Town Square

Post a New Topic

LASD polls: Put Bullis Charter School in Mountain View

Original post made on Jan 30, 2020

Finding a home for Bullis Charter School has been a contentious issue that has split Los Altos School District residents for years. But a big majority can agree on one thing: Put the charter school in Mountain View.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, January 30, 2020, 9:34 AM

Comments (74)

Posted by Never stops
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2020 at 10:37 am

Why does the article not mention that Peipei Yu and Sangeeth Peruri (former board member) (quoted above) personally handed out voting guides with their personal directions to vote for all scenarios including BCS on the 10th site? Talk about observing. Everyone in the room was able to observe Peiepi on crutches along side pal Sangeeth handing those things out. Now what is MVCC going to do with LASD pushing for BCS to be on the 10th site with no neighborhood preference? Allow LASD tax money to pay them off for their contribution of 23m? This is so ridiculous.

Posted by LASD Polls Tainted
a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2020 at 10:46 am

End of the article says "Voting guides passed out by a group calling itself "LASD Families for Public Education" advocated full support for...moving Bullis to Mountain View -- and rejected nearly all of the others."

What actually happened was that Peipei and Sangeeth were allowed by LASD trustees to physically enter the polling place and place the voting guides on every table. The Voting Guides allowed for ONE option - Bullis to Mountain View entirely/partially. Keep in mind that Peipei was a leader in an anti-BCS protest, and Sangeeth is a former LASD trustee and is/was the boss of Speiser, LASD board president at the time. So, their INSTRUCTIONS were influential.

The poll results don't represent the opinions of the LASD community. They represent the opinions of Peipei & Sangeeth. People were not allowed to ask questions on any of the options - so they had no idea whether the options were viable.

LASD school politics is a HUGE MESS. And now those dishonest tactics will be coming to Mountain View - in the form of MV Council elections.

Posted by Financials
a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2020 at 10:53 am

Throughout the entire exercise with LASD and MIG, no one has talked properly about the finances. LASD parents can scream and protest to put BCS in Mountain View. Say that happens, boundaries are rezoned, the district moves 6th grade to middle school model, and the elementary schools become under enrolled. Guess what, the Board of Trustees has admitted that they can't financially continue to support 7 elementary schools. One will have to close and then we have an empty elementary school site. Somehow it is so difficult to talk about financials and to be honest with constituents. Why is that? LASD can rent out the 10th site to Kohls and get their millions in monthly rent and place BCS at an empty school site that had to be consolidated for financial reasons (not because BCS stole it or took the site from the community). When will the madness stop? It is very sad that the bright people in this community just believe what they are told and don't question. Just accepting and only thinking about the present is careless.

Posted by Reality
a resident of Gemello
on Jan 30, 2020 at 11:55 am

What also is not said is that State law does not allow a neighborhood preference for a charter school EXCEPT in the case of a closed school which is why Bullis originally had a preference for students residing in the boundaries of the closed Bullis Purissima.
So why is LASD even looking at this option? Because the LASD Trustees lack the political courage to make difficult decisions. Sad lack of leadership

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Jan 30, 2020 at 1:02 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Jan 30, 2020 at 1:05 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Posted by Yes! MV is clearly the best choice
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jan 30, 2020 at 1:08 pm

MV knows how to get things done. Now let's troll!

Posted by Thanks but
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jan 30, 2020 at 1:58 pm

Uh, no thanks. Los Altos can keep its bitter infighting within its home turf. We don't need this.

Posted by Haha
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2020 at 2:06 pm

Nobody wants to be saddled with the Bullis Bee Ess.
Pariahs of the community getting their comeuppance.

Posted by SLB
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 30, 2020 at 2:15 pm

I can’t believe that they want to put a school near a busy intersection in the middle of a retail parking lot. So much traffic congestion there already. Just wait until you have all those parents dropping and picking kids up on California Ave and San Antonio Road. I use the 24 Fitness there. Very busy gym. Will the other 24 fitness in Shopping center pick up slack?

Posted by Bring it
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2020 at 2:38 pm

MV welcomes Bullis, warts and all. Why stay in a town where you're thought so badly of?

Posted by Absurd Survey
a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2020 at 2:43 pm

The site is not big enough for 2 large schools. It's really ridiculous when you consider that LASD has many smaller schools (300 students is in the offing) on
10 acre plots of land. If you use the logic that the area is urban so they need to be squeezed onto a small site, why did LASD get 9.5 acres of land from the City of Mountain View? Why would you put a school which serves the district evenly (Bullis) into this precious land contributed by Mountain View? Why would you then also consider adding a 2nd school to the same 9.5 acres to meet the idea of serving the local area?

Who exactly is LASD saving all of its other land for? It has 9 other sites, 3 of which are nearly 20 acres. 1 is 11.5 acres, and 5 are 10 acres each.

LASD's process does not pass the smell test.

If you look at their survey, the did not even list as an option the idea of opening on the new land a normal LASD 500 student school serving the immediate local students. That is very telling. This is the most obvious thing to do. Those who say the area is not suited to a school would probably say it's not suited for anyone to live there, but across the various streets from this school, on that side of San Antonio Road, over 500 LASD students K-8 already live. So this sort of location is their only option for a neighborhood school. Not listing that as a choice in the poll really is a gaffe.

