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Editorial: Bullis should hit pause on Mountain View plan

Original post made on Dec 16, 2018

While Bullis Charter School has the ability to charge ahead and expand into Mountain View under state law that favors charter schools, we believe BMV staffers should hold off on their petition and take more time to work with Mountain View Whisman officials and families.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, December 16, 2018, 6:56 AM

Comments (73)

22 people like this
Posted by a thought problem
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 16, 2018 at 9:29 am

Imagine that you're on a hulled and rapidly sinking ship in icy waters with 1000 people. Rescue is hours away. A group of adults is organizing to load the single lifeboat with a diverse mix of children. The crew and a vocal minority of passengers insist that the ship is fine, and (in the same breath) that saving children is unfair to the crew. Someone proposes waiting a year, holding some meetings, hiring consultants, and writing reports? What's the right answer?


41 people like this
Posted by tomF
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 16, 2018 at 9:43 am

Except that MVWSD is not a rapidly sinking ship and no catastrophic suffering will be felt by the population with a delay. For the sake of the kids, BCS should spend the time to work and research with the district to make this a win for both. That means proper planning and collaboration. The good intentions of BCS opening this school at the last minute is short sighted and distructively selffish by not working with the district.


38 people like this
Posted by Avoiding Contention?
a resident of The Crossings
on Dec 16, 2018 at 1:18 pm

The MVWSD administration and political allies have already revealed through their actions where they stand on contention. They've mobilized their muscle (political, community and PR) and have already opened fire with a thin veneer of deniability.

For example the inflammatory PTA letter repeats the standard playbook of professionally crafted talking points spreading falsehoods about the actions, intentions and consequences of the proposed charter school. For another example MVWSD long ago hired anti-charter legal counsel and brought on well known anti-charter operatives such as Doug Smith as advisors.

I've seen no indication from Bullis (despite what opponents claim) that they have a desire to do anything other than to educate children. When entrenched incumbents oppose them it's natural that they will insist as is their right, both morally and legally.

So long as MVWSD and allies are waging political war, any talk from them of collaborating and being reasonable is a smokescreen. If they are for real they should show it by ceasing fire and showing genuine engagement (vs talking points) in discussion about the issues.


39 people like this
Posted by Upheaval
a resident of another community
on Dec 16, 2018 at 1:26 pm

There are many ways to look at this, but of course the bottom line is that there is a state system for forming Charter Schools, and this particular case meets all the requirements down to the last detail. So I hope it will go ahead as planned. The letter from the PTA people is particularly out of place. They represent the kids that are benefiting in the current system, whereas there are are more than 1000 who are not benefiting. Check it out. You'll find that there are many families who do not participate in the PTA's. They should look in the mirror and ask why THEY are waiting to do something about THAT.

One way to look at this issue of forming a new school amidst the district's own efforts is to stop and think about it. They plan to rejigger ALL the attendance areas anyway, drop enrollment in 3 schools, and significantly increase enrollment in the other 3 plus add a brand new school on a very tiny piece of land next to a big school which is rented out to Google for "Infant care in the Woods." Some say this means too much is going on to add in the variable of forming yet another new public school at the same time. I'd agree the plans are somewhat daunting, but it seems to me that the new charter school really adds nothing to the existing complication. In fact, the new charter school seems to be picking the exact right moment to come into being. It won't get any simpler in the future. It would add to problems for everyone to delay on adding the charter school. The chorus next year is likely to be "Look how much of a mess we had last year--we can't do it again. Stop the charter school."

It's better to do it all at once. If there's any case to be made for delay, it would be to delay some of the district's own plans. They are the ones attempting to do too much with all these changes. But even there, you can argue that they need to rip the band aid off all at once, to lessen the total pain from all the changes of moving around the disadvantaged kids and decreasing diversity in many of the current schools. The new charter school aims only to mirror the overall demographics of the school district, not to be 100% low income. In principle they have the best goal and the easiest diversity to implement.


1 person likes this
Posted by Nutmac
a resident of another community
on Dec 16, 2018 at 2:19 pm

BCS currently asks a yearly donation of $5,000 per child to fund the school and its after school programs, in contrast to $1,250 for Los Altos School District. So I am skeptical that BCS will be able to extend its excellence to MV campus, where it is aiming for 35-40% free/reduced lunch students (normal hot lunch costs about $7).

I think BCS should just point out the elephant in the room. MV needs more high quality options for affluent families outside Huff and Bubb neighbors. This frank admission will no doubt draw scorns from educators and city officials, but


34 people like this
Posted by Choice is good for children
a resident of another community
on Dec 16, 2018 at 2:24 pm

Even though I'm disappointed at the recommendation of the Editorial, I applaude MV Voice for recognizing that "Bullis Charter School in Los Altos is one of the highest-performing schools in the state.". There is so much mis-information out there spread by the anti-charter folks.

Thanks for also recognizing that Bullis "could have a positive impact in Mountain View, where some families are seeking an alternative to existing schools." It's clear that parents want "alternatives". PAUSD (Palo Alto) is often regarded as the "best" school district in the area - probably because it provides 4 choice schools (Hoover, Ohlone, Ohlone Mandarin, and Escondido). Choice schools not only provide alternatives for the students that go there, it also provides "competition" for the neighborhood schools - they have to innovate if they don't want children to choose the choice schools over their neighborhood schools.

How about this for an analogy: Imagine that there is a town where one company controls all the restaurants ("Old Restaurant"). Then, under encouragement from the state, a new restaurant opens ("New Restaurant"), providing better food. Understandably, the Old Restaurant is upset because it doesn't want competition. Many of the customers of Old Restaurant are upset as well because under this analogy, a customer can only eat at one restaurant. But, competition is good for the town as a whole because now "Old Restaurant" is forced to innovate if it doesn't want to lose the new customers (the incoming "kinders") to the New Restaurant.

That is why if BMV does go ahead with the charter, it will be approved - California law encourages competition. Section 47601(g) of California's Education Code states that the legislative intent for charter schools is for them to "provide vigorous competition within the public school system to stimulate continual improvements in all public schools."

We are incredibly lucky to be in BCS Los Altos. The academic excellence of BCS rivals that of any Palo Alto school, and the innovative approach is second to none IMHO. I realy hope that BMV launches so that my children's friends / classmates who live in Mountain View can have access to that excellent education.

If any organization can launch a school with a substantial number of disadvantaged children while providing an excellent education for "all", it would be the passionate educators of Bullis. Please give them a chance. The 144 families that have signed intent to enroll forms deserve what's granted to them under California law - a choice of an excellent education and a bright future.


42 people like this
Posted by seen this movie before
a resident of another community
on Dec 16, 2018 at 6:06 pm

The analogies laid out above reveal the real BCS attitude: that our districts are "sinking ships" and "bad restaurants." They believe that they have the One True Educational Method, and every day our kids don't go to BCS is another day that they are being miseducated. The goal is nothing less than to bring about the demise of the public school districts, so that all kids can be properly educated by their enlightened methods.

This level of arrogance is shocking, given how highly rated the Los Altos elementary districts are, before and after the arrival of BCS. There is no desire to work together to make districts better; their only solution is to scorch the Earth.

