual immersion program was split into a separate school. That means the site nows serves nearly 300 more kids. Citing various facts, there is a failure to see the summary. Do the math. So what if the goal is to remove portables from sites with more than 450 kids? They are still being used. The plans to pull down the portables are questionable. There 7 * 450 student refurbished sites have room for 3150 students plus 2000+ at the middle schools. Your own figures claim there are 4 schools with portables to hold 200 students. If space is so tight, use of portable classrooms will be inevitable. Having the charter school doesn't increase the total enrollment, it just divides into different schools. The 800 spaces you describe in portables are the extra room that means making room somewhere for the charter school is easy.


1 person likes this
Posted by Comment
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2018 at 2:30 pm

Comment is a registered user.

Mistral and Castro do not share admin offices. Both schools have their own offices now. They share an MUR and library.


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Posted by Comment
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2018 at 2:41 pm

Comment is a registered user.

The link to "teacher salaries" is for MVLA.

For MVWSD, you'll see that the superintendent earns over $200k, but some of our teachers earn in the low $20k/year.

The page below shows the "low end" of the range. Click to page 1 of the list to see the highest compensation.
Web Link


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