If only LASD supported neighborhood schools...

Posted by Finally some sanity in all of this
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2020 at 2:52 pm

I 100% support the new site in the shopping center area. What better place do deal with all the expected parking issues of Bullis drop offs than a HUGE PARKING LOT!?

Posted by Absurd Survey
a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2020 at 3:03 pm

Oh, now that I think about it, here's what LASD wants to do with all the land it has in Los Altos, once they kick the charter school out of Los Altos and onto the new California Avenue site. They want to rent it out! A committee report a the Monday meeting mentioned this. They want the revenue from that.

Those agitators who say the charter school needed to coordinate their votes really are blind to reality. Nearly every option listed was highly unfavorable to the charter school, and of course none honored any obligation to the neighbors of the new site to house a school there for their kids. All the charter school parents would need to do would be to NOT pay any attention to the voter guide passed out by the agitators. As far as picking options that are somewhat fair to the charter school, the parents could do that on their own.

For one thing, the charter school parents are probably focused on the next few years while their kids are in attendance in K-8 schools. This new school site will have to be very lucky to open in 2025. So it's truly laughable to have Peipei Yu accusing them of being manipulated by their charter school board. There were not many options to choose from for the charter school parents.

Posted by Rossta
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jan 30, 2020 at 3:12 pm

MVCC, were you wise enough to make all those TDRs contingent on getting something for your own taxpayers and residents? LASD telegraphed the Bullis desire plenty early for you to know.

If they follow through on this, it is a huge betrayal to Mountain View residents. Not only do those families not get a school on their side of El Camino Real that their kids can safely get to themselves. But the neighborhood and our city would now be dragged into the dysfunctional, hostile relationship between BCS and LASD.

This option should be OFF THE TABLE.

Posted by Community Minded
a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2020 at 3:22 pm

The community engagement process found that the LASD community (including parents, retirees, and its many Mountain View residents) likes the current neighborhood school system and continues to want Measure N funds to be used for a new campus for BCS. LASD’s 10th site is the perfect opportunity for BCS. After years of complaints about its facilities, BCS could work with LASD to get exactly the facility it desires, possibly also contributing some of its own money for premium options. Why would BCS oppose a neighborhood preference? BCS already enrolls a number of students from the neighborhood — what would be wrong with more? BCS claims a superior program (though its testing results don’t show any edge), so why shouldn’t it be able to educate any LASD students? LASD welcomes all district students. BCS is required by law and by its own charter to mirror the demographics of >the district<. This neighborhood preference might actually help BCS better match LASD demographics.

Posted by MV Residents?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2020 at 3:47 pm

Umm... has anyone polled Mountain View residents to see if they want BCS?

BCS tried to strongarm a school into our community a few years ago. It didn't go so well.

Put me down as a NO.

Posted by Community including Mountain View
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2020 at 3:55 pm

If you look closely, the one workable option out of the dozen listed is the one where they relocate Egan Jr High to the new site. That gets a sort of a local school for part of K-8 in the unserved neighborhood. It was what the LASD school board identified before as the best option. All the hubbub serves to show that the Los Altos Community can't really pick a workable option. They don't like the idea of relocating Santa Rita to the new site. Although 50% of Santa Rita comes from the Mountain View area, it's entirely from the other side of San Antonio Road!
It would be an odd situation where the 400-500 kids IMMEDIATELY around the new school site would not go to that school, but those from across San Antonio (and the rest of Santa Rita attendance area) would.

As far as this being a good site for Bullis, I don't see it. LASD has a record of mismanaging construction projects. They admit the best they might do is open the new school in 2025. They'd never be able to agree on the right layout to squeeze 1200 Bullis kids K-8 on 9.5 acres whereas the typical LASD school has 450 K-6 on 10 acres.

LASD agreed to built a lot of Jr High type athletic facilities (gym, track, fields) on the new site regardless. That pre-shadows the idea that the site should be used for a Junior High. Bullis has no real interest in a track or other expensive outdoor athletic facilities. They serve primarily K-6, not high school. They just need enough outdoor space to spread out 1200 kids during lunch and recess. Nothing fancy, just similar to what Almond or Springer have, but bigger, enough for 1200.

Posted by Community Minded Including Mountain View
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2020 at 4:00 pm

I guess we can thank Peipei and Sangeeth for simply highlighting that they have no real plan to use the new site and serve the local area. They couldn't get any real consensus despite their cheat sheet. It really all comes down to moving Jr High there. In the future about half the students from the Junior high will live in the immediate area on that side of El Camino Real. Some other will live in new housing developments near El Camino Real in Los Altos. The rest of LASD is shrinking. Many kids now are assigned to Blach but request special permission to switch to Egan. They really should stay at Blach. Perhaps locating the new Jr High on the new site will make this choice easier for them.

Posted by No BCS in MV!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 30, 2020 at 4:14 pm

That place is Los Altos's nightmare. You cannot pawn that albatross off on MV.
Keep Bullis out!!

Posted by Neighborhood School
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 30, 2020 at 5:21 pm

Since forever LASD has promoted a model of small, walkable neighborhood schools.