Nevertheless, the editorial is correct. It's better to approve the charter, and have some level of control, than to refuse it and let the dysfunctional county board of education do it. My suggestion: Lay out explicit milestones for the numbers of underprivileged kids, and their academic success, well in excess of the district averages. If their methods are really so good, they should welcome it.


24 people like this
Posted by Trinity
a resident of North Whisman
on Dec 16, 2018 at 6:45 pm

Mountain View has a lot of average elementary schools - leaving aside Huff, Bubb, etc. This will give people living in such areas an option to opt in to a higher performing school.


38 people like this
Posted by Creaming
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2018 at 7:09 pm

BCS schools have slightly higher test scores than LASD ones because of the extra effort that is required to get in. Parents that are more likely to go through this are more educationally focused than the average. Kids with educationally focused parents are more likely to test better than those with other priorities. This process of “creaming” transfers the top performing students from the truly public schools to the charter schools.

So, is BCS’s teaching methodology responsible for better test scores? Of course not. Creaming is a way to fake success.

Now, BCS wants to expand to MV, but knows that their bad reputation for attacking LASD would make this problematic. So, they claim that their school would market itself to economically disadvantaged families. Sounds good, right? But...they refuse to make economic disadvantage an enrollment requirement. Or even require a minimum 50 percent of their students to qualify under this standard.

BCS knows that their favorite type of family, elite and affluent, will make up the bulk of their applicants and the school will receive high test scores. They will shrug their shoulders and say, “Poorer families don’t want to come to our school. Not our fault! “. They will continue their “creaming strategy” and take more and more district resources.

Say NO! to Bullis.


22 people like this
Posted by Oh Geez, here comes Bullis. Yea!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 16, 2018 at 9:50 pm

Yea! Bullis is coming to MV. Can't wait!! More budget cuts for our kids!


***Tensions grow between LASD and Bullis Charter: Los Altos board members complain that enrollment growth could force school closures. Sep 11, 2018

Web Link


***Sharp Criticism Pointed At Bullis Charter School
"A quick look at the Academic Performance Index scores for the Los Altos School District shows that BCS has performed abysmally in serving socioeconomically disadvantaged students," Song says. "Sadly, after being a strong advocate of BCS from its first days, I now conclude that BCS is in material breach of its charter agreement with the Santa Clara County Board of Education."

Web Link


***Taxpayers Get Billed for Kids of Millionaires at Charter School
Web Link

Those who don’t <benefit> say their children are being shortchanged because the schools are siphoning off money and the strongest students, leaving school districts with higher expenses and fewer resources for poor, immigrant and special-needs kids


***How to Destroy a Top Notch School District: Open a Charter School!
Web Link


***Privatization is part of the ongoing assault on democracy
Web Link

"Charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately operated, are among the nation’s most segregated schools. Total alleged and confirmed fraud and waste in California’s charter schools has reached over $149 million, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Due to little transparency and oversight, an untold amount of the $6 billion spent annually on the state’s charter schools is being lost each year."



29 people like this
Posted by Canela
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 16, 2018 at 9:51 pm

I would be more sympathetic to the argument against Bullis because it will siphon off more affluent and higher performing students which will then hurt the neighborhood schools, except that MVWSD already has a school that does that really well - Stevenson. If Stevenson is accepted and allowed to exist in our district despite doing as described above in superior fashion (I think there are fewer than 10 SED kids in the entire school!) then I don't think we have any right to criticize Bullis for possibly doing the same thing.

Or if the people with this opinion truly believe what they say, then they should advocate for closing Stevenson. I know, Stevenson offers a "unique" program that some kids benefit from. This is probably true, but Bullis also offers a unique program so it's really hard for me to see why it's ok for one to exist and not the other.


13 people like this
Posted by Bullis moving way too fast in MV!!
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2018 at 10:09 pm

Well, this is concerning...


"County board approves five-year extension for Bullis Charter School.” Mercury News

After sometimes-strident discussion, the Santa Clara County Board of Education voted 5-2 to approve Bullis Charter School's request to operate for five more years, through June 2017.

The board placed some conditions on its approval, including broader recruitment of students, although the language of the restrictions has yet to be worked out.

Critics of the charter, including trustee Anna Song, wanted the board to delay approval Wednesday night in order to persuade Bullis to change admission preferences, commit to enrolling more underserved students, drop its current lawsuit against the Los Altos School District and submit to binding arbitration with the school district. Bullis backers have sued the district four times.


Song believes that the school did not comply with state rules that charters serve academically struggling students, and that it acts more like a private school by leaning on parents to donate $5,000 a year plus, for fifth- and sixth-grade students, pay about $2,000 for annual field trips...


18 people like this
Posted by MV Parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2018 at 10:15 pm

Hey @Canela:

Except that Stevenson is part of the district and follows its rules, oversight, accountability, etc., etc. Bullis DOES NOT HAVE TO!! It can basically do what it wants at MVWSD district expense.


18 people like this
Posted by Bullis doesn't make sense in MV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 16, 2018 at 10:31 pm

If this is how they survive - by naming and shaming parents who can't pay the $5K donation, then how are they going to survive financially if they acutally get 40% SED/low income students like they say they will?? Someone explain that to me. Take it from other MV schools??

Web Link

‘Aggressive’ Requests

In an interview, Anna Song, a member of the Santa Clara County Board of Education, said she received about 20 phone calls from parents who felt pressured to give because of repeated solicitation in school parking lots, e-mails and phone calls.

“They are very aggressive in asking parents for money,” said Laurie Uhler, a former Bullis parent. “If you don’t pay it, word gets out that you aren’t doing your part.” Parents often refer to the payments as “tuition,” she said in an interview.


11 people like this
Posted by Pro charter
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2018 at 10:57 pm

If a charter school can serve a struggling student better more power to them but then they must enroll students who are struggling to prove their value. Saying you’re going to educate disadvantaged students and then seating well off high achievers is cheating the system but it’s what Bullis does since 2003


29 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of another community
on Dec 16, 2018 at 11:17 pm

Looks like the anti-charter activists are posting again - full of misinformation and extensive use of exclamation marks. It feels like they are screaming.

Posts by "seen this movie before" and a maybe a couple of others read like real people wrote it, but the others don't seem like they are from our community. I'm curious to know if they've been invited to post here by someone from MV. Who do they work for? Teachers' unions? Anti-charter law firms?

These activists say the same things over and over again - they are basically against charter schools. The fact of the matter is there are charters schools in 42 states and District of Columbia. In California, there are 1,275 charter schools, and they enroll about a tenth of the state’s K-12 public-school student population.


9 people like this
Posted by Differences
a resident of another community
on Dec 17, 2018 at 4:18 am

LASD relies on a Parcel Tax which taxes each residence $900 per year. MVWSD has a much smaller Parcel Tax. Yet MVWSD has been raising a lot of money by renting out real estate to Google and others. It raises millions of dollars this way every year. Also MVWSD gets funding from a byzantine arrangement for the Shoreline Regional Park. Even so MVWSD collects more property tax revenues than they would raise by per student funding under the state LCFF protocols. Such protocols mean that every low income or otherwise disadvantaged student in the district receives about an extra $3000 per year in funding.