Now LASD has an opportunity to open a walkable neighborhood school North of El Camino. And a vocal contingent of the community rejects that, wanting to pawn off the neighborhood to the school they hate. So do they care for the neighborhood, or do they hate it?

Yes, people do nonsensical things when they're blinded by animus.

Posted by LASD Polls Tainted
a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2020 at 11:45 pm

Here's an analogy:


Imagine a Community Engagement process designed to poll Google employees to see what Google employees would like for a snack for an upcoming event. There were 55 snacks listed, and the employees were not told which of the snacks, if any, were within Google's budget. Most of the employees didn't even know what some of the snacks were.

Then, Larry Page (former CEO), walks in the room and places a voting guide on every table, instructing everyone to vote for Snickers bars.

Then, Google summarizes the poll and says that Snickers bar is the choice of the GOOGLE COMMUNITY.

Does that sound honest to you? Certainly not to me.


So, were Sangeeth & Peipei's efforts influential? Yep.

They engaged in online outreach efforts to get people to vote their way. They also SHOWED up at the second workshop to physically pass out the guides.

At the first workshop, close to 40% voted for Bullis to Covington. This is very significant because BCS consisted of only 23% of the voters, which means non-BCS voters were in favor of this option. This option has been gaining traction recently amongst the retirees, after some discussions on nextdoor.

Then, at the second and third workshop, this support for Covington descreased dramatically. So, yes, their efforts were VERY influential.

What's Sangeeth's school? Yep, Covington. Same for current trustees Taglio and Speiser.

Posted by Majority of what, exactly?
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 31, 2020 at 12:29 am

965 people polled at the workshops. Out of all LASD residents that's a small fraction. Was it at least a representative fraction, statistically? Not even close.

The results were dominated by a get-out-the-vote operation based on negative politics, with the purpose as Peipei wrote to "Give [LASD] Board direction to offer BCS the 10th site/NEC."

That's the majority of 965 that we're talking about.

Posted by APG
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2020 at 12:54 am

The solution is not to protective the status Quo, it is to best use the available resources for the benefit of the children.

Best solution:
10th site in Mounrain View community elementary school. Local students, local school don’t cross el Camino to walk to school,

Bullis charter to one of the districts other three larger 15-20 acre junior high campuses ( Egan , Covington or Blach). Place LASD junior highs on other two large campuses. Remember Covington used to be junior high and the part of the Covington campus used for district administration needs to be included in the campus size. Also keep in mind Covington elementary within less than 1.5 mile from three other elementary campuses. which fits with its origin as a junior high campus.

Most likely Blach doesn’t move so Bullis at Covington and Egan at Egan ( cheapest solution as Bullis mainly k-6 like current Covington), or close Egan reopen Convington Junior High and Bullis at Egan which costs more remodeling.

In any case two LASD junior highs on larger campuses. Bullis in larger campus. And new community elementary school in Mountain View so kids don’t have to travel for elementary school across el Camino.

Really no other rational choice.

Posted by Andrés Lagar-Cavilla
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jan 31, 2020 at 9:00 am

I am a private citizen who exercised his free speech rights to motivate people to attend the workshops, navigate the process, and speak out their voice. I helped seniors, and I helped Spanish speakers. My views are aligned with those of Peipei and Sangheeth. I did nothing wrong. Deal with it. Deal with the outcome -- majority of LASD taxpayers don't want BCS taking over one of their schools. If you disagree with me, fine. You cannot silence me and your claims that I did something wrong are utter nonsense.

Posted by Shameful
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2020 at 9:30 am

It’s really too bad LASD went ahead and purchased the 10th site. Such a misuse of taxpayer funds since an additional site is not needed. Enrollment is declining. And FINALLY it seems they’re willing to move 6th grade to middle school within 2 years which further reduces the K-5 population at the elementary schools. They don’t have enough kids to justify purchase of an additional site especially when the existing schools are in dire need of renovations. If they move 6th to middle, give Covington to BCS all schools would remain small and all could be physically upgraded. And the fight could be over. I guess that’s the problem. Some folks want to keep the feud going.

Posted by Hmm?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2020 at 10:50 am

"Some folks want to keep the feud going. "
Like those who don't understand Covington is off the table but continue to demand it.

Posted by Interested Party
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 31, 2020 at 1:26 pm

@Reality, can you please give citations to the state law that does not allow for a neighborhood preference for charter schools?

Posted by Change
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2020 at 1:26 pm

Change is always hard, but there are so many changes operating in LASD that changes will exert themselves no matter how much denial.

Take Covington. It's a school that was built as a Jr High and it is arguably inconsistent compared to every other elementary school in LASD. It really makes no sense, and it has construction defects for earthquake safety related to the skylights in most of the classrooms. It's not prize except it's a lot of land. Could that outsized 10 acre piece of land be why the conversation keeps coming back to it?

The bigest change of course is the growing population around where the new school will be. What's been buried is the fact that this area reached the point where it merited its own school back around 2000. A single new school there can't possibly serve all the elementary school age kids from the area, not even with eliminating 6th grade.

The district hasn't fully addressed what happens when you take 6th grade away. It doesn't make room for that much more kids, because the kids have to fit in every grade K-5. If they stay for 6 years, each thread represents 150-170 kids, so 3 threads is max 510 kids. With 6th grade thrown in, each thread is 175-200 kids, so 3 threads is max 600 kids. If you go to 4 threads, you get up to 680 kids.
Taking away 6th grade reduces the potential size of the school, because LASD hates
the idea of 4 threads and 680 kids. 3 threads is the biggest they will go.

Covington gets up to 550 kids by getting extra kids overflowing from every school in the district and by picking that site for district wide special ed programs. It depends on around 150 kids coming from 3 miles away in Mountain View. These kids
live literally across the street from the new school site. If yous end them to the new school site, Covington shrinks down automatically. Beyond that, there is a school age population decline in LASD, with fewer kids per average housing unit. This means that the kids in Los Altos are not as numerous as they once were So Covingon could be down around 350 kids.

The district wants to rent out space at existing Loyola and/or Oak because they will be below 300 kids for 10 acres. Both already have pretty large preschool operations during the day but Covington's 2 programs together are smaller. I'd say if the district wants to rent out space, then Covington needs to be considered too. It's not a question of it being on or off the table for BCS, the issue is will that land generate the income it owes to the district in terms of being rented out.

All this is at play because there are population changes. The district will move 6th grade to middle school finally. The kids around the new site are increasing in number. In 5 years they will have only reached part of their eventual numbers. They are going to want a school of their own. Looking across the street at this nice new set of buildings on 10 acres of land next to their local 2 acre city park alongside the hetch hetchy greenway that will be formed is going to motivate them. They will simply start to complain that they deserve the school.

LASD can make whatever decisions it wants at present. However, that decision is never permanent. It depends on how flexible and good a decision is actually made, in the lens that will apply to it starting in 2025.

Covington is not the central issue here and no one ever says that anymore. 5 or 10 years ago Covington would have been the right solution. That has changed over time.

Posted by Covington
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2020 at 1:33 pm

Keep in Mind that Covington is really 2 sites in one. It has a kludge layout using Jr High style construction for an elementary school over 10-11 acres. But it also has another 6-10 acres which are only used as district offices with lots of trees. They spread storage containers out over the land and keep things in there. There is a city park adjacent, 6+ acres which is really very integrated with the park part of Covington behind the district offices. The 2 preschools are leased out currently from this half of Covington.

So, Covington can still house 350 or more students and ALSO rent out a lot of space for a private school.

The question is not about the SCHOOL there but about the best use for the 10 acres of land which currently do nothing more than house district offices and operations in a very sprawling garden-like setting. It's an anachronism to use so much land just for making offices for administrators. It will be more of an anachronism going forward, say after the current administrators retire and new ones take over. There should be a lot of GUILT at typing up so much public land for office use that could really fit anywhere.

Posted by Old enough to remember
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 31, 2020 at 1:33 pm

I’m old enough to remember when BCS participated in all the early exercises to get our arms around the enrollment growth problem, and their hard-won concessions despite their toxic brand included 1) pass a facilities bond in order to 2) procure new land for a new campus that would 3) be intended to house the charter school. Now here we are and the charter school doesn’t want to be housed in a brand new campus built for them with taxes collected from the whole community

Posted by Covington
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2020 at 2:14 pm

I heard BCS saying all along that new land was very expensive and not needed. They pointed out that for them, LASD has plenty of land. LASD is down to its enrollment from 2003 combining BCS and the traditional schools. However, now BCS numbers 1000+ students and has demand for more.

You can't have 25% of the district going to BCS and house it all on new land. It just doesn't work.

But you could add buildings to existing land.

LASD didn't even really pay for the land. Mountain View paid $100 Million in TDR subsidies and park money toward the new school. Mountain View didn't do this for a Los Altos-wide school. So it appears Bullis was right. New land was too expensive for the bond to buy. Meanwhile the $150 Million from the bond will go HALF as far as it could have toward construction. Spending on the construction back in 2015 would have been a LOT better use of public funds.

And of course, back 5 years ago, the best place to find spare land in LASD was--- Covington. Tear down some of the least-suitable 60 year old buildings like the 2 Flex rooms that have barn-high ceilings and take up so much space, and the comabined with adjacent land and build a new set of school buildings right thee. It would have worked. Too late now. But you can't say Bullis didn't point this out. No new land was or is needed for Bullis.

Posted by Covington Outrage Politics
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 31, 2020 at 2:35 pm

In every case where someone says Covington is targeted for closure, under attack, being taken over, being demanded etc., there's a common thread.

These claims come from people who hate BCS and want to stir up outrage in the community. No matter that it's a lie, it was highly effective in getting people agitated and motivated to show up at charrettes and workshops.

BCS haters have used this method before and they will push that button again and again so long as it works.

The truth is that LASD controls all facilities.

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 1, 2020 at 4:51 am

The Mountain View City Council majority (4 of 7) had voted to give money and "development rights" for the 10th site without conditioning use of the funds. One of thw 4 was John McAlister who had failed to disclose his company's preschool lease at Covington on his 700 forms filed in connection with his City Council seat. McAlister ended up recusing himself, and the City Council approved the funding with the restriction expressed in the article. The LASD could not move Bullis out of Los Altos and into the new site in Mountain View unless either Bullis changed its charter to grant enrollment preference to children in the San Antonio area OR we permit the election of Mountain View City Councilmembers that want to lift the restriction.