OK,so now MVWSD and LASD both spend about $15K per year per student on average. in the case of BCS in LASD, the amount the district shares with the charter school is only about $8K per year. However, for the Mountain View Charter School if it manages to achieve a 40% rate of disadvantaged students (the MVWSD district average, way about what Huff or Bubb will be next year), then the district will need to fund the charter school with about $10K per student.

In LASD, besides the $1250 per student that the district asks of the parents for each student, there is another $500 per student asked by the school PTA's. After school programs are expensive and numerous. Most parents spend $500 per year easily. A whole lot of parents purchase tutoring service for their kids. It's very costly to be a parent in LASD. In the charter school within LASD, it has to compete with the district standard practices, which means more fundraising. Still, after school programs are included in the charter school program at no extra charge.

So, a charter school in MVWSD has lower costs and added funding from the district, compared to BCS and LASD. Be glad you don't live in LASD.


29 people like this
Posted by to the 'other' communities
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 17, 2018 at 10:28 am

Shocker how many pro-Bullis comments are from 'a resident of another community'. Pretty well versed in the BCS/BMV talking points, stats and CA education code too. Hmm...

'anti-charter activists'? What just because Mountain View parents care about public education and neighborhood schools that they know 1000% better than outsiders from another district. That makes them 'anti-charter activists?

This is another gem from these 'concerned citizens': "inflammatory PTA letter repeats the standard playbook of professionally crafted talking points" - same point as above, parents write a heartfelt letter asking to partner in ways other than a charter school and to add fuel to the fire you call it 'inflammatory' and 'professionally crafted'.


This is NOT going to be a fun ride.



1 person likes this
Posted by Nutmac
a resident of another community
on Dec 17, 2018 at 10:51 am

@Differences,

You are absolutely correct. LASD is far more expensive overall than MVSD. I moved from MV to LA few years ago (from Huff to Covington). While Huff is widely regarded as the best public elementary school in MV, things are at entirely different level in Covington. Teachers and staff seem much happier. Parents are much more involved with the school. Most importantly, the overall quality of education and activities are significantly higher. Parents involvement is not something money can fix, even if MVSD dips into $100M budget surplus it's enjoying in recent years.

Financially speaking, an average Huff parent is expected to donate minimum of about $1,000 per kid per year (MVSD donation + PTA + suggested fees). At Covington, the minimum amount is doubled to $2,000, and many add-ons, such as hot lunch, cost far more. At Bullis, the minimum parents are expected pay is far higher, at about $6,500 per year.

If you don't make the donation at either Bullis or LASD, be prepare for onslaught of emails and phone calls. And I have a strong suspicions that teachers know which kids made the donation. Since Bullis will be getting $10,000 "bonus" from MV for accepting free/reduced lunch student, I guess it will alleviate some of the shaming.


13 people like this
Posted by @ to other communities
a resident of another community
on Dec 17, 2018 at 11:09 am

Hi, just so you know there isn’t an option for Los Altos so it’s not like anyone is sitting in Arizona commenting on this article; they’re likely just across the road having had valuable experience with MVWSD in the past or BCS now or previously.


10 people like this
Posted by Jenny
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 17, 2018 at 11:43 am

I do agree the elephant in the room is the true intention of Bullis school, do they really wan to serve the low income/ reduced lunch students in MV or provide an alternative for affluent families here? Their Los Altos campus model is more for the affluent students with big donations and parents involvement.

Most affluent families probably won’t send their kids to a school with large percentage of low income/reduced lunch students. I know many of them opted for private school for this reason.

For now, I doubt most parents form Huff or Stevenson will go to the new school


14 people like this
Posted by Capt Obvious
a resident of another community
on Dec 17, 2018 at 12:09 pm

So many expressed concerns about demographic discrimination. Why can't Bullis stay ahead of this criticism by guaranteeing to match district demographics in enrollment, or even over-enroll the less advantaged demographics? If their educational secret sauce has nothing to do with family income or ethnicity then they'll be able to show amazing results for even the most challenged students, which would really be newsworthy and good for the kids and the community


8 people like this
Posted by Nutmeg
a resident of another community
on Dec 17, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Nutmeg is a registered user.

One way or another, BCS will establish a school in MVWSD. It is up to the school board to oversee the charter or punt it to Santa Clara County. Take your pick. All of the moaning and groaning here by anti BCS peeps won't change the inevitable. Sorry.


17 people like this
Posted by @@ to other communities
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 17, 2018 at 12:15 pm

Dear @ To Other Communities. You're missing the point. Of course I realize the posters are not from Arizona. What I'm saying is, the level of stats and details in the pro-charter comments here appear to come from those with intimate working knowledge of BCS (e.g. Bullis leaders). So we have a message board filled with Bullis people slamming the MVWSD and its parents and we're supposed to believe they are coming to MV to collaborate???

The MV Voice Editorial, MVWSD Board and the majority of parents in MV asked Bullis to slow down, wait and/or partner in other ways and instead of listening, Bullis throws charter laws in our face saying "too bad", and while doing it makes residents of MV who oppose them out to be activists. At least Bullis is showing their true stripes out the gate.


22 people like this
Posted by Choice is good for children
a resident of another community
on Dec 17, 2018 at 12:36 pm

@to the 'other' communities

I'm a BCS parent, as indicated in my post. There is no option for "Los Altos" in the "Select your neighborhood" dropdown. I looked up the Education Code out of curiosity - it's a very simple Google search.

I comment here because I talk to many parents of my children's classmates, and I sense how eager the parents are for great schools for their children, and I'm just astonished as to MV's resistance to an excellent school that will be an incredible asset to the MV community as a whole.

Many posts here categorize families as either disadvantaged or affluent. The truth of the matter is just because a family works in tech doesn't make them "affluent". Many tech families can't afford to own a house.

For an average tech family, when their first child turns 3 or 4, the choice is often between owning/renting a house in Mountain View or owning/renting a condo in Palo Alto. For parents that really want a choice in education and a "uniformly" great school district, they choose Palo Alto.

LASD is a very uniformly affluent area, in some ways even more than Palo Alto because there are very few apartments and even condos, and the starter houses are larger. Yet, there is an immense demand for BCS - I think BMV will be a great asset to MV.

I don't know anyone on a personal level in the BCS administration, but I do feel like they are genuine about wanting to educate disadvantaged kids. However, realistically, I think that BMV will probably have about as many disadvantaged kids as maybe a school like Santa Rita or Almond.

I think that tech families will still want to go to BMV - because the wonderful education model will quickly spread amongst the parents by word of mouth. I think that as time goes on, families that care greatly about education will move in to MV for BMV, instead of moving out of MV. Apologize if anyone thinks that's arrogant, but my child has had a wonderful education at BCS so this is just my 2 cents.


23 people like this
Posted by Non-hyphenated Name
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 17, 2018 at 1:47 pm

MVWSD all but admitted last year there was a huge achievement gap problem that they couldn't solve. The toxic and egocentric superintendent (Ayinde Rudolph) and school board (led by the toxic and tone deaf trio of Gutierrez, Blakley and Wheeler) fired half the principals as scapegoats and nothing more. MVWSD is definitely a sinking ship. So why not let Bullis in and see what it can do? As far as all those power parents from the PTA up in arms, they really need to think about radically different options like Bullis for those kids who are getting left behind year after year.