Posted by LASD Polls Tainted
a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2020 at 11:00 am

It's extremely unlikely that Bullis will be moving to the San Antonio school.

1) Whether to give neighborhood preference to MV is entirely up to Bullis, and BCS has said no.

2) The site is way too small, and therefore doesn't comply with law. The new site is slightly smaller than the average elementary school in Los Altos, which is 10 acres. Bullis has 1000+ students, which equal 3 of the smallest LASD schools COMBINED (Oak, Loyola, Gardner).

3) LASD REALLY needs Bullis to cap its enrollment class. Bullis has a steller reputation amongst parents. The waiting list is long. Even now, there are 7 strands at kinder, which is more than the 3 smallest LASD schools COMBINED. To have Bullis cap its enrollment, LASD has to give Bullis something it wants (i.e., not San Antonio school). A trustee has said he doesn't want to touch Covington but is willing to give Bullis 2 of the smallest schools.

Posted by Oversimplifier here
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 1, 2020 at 11:15 am

Hi, this is your local oversimplifier speaking: Bullis exists in its current formulation only because your county board of education allows it. If you want this county-authorized charter school to be and behave different, then you need to change your county board of education. Bullis doesn’t answer to anyone but the county board. See how simple it is?

Posted by Bullis Rocks
a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2020 at 1:44 pm

So most LASD schools only have 40-45 kids in K (not counting TK) and Grade 1 this year. Bullis though has expanded the size of its K class to 125. For next year BCS held its lottery recently. It had over 400 entrants into the lottery for a chance at one of the 125 spaces. So Bullis wants to expand to serve more of those desiring to go there LASD doesn't want them to.

I think logic says it has to be a vocal minority against Bullis expanding. Obviously the vast majority of LASD parents support Bullis and wish it were bigger.

Oversimplifying, the County Board has nothing to do with it. Bullis has overtaken the district in the competition for affection. They must be doing a good job. They have been operating for 16 years and have a lot of appreciative alumni too.

What's weird is the district trying to continue the discrimination agains the families living around the new school but not offering them a local neighborhood school. They spout the benefits of this all the time, but right now the closest school to the area where a new school is coming in 5 years is not a neighborhood school. If LASD allowed Bullis to expand, then it would serve even more kids from every part of the district. LASD can't get away from that. Bullis is popular.

Posted by Shameful
a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2020 at 7:16 pm

@Andres- “ majority of LASD taxpayers don't want BCS taking over one of their schools.“
The majority of LASD taxpayers have not weighed in. Most of those participating in the polls were parents. Those of us without kids weren’t willing to fight the traffic in tha parking lot and spend hours in the “zoo” that ensued at the polling place. Send out polls in the mail if you really want to find out how the taxpayers feel.

@hmm? Who says Covington is off the table and why would that ever be true? It’s the most logical place to house either BCS or one of the Jr Highs. Let’s make sense rather than playing politics.

Posted by School choice rocks
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 2, 2020 at 12:07 am

@Shameful: when Andres says “majority of LASD taxpayers don't want BCS taking over one of their schools” I suspect it’s a reference to many years of public opinion, not just the recent working groups. The prevailing sentiment for 15 years has consistently been, “No LASD campus should be closed and given over to BCS.” I suggest the new MV campus is your best option. Close the BCS middle school, since the students would rather go to a proper middle school. Just ask them. You know, give them the school choice.

Posted by Prejudice
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2020 at 2:49 am

Entitled Los Altos people think they are the only ones deserving of a neighborhood school. Never mind that the new school is in an area with 800 current students likely to grow to many more. Never mind that schools like Oak and Gardner Bullis are going to be down around 300 kids with this not being caused by losing students to Bullis. Never mind that many kids live very far from Loyola, Gardner Bullis, and Oak--so far that it's inaccurate to call them neighborhood schools. No, these selfish people think it is fine to talk about turning out the residents near the new school provided by Mountain View. Instead, preserve the idea that Los Altos doesn't need to share existing land with the Charter school as required by state law.

You may remember the extreme consternation on the part of Loyola parents when the idea came up that Bullis would locate 200 of it students at their site, empty as it is.

LASD needs to get real and do something fair to all concerned. Some change might be needed. I think step 1 is to plan to open an elementary school to serve many of the kids living near the new school site. Step 2 is to plan how to reasonably backfill the vacancies created at Almond and Covington from those students getting a neighborhood school close to their homes. Realize that there are many elementary schools in LASD that will be 300 or fewer students, Covington, Almond, Loyola, Oak, Gardner Bullis most likely.

The issue is simply that geography, demography and extreme support for Bullis have diminished the size of every school LASD has.

It makes little difference whether Bullis has 1200 kids K-5, or 1200 kids K-8.
Currently things skew more to grades K-5 anyway. Every kids in grades 6 through 8 is at Bullis by choice. It would be wrong to take their choice away.

Posted by @ prejudice
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2020 at 10:58 am

I’m just curious if when you say “entitled Los Altos people” you are referring to LASD families only or including both BCS and LASD. If only LASD, which is what I’m reading from your comment, why?

Posted by Prejudice
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2020 at 4:01 pm

The last question shows the bias against Bullis that is present in the vocal minority. Bullis has worked over and over again to find a solution which does not take away a neighborhood elementary school. It's only a portion of the LASD vocal minority which complains that this is what Bullis trying to do. In the case of Loyola this was especially true. They opposition was flat out against any sharing even though their school is half empty. Bullis has been sharing sites for its entire life. LASD perpetuated a myth that they could buy a specific site for Bullis, and they have not now done that. They went and bought a site in the place that is most in need of a new neighborhood school.

The idea that was presented to relocate Egan there was a secondary option. It is prepostrous to define Egan as a neighborhood school when it serves over half of the LASD territory. Bullis did not object to the idea of moving Egan closer to the majority of its students at the new site, and leaving Blach as it is giving up all their space at Blach. It is the entitled faction within LASD that puts out the myth that doing this would eliminate one of LASD's neighborhood schools. It would in fact turn Egan into more of a neighborhood school than it is now, since such a higher fraction would come from within the nearby neighborhood than is the case now.

Posted by Inigo Montoya
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 3, 2020 at 9:34 am

Prejudice uses the phrase “vocal minority” to describe the source of anti-Bullis criticism. I don’t think that phrase means what you think it means. For fifteen years the overwhelming majority of the LASD community has viewed Bullis as a scourge. Every public opinion poll taken that probes any topic and asks a Bullis-related question shows strong negativity

Posted by Buttercup
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 3, 2020 at 9:41 am

Indigo, dear, would you mind to provide some proof links?

Posted by He is correct
a resident of Bailey Park
on Feb 3, 2020 at 2:20 pm

He's right when he says Bullis polls negative and you can look it up yourself. Check surveys LASD has done thru professional polling firms over many years related to facilities, bond measures, and parcel taxes. Any time Bullis gets mentioned in the context of these issues, especially if Bullis might stand to benefit, public support plummets because the greater LASD community knows Bullis has been a bully, and everyone is just plain sick of it. The most recent LAHills enrollment preference is another self inflicted black eye. Web Link

Posted by Agreed
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2020 at 2:29 pm

I'm 100% sick of Bullis and their bully tactics. I'm glad they cannot hide their admissions scandals any more either. Buncha selfish anti-community jerks.
Serves them right!

Posted by Buttercup
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 3, 2020 at 2:37 pm

Cognitive dissonance: Bullis polls are negative (according to my friend Indigo, but BCS enrollment grows while LASD enrollment is down.
Web Link
Disclosure: My kids went to MVWSD, so I have no personal experience with either BCS or LASD

Posted by LASD Bias
a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2020 at 3:58 pm

Just because the public doesn't think additional public dollars should go to the charter school does not mean they don't respect it. LASD puts out a lot of negative PR about Bullis. LASD has put up signs are very one of their schools claiming that it is a neighborhood school and everyone loves it. Both of these two viewpoints from LASD are pure propaganda not founded in fact. If their polls have any negativity it could be due to polling bias.

Consider the case of this new school site. Their entire set of polling or input gathering never polled the simple idea that the site should be used as was promised to Mountain View. Namely, they said they would open a neighborhood elementary school there. They appear to have straight off ruled that out in all their option generation. However, they did list 55 or so options which all were variants of trying to come up with a weird thing that could be done to Bullis that would not be good for Bullis.

So if 55 out of 55 idea are negative for Bullis, what surprise is there in the outcome? OK, maybe it was only 54 out of 55 idea that were negative to Bullis. The poll still clearly favored anything which might be bad for Bullis.

The poll which matters is what the incoming kindergarten students due. 80% of them appear to be entering the lottery for Bullis. This does not sound like a true negative impression to me....

Posted by Breaking News
a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2020 at 5:19 pm

Bullis haters say that people don't like Bullis!

Stay tuned for more shocking developments in this rapidly evolving story.

Posted by Hold the phone
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Feb 3, 2020 at 5:32 pm

Wait, are you telling me that 20% of families with school aged children not attending private schools respond differently to polls than the totality of the community? Say it ain’t so! Talk about a filter bubbles. Try polling just district residents who’ve lived here for 15+ years and see a very, very different favorability rating. New residents with young children very clearly don’t share the same attitudes because they don’t share the knowledge of history. Don’t mistake a kindergarten waitlist for broad community support.

Posted by LASD Polls Tainted
a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2020 at 8:57 pm

@Hold the phone

Your attitude is EXACTLY why parents of kinders are fleeing LASD schools ... towards Bullis.

What you are saying is that 15+ year residents (i.e., 60+ seniors with NO kids) DONT like Bullis. Guess what, parents of kinders don't care what these people think. The 15+ year residents' kids left kinder decades ago. Who are they to decide what's good for their neighbors' kids?!

And the Charter laws give these people NO right to interfere with their NEIGHBOR'S right to choose a school for their kids.

The problem is that the 15+ year residents elect the trustees (due to the sheer number of them), and so the trustees listen to them. This then causes the kinders' parents to flee to Bullis...because Bullis listens to the current parents (and NOT people with no school-age kids).

Posted by Hold the phone
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 3, 2020 at 9:24 pm

Thank you for putting a bow on it: when Bullis stops causing havoc and starts being a healthy contribution to the greater community they may rebuild some love and respect beyond current customers

Posted by Confused
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2020 at 1:35 am

"Hold The Phone" lives both in Old Mountain View and in Rengstorff Park? I smell a fake!