36 people like this
Posted by Diane L Andrews
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 17, 2018 at 1:49 pm

Diane L Andrews is a registered user.

Are the Bullis board members publicly elected? If they claim they are a public school then they should have publicly elected board members, right?

It's really odd that a private school, funded by conservative billionaires, can take public funds and strong arm their way into a district and demand space from our public schools, and in the same breath for marketing purposes or legal arguments call themselves public, even without publicly elected board members.

Someone pointed out in a previous post that on page 161 of their petition it states, that the Los Altos Bullis will get a kick back from Mountain View Bullis, but this amount is not disclosed in their budget in the same petition. I just read the same thing. Interesting. It only shows 1% to our school district and 3.5% to Edtec. Boy, these service companies propped up by CCSA and the charter industry, are sure making a killing off the backs of our kids.

Can someone from Bullis explain to us how much Los Altos Bullis will be getting paid out of this deal? Gracias!


18 people like this
Posted by Cfrink
a resident of Willowgate
on Dec 17, 2018 at 3:01 pm

Cfrink is a registered user.

The reality is that Choice schools are great options for parents. The reality is that Charter schools can be fantastic educational opportunities. The reality is that no school district is perfect, but as school districts go, MVWSD is fantastic. Why else would Bullis want to come here. We have 5,000+ students who come from mostly middle class to affluent families who are already on a solid trajectory. This is a great place to find students.

I struggle with BMV's mission. I'm happy to say this to anyone at Bullis and I'm fairly certain that I've done so already. There no way you're going to get a school with 35% - 40% student population on FRMP. By all accounts, the number of students representing this group in MV are declining. By some accounts, quickly, by others, slowly, but in all accounts, the numbers are dropping. And if this is the case, the intended target of the school is already in question. Which means that the rush to put this plan in motion now is most likely politically based. The favorability and the unfettered access to school district resources is likely to change after the most recent midterms and Bullis has recognized this and has lurched into action to avoid more restrictive future policies.

Again, that's a reality and they must do what fits their eventualities as a business (even schools can sometimes have such choices to make). Where I struggle is this insistence that they remain on this course, while having done very little of the work necessary to meet this need. The reality is that this school is going to quickly become another school to serve wealthy parents who can afford to make these kinds of choices for their students. Rather than just craft a school that can serve a need for parents who just want that something extra, or a learning environment that takes advantage of some of Bullis' philosophies, we get this convoluted mission for socio-economically challenged students. It's just not realistic.

I think Bullis should delay their efforts or just get honest about their actual intentions and build the school they intend to build so that people can move past this issue and accept a new school built to engage and educate students in an innovative and exciting manner rather than continue with the current version they're pushing.


16 people like this
Posted by Stevenson review?
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 17, 2018 at 3:19 pm

When is the Choice school, Stevenson, going to be up for review? What type of public review will we see? It is going to it's tenth year now. And the SED student numbers seem to be reducing year by year. Or should I say the percentages are reducing - it seems to be sucking away wealthier families pretty well, as another poster mentioned.

Competition is hard to take. That is one reason for The Resistance! The dominion of the MVWSD administrator will decrease (like it did in LASD with the BCS competition). The dominion of Stevenson and Mistral Choice schools will likely decrease with the competition from BMV. Surprised that the largest group of parents that pledge to The Resistance, by signing The Letter, are Choice school parents? The dominion of some parent leaders will decrease with competition - why would they chose to embrace Competition (BMV)?

So, this will happen fast. Much faster than MVWSD as an organization has ever moved. Perhaps BMV can work it out on Internet Speed, rather than "with all deliberate speed," the 15 years that school desegregation took under Brown v. Board of Education.

When is the MVWSD Board going to address the segregation of poor kids out of the picture at Stevenson? We have heard the excuses of Stevenson parents for almost a decade now - so ...


7 people like this
Posted by SV Phil
a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 17, 2018 at 3:24 pm

Public schools requesting/expecting "donations" from parents of $1,250 to $5K per child? This is the free public education that all children are entitled to, regardless of family income?

I'm a MV resident and tax-payer since 1980. I willingly pay taxes and special assessments for education because I believe other people's children are important--even more so because I don't have children myself.

I'm outraged that families are expected to top up school finances with what amounts to a head tax.


18 people like this
Posted by Mind your own biscuits
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 17, 2018 at 3:41 pm

@tomF - obviously your kids aren't on the boat or you'd know it's sinking. For all the complainers, if you don't support the school then leave your kids at your neighborhood school and let supporters make their own choices. No parent has an obligation to leave their kids at a substandard school for the benefit of other kids - that's a terrible excuse for opposing a new innovative program. I have no affiliation with any school - just an observer of all the drama over the possibility of a bit of "change."


1 person likes this
Posted by Stevenson review?
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 17, 2018 at 3:46 pm

There is a part of the California Constitution that requires public education be free. If school communities compete with requested donations - what does it do to those standards? I think only the Mountain View Education Foundation uses a 'donation blind' school-blind policy of collecting its donations from everyone, and distributing it equally to all students at all schools independent of the donations from that school.

PTAs in some places do that. Huff likes to brag (or has in the past) the it collects more than any other school PTA. Stevenson, definitely in the recent (5 yr) past was allowed by administrators to post that it "required" parent time contributions. The Stevenson clear legal error was fixed - but was that attitude fixed?

Los Altos School District, and Bullis Charter School have really NOTHING TO BRAG ABOUT on their standardized academic scores. Why - they are in the top couple of precent of WEALTHY PARENT schools in all of California. They ARE JUST EXPECTED, by statistical correlation, to be in the top couple of percent of SCHOOL STANDARD SCORES. If they represent the top percent of wealth - and some community wealth estimates suggest they do - we just expect them to be in the top percent of "performing" students. Their boards and educators are just doing the average job "expected" with such resources.

CONGRATULATIONS LASD and BCS for not Blowing the Advantage of Wealth. It's just wonderful.


2 people like this
Posted by no more MVWSD
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 17, 2018 at 4:08 pm

> The Stevenson clear legal error was fixed - but was that attitude fixed?

When my child was there 6 years ago I didn't donate anything one year and nobody treated me any different. Never noticed any attitude, other than the sour grape parents.


2 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 17, 2018 at 5:55 pm

@Stevenson review?

First, Stevenson PACT has nothing to do with Bullis, stop dragging us into this.
As of last Thursday, Bullis had not even met with the PACT Foundation to discuss anything.

I'll move this part up...
"Stevenson, definitely in the recent (5 yr) past was allowed by administrators to post that it "required" parent time contributions."

You did mean over 5 years ago BEFORE the official STATE policy was CHANGED, right?
PACT was ALWAYS in compliance with the STATE interpretation of the state laws.

In FACT, hundreds of California schools with various levels of parent participation and donation asks were long ago told by the STATE GOVERNMENT and the STATE Superintendent of Schools that it was LEGAL to say that donations and volunteer hours were "required". However, since enrollment is NOT determined by the schools, but by the districts, such statements of a "requirement" really never had any teeth and kids were NEVER denied enrollment based on any such "requirements".