Anyway he's twisting things awkwardly, but I think that overall the majority of Los Altos realizes that Bullis does a great job using 50% of the public funds per students as are available to kids at the traditional LASD schools. I think they wish LASD would make more of an effort to get along with Bullis, such as by allowing Bullis to present as an option at incoming K nights. Some of those not applying to Bullis are the few underprivileged kids living in LASD. LASD keeps them in the dark about the option of Bullis. These families look only to LASD to present their options.

Posted by Get real
a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 4, 2020 at 8:54 am

Bullis doesn’t spend any less per student than LASD, but they rely on “donations” of five thousand dollars or more per student. If you wonder why financially less privileged families don’t bother applying to Bullis, I’ll suggest this might, just might, be a factor. It’s like making press pot coffee, you just apply steady downward pressure on the filter in order to leave behind the coffee grounds

Posted by Haters gonna hate
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 4, 2020 at 9:22 am

Let's see how this works.

Some people who hate BCS find ways to portray it in a bad light.

The haters spread this toxic disinformation at every opportunity, like in this comment thread, claiming they own the narrative of what the history is. They created that narrative, after all.

Then the haters accuse Bullis of being disruptive to the community!

Political gaslighting.

Meanwhile, the actual educators and administrators of both LASD and BCS focus on teaching children. Maybe more of us could follow their example?

Posted by Cheaters gonna cheat
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2020 at 10:22 am

The BCS admissions scandal was not fabricated

Posted by Litigious bullies
a resident of Bailey Park
on Feb 4, 2020 at 11:27 am

There are still three active lawsuits brought by Bullis against LASD in Santa Clara County Superior Court Web Link

Posted by Corrections
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2020 at 1:14 pm

There was no BCS admissions scandal. They've never tried anything funny and they have no reason to do so. They have expanded as much as LASD would permit in order to accept as much of the demand as possible.

There aren't any active lawsuits. The court web portal shows things wrong. One of those shown as active is from LASD against the County Office of Education, not Bullis. It's not active either. It was dismissed. LASD was being litigious.

Comparing educational dollars is tricky, but Bullis spends LESS per student than does LASD based on raw numbers. Also, some of what Bullis spends involves paying LASD. Bullis equivalent of PTA is built into the Bullis budget, unlike LASD. LASD spends an extra $3 Million per year in its various PTA's. LASD parents get charged for after school programs even though it looks like LASD is operating them. That's probably another $4 Million per year right there. Bullis includes its after school programs in its normal operating budget.

Posted by They don't like the exposure
a resident of Jackson Park
on Feb 4, 2020 at 2:01 pm

I'm glad the light is finally shining on the behavior of BCS in light of the admissions scandal. Their secretive ways have fostered the corruption IMO.

Posted by What?
a resident of another community
on Feb 5, 2020 at 12:09 am

Who are all these people who live in Mountain View (not within the LASD) commenting on LASD vs BCS? Seems odd that they’d be that vested in hating BCS. I smell a rat.

Posted by Reaping time
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2020 at 5:29 am

@What, Don't be mad at people who have followed the news and formed an opinion based on the behaviors of both sides. Be mad at Bullis for their backroom shenanigans that have now been exposed. Bullis has a major PR problem because of it, exemplified right here on his board and called out by your observation and the everyday discussions of most anyone I talk to about it.

Posted by Haters gonna hate
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 5, 2020 at 8:56 am

Right on cue. Perfect examples of what the haters have been up to from the beginning. To them, words and emotions are weapons. "Facts" are any claims aligned with their hate.

If these hateful claims had any real merit or basis in fact, Bullis would have been killed long ago. In reality, Bullis and their students have thrived despite the hostility of the haters.

Posted by Not Sorry
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2020 at 9:08 am

Opinions of others are formed over time and based on their actions. I'm also opposed to how Bullis has behaved, though I'm not opposed to Bullis. Simply being dismissive and lumping everyone together as "Haters" is one of the reasons I dislike many of the blind supporters of Bullis I see here.

Posted by Conflaters gonna conflate
a resident of Slater
on Feb 5, 2020 at 9:09 am

These two things can both be true: Bullis families love Bullis, and for good reasons. The rest of the community hates Bullis, and for good reasons. Just because some people love Bullis doesn’t mean the critics are wrong. If only Bullis felt some obligation to the rest of the community that pays its bills. As it stands now, Bullis shows disdain for the community and only responds to the county board that issues its charter. This is parasitism.

Posted by Bad Data
a resident of another community
on Feb 5, 2020 at 11:44 am

There can't be too much feeling one way or the other about this new facility, since only 900 people expressed a reaction during all these expensive facilitated outreach sessions. There are 40000 people living in the LASD territory spanning large parts of 3 cities as well as a bit of Palo Alto. If there was really a lot of vibes coming from Bullis, more would have participated.