Neither the MVWSD nor the Stevenson "administrators" had anything to do with the prior legal interpretation by the STATE. However, once one state judge declared that such language was illegal, all of the districts with parent participation schools, including MVWSD, worked up new language that complied with the judge's orders. Once the new language passed scrutiny, the new documents were used from then on.

As for the 21 year history of PACT, no child has EVER been rejected from PACT because their parents did not donate or participate. Nor is there any tracking of any sort to know who has donated money or hours and who has not or how much anyone has. The only tracking is in total dollars donated by everyone and what percentage of families have donated money, nothing more than that. There is ZERO tracking of volunteer hours.

"The Stevenson clear legal error was fixed..."

The long-standing STATE POLICY was NOT a "Stevenson error", nor an error by the MVWSD, but rather an error on the part of the STATE. The STATE corrected it's error and all the parent participation school complied with the new interpretation.

" but was that attitude fixed?"

What "attitude" are you talking about?

You are aware that Stevenson PACT has ZERO control over it's enrollment, all that is done by the MVWSD, you knew that, right?
All enrollment documents used by Stevenson PACT were vetted and APPROVED by the MVWSD to be in compliance with the law as understood at that time.

ALL schools "request donations" from parents and anyone else they can think of, NO CHILD is rejected due to lack of donations.


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Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 17, 2018 at 6:03 pm

@no more MVWSD

"" The Stevenson clear legal error was fixed - but was that attitude fixed?""

"When my child was there 6 years ago I didn't donate anything one year and nobody treated me any different."

Every year there are parents who signed up to volunteer hours, but never did any and NOBODY treats them any differently for the simple fact that there is ZERO tracking of volunteer hours and so nobody really knows who is providing the hours they promised, who is providing way more than they promised and who is not volunteering at all!

Same for donations, the ONLY person privy to the names and amounts of donations is the Treasurer of the PACT Foundation and that person keeps that information strictly confidential. Nobody else knows anything but the total of all donations and percentage of families who donate.

" Never noticed any attitude, other than the sour grape parents."

Yes, pretty much every PACT-hater has proven out to be a parent who so desperately wanted their kids in PACT that they became outraged that the MVWSD DISTRICT-run lottery did not pick their child, so if they can't have their kids in PACT, then they feel nobody should be allowed to be in PACT.


9 people like this
Posted by Sick of Bullis already...
a resident of Waverly Park
on Dec 17, 2018 at 9:16 pm

Why are people dragging Stevenson into this hot mess?

I was a parent there and my first year I did not donate nor volunteer for 6 months because my MIL was very sick and living with us, and NO ONE noticed, said a word, bothered us!! In face, they were rather supportive. So stop knocking on schools and parents that you know nothing about.

There ain't no way Bullis is getting 35-40% SED kids. They coudn't even get to 2%, yes 2%, at Bullis Los Altos in all those years and ALL their resources and money from shaking people down in the parking lot. (BTW, LASD has 6% SED kids - so it shouldn't have been that hard to get to 5-6% but they couldn't in all those years...hmmmm...) How do they expect MT View parents to believe they can get to 35-40%???? DO they think we are a bunch of powerless dummies?? Show up at Dec 20 board meeting and let them know we are not a powerless!!



31 people like this
Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of North Whisman
on Dec 17, 2018 at 9:46 pm

The parent letter (and this article) are acting like they are speaking for all of us. They aren't.

Ayinde, a specfic subset of parents (including many privileged Huff/Bubb and choice school parents), and now MV Voice are the ones bringing the hostility. Yes, it's already causing tension in the community and MVWSD administrators and parents are the ones instigating it. How about trying to support the mission to help underprivileged kids instead of sabatoging it?

Stevenson, Mistral, Huff, Bubb: We are watching you. It seems a bit self-serving to fight against something that could help other district students get an education more on par with what your kids are getting (particularly a school that prioritizes the neediest kids).


14 people like this
Posted by Incoming
a resident of Waverly Park
on Dec 17, 2018 at 11:38 pm

Not completely sure what the educational model is at Bullis, but why wouldn't a parent at "high performing" Huff be seeking alternatives? They use old school extrinsic reward methods for behavior and use a disturbing amount of tech even at lower grades. It's not a particularly innovative or progressive education being offered at MVWSD. Test scores aren't everything and even if a child "performs" well in that system doesn't mean they are getting the best (developmentally appropriate) education.


16 people like this
Posted by No need to fight
a resident of The Crossings
on Dec 17, 2018 at 11:42 pm

There's no need for negative campaigning against MVWSD or district-run public schools or Bullis or public charter schools generally. What matters is excellence in educating children and in serving their families and community. Different people define excellence differently and will each find their fit.

Bullis here is the newcomer. They're applying for a public school charter in the MVWSD, with publicly accountable oversight from the MVWSD administration. If Bullis fails to meet the charter requirements, the chartering authority (MVWSD in this case) can shut them down.

The governance model of public charter schools differs intentionally from the traditional model to allow different approaches to excellence. The rules in California attempt to strike a balance between independence and accountability while adding charters to the public school framework.

With charter schools joining the public school framework, California has set up rules and processes for how funding and facilities will be allocated. In general resources follow students, with allowances for Districts to retain a portion of funding at their discretion.

As public schools, public charters are subject to the same rules requiring open and non-discriminatory access to students residing within the attendance area, including by socioeconomic factors, English proficiency and disability. In practice, attendance patterns at public charters may be similar to choice and magnet schools because parents have to go out of their way to apply and because parents are often encouraged to contribute more.

I support public schools and I've seen examples of excellence in every type of public school, whether district-run, special program or charter. I don't support fighting, misrepresenting others and destructive behaviors generally.


13 people like this
Posted by Incoming
a resident of Waverly Park
on Dec 17, 2018 at 11:55 pm

It's not negative campaigning when someone is just stating what happens at MVWSD. Lack of transparency, account errors in the millions of dollars, thousands spent on consultants for misguided housing projects, implementation of poor quality expensive curriculum, firing of half the principals in the district... I could go on and on, but that was only last year.


4 people like this
Posted by Incoming
a resident of Waverly Park
on Dec 17, 2018 at 11:59 pm

Oh my apologies, the TTO debacle was the 2016/17...


12 people like this
Posted by Ummm....
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 18, 2018 at 1:20 am

Trust me. You don’t want BCS anywhere near your children. They do not accept oversight from anyone. If they don’t get their way, they go to court. The kids of LASD lost millions and millions of dollars in legal fees alone to defend the existing high quality LASD schools from shutting down and handing their facilities over to BCS.

The charter school system was intended to do a Hail Mary solve in failing school districts. Good idea, but the ultra-wealthy and politically right-wingers saw a way to have a private school that separates their precious children from Econ disadvantaged and people of color....where the public picks up the tab.

This is a well known fact. Fortunately, thanks to Trump and Betsy Divos, California has swing even further left, so we should see some progress in pushing back on these useless boondoggle of a school.


8 people like this
Posted by Logic
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 18, 2018 at 2:12 am

Let’s get one thing straight: charter schools/homeschooling destroys a kids sense of reality of what life is. If you think your kid will become the next Bill Gates because you never became such a figure in society, so in return you try to force it onto your kid, that is just sad. If you are a parent and think public schools are “scary” and try to keep your child in this Silicon Valley bubble, you will and most importantly they will get brutally destroyed in the real world.

For this post, let these oblivious parents ruin their kids life’s with this charter school, but keep more of the funding for public schools where it’s more important.


4 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 18, 2018 at 9:07 am

@Concerned Parent

"The parent letter (and this article) are acting like they are speaking for all of us. They aren't."

How ironic, because YOU are pretending to speak for Stevenson parents. You aren't.

"Ayinde, a specfic subset of parents (including many privileged Huff/Bubb and choice school parents), and now MV Voice are the ones bringing the hostility."

I don't know where you got the idea that Stevenson parents are "bringing the hostility" when in FACT Stevenson parents have been very open-minded and are hopeful that Bullis will do what they claim.

"Stevenson, Mistral, Huff, Bubb: We are watching you."

Quite clearly, you are NOT watching Stevenson since we have been nothing but open to Bullis coming here in spite of the fact that Bullis never contacted the PACT Foundation to discuss anything.

Stevenson parents have always asked all sides to avoid fighting and find ways to collaborate and seek the win-win-win solutions.

STOP dragging Stevenson into the conflicts!


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Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 18, 2018 at 9:40 am

@Stevenson review? Sheesh, do you get ANYTHING correct?????

"When is the Choice school, Stevenson, going to be up for review?"

Since PACT was formed 21 years ago, the MVWSD has had TOTAL control over everything that PACT does and "reviews" everything about PACT EVERY YEAR for the past 21 years!

Which is simply NOT true of charter schools, PLEASE STOP confusing the two!

The letter that was actually written by Stevenson parents was NOT an attack on Bullis, it was just asking the Board to try to negotiate conditions and ways to measure how BMV is performing and to AVOID a fight with BMV.

"What type of public review will we see?"

The stats on Stevenson PACT are open to the public just like ALL the existing MVWSD schools.

"It is going to it's tenth year now."

NO, PACT has been on going for 21 years now! PACT was started up at Slater and then was moved to Castro in 2006-2007 and then moved again in 2009-2010 to Stevenson.

"And the SED student numbers seem to be reducing year by year."

Just as the percentage of low-income kids in Mountain View have declined year by year.

When PACT was located at the Castro campus, it had a large percentage of low-income kids. PACT got moved to Stevenson because the Castro site could not handle having Castro, Mistral and PACT kids, so PACT was moved out.

By the way, Huff now has virtually the same low-income percentage as Stevenson and next year the Huff percentage is probably going to be LOWER than Stevenson, with Bubb not far behind.

"Competition is hard to take. That is one reason for The Resistance!"

If anyone in the MVWSD has been open to more "competition", it's been the parents of Stevenson. There is NO "resistance" from Stevenson.

Read the letter actually written by Stevenson parents and sent to the Board.

"The dominion of the MVWSD administrator will decrease"

NOT for the other schools it wont. Just because one charter school moves in does NOT reduce how totally in control of the rest of the public schools the MVWSD is.

And don't forget the North Bayshore project will likely be ADDING thousands of kids to the MVWSD enrollment. BMV will just be a blip.

"The dominion of Stevenson and Mistral Choice schools will likely decrease with the competition from BMV."

HOW exactly will BMV effect Stevenson PACT?
Aside from the false perceptions of people who seem to know nothing factual about Stevenson.

"When is the MVWSD Board going to address the segregation of poor kids out of the picture at Stevenson?"

The MVWSD Board and Super have NEVER assisted Stevenson in attracting low-income kids, in fact, in past years, the District Office directly discouraged low-income families from even applying to PACT.

Stevenson PACT has made it a goal to attract low-income families, but without the active assistance of the District Office and Board, we can't do much on our own.


6 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 18, 2018 at 10:01 am

@Jenny

"I do agree the elephant in the room is the true intention of Bullis school, do they really wan to serve the low income/ reduced lunch students..."

Jenny,
It's much bigger and deeper than the intentions of BMV leadership.
No matter how hard the BMV leadership tries to target recruitment towards the low-income families, especially the Hispanic population, BMV cannot reasonably over-come the historical resistance of the low-income families.

The fact is that Mountain View families have a long-standing pattern of enrollment applications. The lower-income families place a high value on their close-knit community and they have a high resistance to taking risks with unknown "new" types of school programs AND they have a huge issue with transportation to/from distant schools.

I see no reasonable way for BMV to overcome this natural resistance unless they can provide services that are of even greater value to those families than their natural resistance. I suppose BMV could provide services that will appeal to low-income families, but who's going to pay for them and how will BMV know what services those are until they fully engage with the existing school communities to find out?

"in MV or provide an alternative for affluent families here?"

Given that Stevenson has always had a huge waiting-list of families wanting to get in, I can see how that waiting list might well get split with BMV. This wont effect Stevenson enrollment, but it might effect other schools.

"Most affluent families probably won’t send their kids to a school with large percentage of low income/reduced lunch students."

Most "affluent" families don't live near the high-density low-income housing, so, that is just natural.

"For now, I doubt most parents form Huff or Stevenson will go to the new school"

I would guess that we will see the Stevenson waiting list shrink to double-digits once BMV enrollment is opened, or the next year.


21 people like this
Posted by Grew Up Here
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 18, 2018 at 10:50 am

Grew Up Here is a registered user.

I am a MV resident who believes this editorial is right but, in the end, useless in face of the pro-charter law and cynical approach taken by Bullis. I'm not opposed to opening a charter school in MV; in fact, if I felt Bullis truly wanted to do what it claimed, I would be very supportive. However, reaching its stated goals will take a lot of time and hard work, and the fact that Bullis won't take that time or do that work demonstrates that its stated goals aren't aligned with its true goals. If Bullis truly believed in its stated goals, it would also take the time to make sure those goals are met.

If Bullis genuinely wanted to help SED students in the MV community, it would be a wonderful addition. But the way it has approached MV makes me believe that the school and its backers are cynically claiming to want to help SED students but making no credible effort to do so. As far as I can tell, since they don't seem to want to put in the time and work to actually reach SED students, their real goal is just expansion space for their existing program.

If Bullis truly wants to reach the community it claims it wants to reach, it would take at least 1-2 years to build up a deep relationship with the community (standing outside of Castro for one afternoon and handing out flyers does not cut it, and nor does having a coffee(!) or two). It would listen to the community over a period of many months and establish trust. It would engage a community engagement officer now to reach Spanish-speaking families (rather than the current plan, which is to have the office manager handle that until year three of the school -- by which point sibling preference will enforce low SED enrollment). It would give top enrollment priority to SED families rather than having that be the 4th enrollment priority. But it did none of that. At every point Bullis could have chosen to try to genuinely meet its goals, it elected not to do so.

I don't think MVWSD has much of a choice here (because of the extremely pro-charter state of the law), but the overt cynicism with which Bullis has approached MV is saddening. I wish they'd just been honest about their true goals, rather than putting us through this awful charade involving SED students. It's terrible to feel that we're getting an entity forced into our community that claims it wants to help SED students but hasn't demonstrated a willingness to do the hard and difficult work involved in doing so.