Even so, it seems like the charter school was underrepresented given how large its enrollment is. LASD is below 4000 this year and the charter school is well over 1000. It seems like the exercise was tedious. Also, they have separate issues that impact their future facilities, like will they pass another bond to pay for more work now that the $150 Million passed in 2014 has been devalued by deflation. Also they still have 6th grade at the elementary schools which makes them look larger than they really will be without 6th grade. There has been a big population drop off and LASD plus charter school enrollment peaked a few years ago and is now back down around where it was when Bullis opened--only Bullis is 1000+ students now. LASD bureaucracy will see less to do with the continued decline in enrollment.

Then there's the fact that they are now admitting it will be 2025 at the earliest before the new school opens, when they were shooting for 2018. It certainly chances things when you talk about 7 years different place in time. But this wasn't even made clear in all the polling, i.e. that they were talking what happens in the distant future as opposed to right away. It wasn't "polled" what to do in the meantime either.

Posted by Bad Data
a resident of another community
on Feb 5, 2020 at 11:56 am

Also, you have a muddle of conflicting situations motivating people to come. Santa Rita Elementary has more than 50% of its kids coming from north of El Camino Real in Mountain View. Some of those people are worried about what would happen to their school without half of its students, if a new school opened for the Mountain View half. Now there's the myth put out by LASD bureaucrats that the Mountain View area is overwhelmingly low income kids, but Santa Rita has only 10% low income. Some of those 10% low income kids don't come from Mountain View. Still that might work out to 20% low income kids in the Mountain View school, but is that really such a big issue?

Anyway, kids from Mountain View fill in gaps in the numbers at Covington and Almond too, which claim to be neighborhood schools but serve many kids who live so far away that walking is unlikely, i.e. 2-3 miles. They have their opinions.
Plus, LASD hasn't put out plans for how the new site will look, leaving people polled to compare the Kohl's parking lot (which is the picture that gets used) to the lush tree studded site at Santa Rita, 11.5 acres in size with lots of greed fields. They're in a quiet neighborhood with an old follks home as a neighbor. A lot of detractors point at the traffic on California Avenue. The truth is the area is changing where the school will be and there will be a 2 acre city park next to the 10 acre new school. LASD hasn't even got a concept drawing for the land layout and they're asking people to choose. They're kind of setting up as being somehting to foist off on Bullis, if you want to protect your own existing school.

Posted by What?
a resident of another community
on Feb 6, 2020 at 9:37 pm

@Reaping time - I'm one of those people with no kids but whom has followed the news and formed an opinion based on the behaviors of both sides but I'm also an LASD taxypayer so have a vested interest in the outcome of this LASD/BCS feud. Not so for these supposed MVWSD commenters. I think there's basically one commenter posting under multiple names. And sorry- I haven't drawn the same conclusions as you nor have MANY of my fellow taxpayers. I haven't seen any "backroom shenanigans" nor do I think BCS has a PR problem. They're educating 25% of the LASD students (by parental choice) and twice that number have applied but failed in the lottery. So I'd say their numbers speak louder than your angry words and tell the true story of public opinion re BCS. Aside from parents, the rest of the community does not "hate BCS". That's rhetoric spewed by the BCS haters.

Posted by @Bad Data
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 7, 2020 at 5:19 am

Yep. You nailed it.

Posted by Interesting
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2020 at 2:02 am

PeiPei and Sangeeth tout a conspiracy theory that the BCS parents in attendance at the input gathering were coached by the BCS management.

Now lets see. There are 1050 kids at BCS. That has to mean about 2000 parents. LASD had input from 900 in the whole district. So wouldn't it make more sense if BCS wanted to manage results, to have more people at the sham polling sessions? I mean really, what's supposed to be the surprise with so few BCS parents even participating. Not even 200 of those registering a choice came from BCS families.

This is the kind of odd logic that people like the fixers with the "Voter Guide" utilize.

Posted by that's no rebuttal
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 11, 2020 at 2:32 pm

what's really @Interesting is... your post is not a rebuttal of what you call a conspiracy theory. 100% of the BCS parents who attended may have been coached by BCS management. maybe so few showed up because, I don't know, maybe they didn't care to. Arguing whether they were coached based on turnout is kinda -- no, supremely -- non sequitur

Posted by Still More Interesting
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2020 at 7:08 pm

Who said anything about a rebuttal? The most overriding feature of the input gathering was that it was totally worthless. With tens of thousands of residents, they only managed to solicit participation from 900. That's not enough to be statistically signficant. Worse still, the sample bias is pervasive. They let the participants self select. This means the data in is garbage. It was a total waste of money.

As a speaker pointed out at Monday's board meeting, one big flaw in all the LASD hoopla is that they fail to factor in the changes that are expected in the area of the new school by 2025 and thereafter. This was the whole excuse they had for begging Mountain View for free land, so not estimating the future at this point is a big problem by itself.

To be clear, this is not a rebuttal to anything. It's criticism of a waste of public money and also of STALLING.

Posted by not a bad idea
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 11, 2020 at 7:19 pm

If the school is in MV, then the MV portion of LASD should get enrollment priority, and by doing so, it diversifies the school, it's not a bad idea.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Feb 12, 2020 at 9:34 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Feb 12, 2020 at 10:52 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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


Post a comment

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

Stay informed.

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

California must do a better job spending cap-and-trade revenue
By Sherry Listgarten | 1 comment | 1,751 views

Planting a Fall Garden?
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 1,434 views