If Bullis takes the time and does the hard work to reach its goals, I will wholeheartedly support the school. But looking at the facts of what its done so far, and its history, I think that is unlikely.


2 people like this
Posted by Let this sink in
a resident of another community
on Dec 18, 2018 at 9:04 pm

To all Stevenson and MVWSD leadership haters: Stevenson and MVWSD district leaders don't stand to lose anything from this. Stevenson will continue to enroll kids, to receive donations from parents and matching donations from parents' companies. District leaders will maintain their jobs or get other ones in other Districts. It's the non-Stevenson kids that will lose from cuts to the District budget. Mountain View residents will see their schools' ratings go down and their homes depreciate in value. All this, so a few affluent Los Altos kids can enroll in Bullis Mountain View, while they wait to have a bigger Los Altos campus.
Open your eyes, haters!


4 people like this
Posted by Yes to monopolies
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 19, 2018 at 11:15 am

Amazing how many believe monopolies are OK for newspapers and schooling choices.

. The BCS will only siphon funds if they offer better educational services than the existing public school. If they don’t they won’t survive. The same cannot be said for the current monopolistic public system. It can fail children all it wants and never go bankrupt.

So why all the outrage over a voluntary choice. Pure politics to protect an inefficient bureaucratic system. Shame on opponents that oppose a voluntary choice to allow some parents to choose a better option for their children.


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Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 19, 2018 at 11:32 am

@Yes to monopolies

"The BCS will only siphon funds if they offer better educational services than the existing public school. If they don’t they won’t survive. The same cannot be said for the current monopolistic public system. It can fail children all it wants and never go bankrupt."

Sorry to inform you, but the fact is the only reason the MVWSD school district even exists is that the Whisman School District did indeed go bankrupt and was forced to merge with the more well-managed Mountain View School District to form the Mountain View Whisman School District.

Many school districts have failed and been taken over one way or another by some other governmental agency, OR WORSE, some have simply folded up and closed all their schools and the families had to find another school in another district.

To be fair to the defunct WSD, they may not have been the best managed district in the county, but they got cut off at the knees when the Clinton administration decided to reduce and close the Moffet Field Naval Air Base.


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Posted by @STparent
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 19, 2018 at 12:21 pm

Of course some small districts fail and some large districts are temporarily taken over but these are more the exception than the rule. A merger is not necessarily due to a bankruptcy. You could argue the Whisman merger was to increase efficiency to cover a larger area. In any case, school districts maintain their monopoly market power. Some Whisman board members were allowed to be on the new board.


7 people like this
Posted by wah
a resident of Willowgate
on Dec 19, 2018 at 12:47 pm

dear anti-monopolist: exhibit a little maturity, comprehension and personal responsibility and realize that public agencies are monopolies by design. (You can always enroll in private school if you're so anti-monopoly) where's the outrage over only having one city council and one California dept of education and one governor? so naive. even without charters the free market for education is alive and well


14 people like this
Posted by but by the grace of mah
a resident of another community
on Dec 19, 2018 at 1:30 pm

when will you people in santa clara county stop beating each other over the head and focus your energies on the real issue: your county board of education

that's where all the power rests today and they're proven many times they have no problem undermining and battling with even the best districts

their political pockets are well lined by the state charter interests like silicon valley billionaires.

the incoming governor and superintendent are less charter friendly, so put the squeeze on your county board.

start with grace mah, who is supposed to represent you at the county. she is not your friend. why do you keep electing her? what would a recall cost you?


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Posted by some monopolies work
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2018 at 1:46 pm

Here's a thought, Monogamy is a relationship goal for most people, and maybe it's not for everyone so open relationships happen but pair bonding works for most. The same people uncomfortable with intentional monopoly of a public school district may find pair bonding a stifling monopoly and want to be allowed freedom to roam. The grass is always greener in your neighbor's yard. Commitment takes work.


5 people like this
Posted by An Interested Observer
a resident of another community
on Dec 19, 2018 at 2:23 pm

An Interested Observer is a registered user.

@ST: re: the merger of the two elementary school districts. The Whisman School District NEVER went bankrupt!! Both districts had declining enrollment at that time and the merger made financial sense.


17 people like this
Posted by Remember the Principals
a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 19, 2018 at 2:30 pm

Remember the haste with which the district forced out popular, award-winning principals last year? False statements from Board members Wilson and Blakely regarding a non-existent "independent outside examiner" didn't stop the process.

The district claimed that these principals needed to be removed immediately - no way to transition over a year. Swift change was necessary for the sake of the kids!

There wasn't much people could do. All the power was on the side of the district.

But now Bullis MV is just moving too fast! Can't have that! The achievement gap can wait! So the district stirs the community pot. It is such a vulnerable time for our community with boundary changes and a new school! Oh dear! If BMV would only wait a year and prove to everyone that their intentions are true. They really need more outreach!

And in the meantime in every DELAC meeting, the district tells parents not to trust BVM. And the district threatens parents if they indicate an interest in BVM they will lose their spot in their neighborhood school. Yeah, that's the way to do it!

Well this time around, the BMV is in the drivers seat and there's not much the district can do.

Maybe the district will learn something? ... No, they're just trying to bust the charter.


7 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 19, 2018 at 3:31 pm

Old Steve is a registered user.

Folks, And ST Parent,

The Whisman District DID NOT go bankrupt. I was there. An election was held, voters of both districts supported a "territory transfer". A new School Board was elected. For a year, all three boards met regularly. The Whisman Supt RETIRED, and the new board hired the Mtn Vw Supt for the NEW MVWSD. District staff, some from each district were hired for the new district. Most teachers stayed on. Both districts went out of business, neither went bankrupt.


4 people like this
Posted by Yes to Monopolies
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 19, 2018 at 5:29 pm

I will not respond to personal attacks and those who demonstrate they are illiterate in economics. I'm not against all monopolies ( patents, private contracts, etc) but traditional monopolies in the public sector are inefficient and have little incentive to perform effectively. Some choices will force them to behave a little.

A good example from Milton Friedman. Public universities are as wasteful and as inefficient as public K-12 districts. However they are rated as some of the best universities in the world. What makes them behave somewhat is that they have to compete for students outside their geographic area.

No one can argue that the MVSD hasn't wasted a lot of money, chased away some good administrators and teachers. if you want some examples I can provide many.


10 people like this
Posted by Let's Stand up for all MV Students!
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 19, 2018 at 6:24 pm

Hey Parents who are concerned about BCS given their lack of SED kids (1-2%) in Los Altos, their 4 lawsuits against LASD, the reality that their coming here will take $2-3 million away from ALL kids - INCLUDING SED kids who won't/can't be enroll in BCS (and all that for a starting class of 156 students.)

MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD!! Email the country board, click on this link and the names and it will give you their contact info. Even if its a lost cause, they need to know how parents who are angered feel.

Web Link

Board Members'

Joseph Di Salvo
Rosemary Kamei, President​
Grace H. Mah >> represents us according to previous poster
Peter Ortiz
Claudia Rossi
Anna Song, Vice-President
​​Kathleen M. King


9 people like this
Posted by @Let's Stand up for all MV Students!
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2018 at 6:32 pm

How does MVWSD students attending a charter school over a district school take away "$2-3 million away from ALL kids?" Isn't that per pupil spending that would be spent on that child regardless of district or charter?


6 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 19, 2018 at 6:38 pm

Old Steve is a registered user.

The current argument should be about facilities on too tight a timeline demand, not about anything else. What Bullis has asked for can only be provided at great disruption. Providing it smoothly a year later is in the best interests of ALL students. Except for the money spent litigating that is.


12 people like this
Posted by Yea, choice is great, but....
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2018 at 2:58 pm


Some asked the following:
"How does MVWSD students attending a charter school over a district school take away "$2-3 million away from ALL kids?" Isn't that per pupil spending that would be spent on that child regardless of district or charter?"

I wish that were the case, but unfortunately it is not. So BCS will take the per pupil spending PLUS more on top per year. This is because they will require a facility. Say, the district has to give them some facility they are currently renting out, they lose that rent as income. They have to now pay 11 principals (and other admin staff, heating, cleaning, maintenance) instead of 10 principlas (plus Vargas.)

Let's say at Monta Loma, they had 4 kinder classes of 25 kids each for a total of 100 kinder kids. And they lose a few of those kids (assume 3 per class) to BCS so now they have 21 kids in each KG class and a few kids at BCS. So they have to pay for a whole new teacher for BCS, so now district has to pay for 5 kinder teachers instead of 4 but still receive per pupil funding from state for only 100 kids.

I wish more people understood that. People say choice is great, sure, but it WILL come at cost which WILL translate into budget cuts, program reduction, maybe even teacher layoffs down the road. Is that good for district that isn't all that rich to begin with?? Los Altos, Palo Alto can weather that, but MVWSD will hurt quite a bit. BCS will be great for a few kids, but suck for the rest of the majority who will not be at BCS.

Its not a zero sum game!! That is why folks are so mad.

People should get the facts and numbers and projections before they join the bandwagon. Go to the board meeting tonight and ask those tough questions.


7 people like this
Posted by North Bay resident
a resident of North Whisman
on Dec 21, 2018 at 7:54 am

North Bay resident is a registered user.

In addition to draining resources from your district as explained in comment above, BCS WILL sue your district, more than once. The 2-3 million wasted could all be in legal fees. There is zero chance they will not sue over prop39 allocation. Look at your neighbors in Los Altos or in Ross Valley in Marin. I am sorry for what you pro-public education folks will now endure due to the nasty tactics of Bullis. Keep fighting!


8 people like this
Posted by Who's the underdog?
a resident of The Crossings
on Dec 21, 2018 at 10:29 am

With so much alarm about the supposedly evil and powerful BMV coming to town, one might think the public school system is in imminent danger of being grievously wounded, if not destroyed.

BMV is here to educate children, not to threaten anyone. Some facts:

* Public charters are part of the public school system, despite all the tortured reasoning used to deny this.
* Public charters are in the minority. The traditional institutions have tremendous political power and are well-practiced in getting their message out (as we can see on this page).
* Public charters pay rent for facilities that remain owned and controlled by school districts.
* Public charters get only partial funding on a per-student basis, with districts keeping the rest.

Now that MVWSD has approved the BMV charter I take this as a commitment to working together in providing the best possible public education to children.


7 people like this
Posted by Nope
a resident of Whisman Station
on Dec 21, 2018 at 12:55 pm

Public charters are NOT part of the school district. They result in less money for the schools in the district and they are privately managed. They also require the school district to handover facilities which is especially problematic in this area of astronomically high property values. The district would be hook for responding and handling these needs, yet will receive no additional money for this effort. Therefore the existing schools will receive less attention and kids educations will be negatively impacted.

Also, look how many republicans are pushing charter schools nationally vs Democrats? Why do you think this is the case? Republicans are traditionally anti-education, yet now they use the argument that a better education can be had with a charter. Republicans generally don’t like people outside their race, under their economic worth or religion. They like how charter schools tend to create segregation. It’s sad that in 2018, we still have a substantial chunk of our country being backward racists and jerks. We should not let out city be polluted by this awful trend.


8 people like this
Posted by @North Bay Resident
a resident of another community
on Dec 23, 2018 at 2:42 am

How do you expect anyone to take you people seriously when you Marin County people make id's on here and say you live in "North Whisman" which is a neighborhood of Mountain View. What kind of game are you playing?


1 person likes this
Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Dec 24, 2018 at 4:01 pm

No public funding or public property should be used other than for the kids that live in the surrounding area. Special needs children can be accompanied in these schools of course.
I do not define special needs ids as children of the rich which can be accommodated by private schools on purchased property by the rich parents.


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Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 8, 2019 at 5:03 pm

ST parent is a registered user.

@Rodger a resident of Sylvan Park

Rodger, I just noticed how bizarre your statements are.

"No public funding or public property should be used other than for the kids that live in the surrounding area."

So, you would not allow a school district to open a special purpose school open to any kids across the city or even from other cities, YOU would say that is wrong?

Would a school for parents (of kids in the public schools) who need help learning English be an improper use for district land?

So, if the school district owns a piece of land in an area that is already served by a school so they decide to put the District Office on that land and NOT any students, YOU would claim that would be wrong?

Or, if a school district has a piece of land in an area which does not need a school and they rent out that land to get millions of dollars per year from a private company to build a park or day care center for the kids of that company, regardless of where they live, YOU would claim that is wrong?

"Special needs children can be accompanied in these schools of course."

What's that got to do with anything?
If a kid requires an assistant, then they get an assistant, it's kind of the law.

"I do not define special needs ids as children of the rich which can be accommodated by private schools on purchased property by the rich parents."

I see, so according to YOU, admittance to public schools is ONLY allowed for poor kids, or at least YOU would impose a maximum income level that would prevent wealthy parents from getting their kids into public school if they wanted to?

You really got some weird ideas there Rodger, or maybe you didn't explain your ideas very well?


6 people like this
Posted by @ ST parent
a resident of North Whisman
on Jan 9, 2019 at 8:29 am

@ ST parent is a registered user.

Give it a rest!


4 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 10, 2019 at 9:39 am

ST parent is a registered user.

@@ ST parent
a resident of North Whisman
on Jan 9, 2019 at 8:29 am
@ ST parent is a registered user.

"Give it a rest!"

Meaning you have nothing meaningful and honest to say on the issues so you just want anyone with a different opinion to go away and let you wallow in your own echo chamber.

That's exactly why we ended up with Trump as president, how has that worked out?


2 people like this
Posted by A Thought
a resident of another community
on Jan 10, 2019 at 12:00 pm

Jerry Brown and others used to say "Less is More."


Like this comment
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 10, 2019 at 3:19 pm

ST parent is a registered user.

@A Thought

"Jerry Brown and others used to say "Less is More.""

Which explains why the state taxes and government spending in California has taken such a monumental nose-dive, right?
Oh, wait....just on school spending.

California ranks where again? Oh, yeah, very near the bottom. Less is more!


9 people like this
Posted by Bloviate
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm

@ST parent

Amazing that you have so little to say and yet take the time to respond (often with excruciating length) to any and all comments!


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

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