However, the district has proposed smaller meetings that will be webcast to the entire community.
Here is the district's response:
August 16, 2013
Mr. Ken Moore
Bullis Charter School
We are pleased to meet with you and your board to learn more about your proposed modifications to the facilities use agreement for the 2013-2014 school year. It will be very helpful for LASD board members and the public to fully understand the details behind your request to renegotiate the court- approved final offer and give your board the opportunity to explain the expected impacts of this new proposal on the children attending our schools as well as on the surrounding communities. It is high time we brought this discussion into full public view.
Although we are interested in learning more, it is important for you to realize that we spent considerable time and utilized an extensive publicly driven process to prepare the final offer and the attendant facilities use agreement and crafted it with that input in mind. This process is not easy to replicate in just a few days time or to modify without feedback from our community and a thorough evaluation of the potential impacts.
Further, you challenged this offer in court and the judge ruled in late June that the process we followed and the offer we made are in full compliance with the law. Your request essentially asks the District to ignore this process and the judge’s ruling and give you significantly different uses of the facilities than we have offered.
This is not to say NO, but rather to say that there is a high bar to make any significant change and we are looking forward to understanding all the tradeoffs. This is because the number of students /general grade breakdowns and number of buildings offered at each school comprise the key components of the "project" the District analyzed for purposes of complying with
CEQA. Since CEQA requires compliance with its mandates before a project can
be approved, the District can't agree to a different project by approving a Facilities Use
Agreement that increases those numbers without conducting additional CEQA analysis
first. We understand that you want to run the program you have the way you have designed it, but it is perhaps equally important for you to innovate in a way that meets your goals and also fits into the constraints of the Final Offer, the court's ruling validating that Final Offer, and the interests of the broader Los Altos community. Such logistical challenges are similar to those that all educational agencies delivering educational services -- whether they are charter schools or school districts -- must face. We would be deeply interested to
learn what your proposed program would look like under these conditions. However, given that the status quo is that our Final Offer was deemed fully compliant with Prop. 39, we would need compelling reasons to grant any exceptions as well as additional time to ensure the District complies with CEQA before approving a Facilities Use Agreement that permits more students/buildings than allowed under the Final Offer.
Unfortunately, our board is unable to attend the BCS meeting on August 19th. We have Trustees who are traveling, and we have a number of other commitments around the start of school next week. While I appreciate the BCS sense of urgency, we do have a responsibility to the 4,500 students who attend LASD schools. We are interested in meeting, however, as soon as practicable for both boards. When Trustee Mark Goines and I met with BCS Board Members Joe Hurd and Peter Evans, we discussed smaller meetings. Frankly, placing 9 BCS Board members in a room with 5 LASD trustees is likely to create challenging situations with many folks wanting their voices to be heard, as well as giving rise to further scheduling conflicts. The District would propose a 2x2 meeting, such as what the District hosted on February 15, 2013 as part of the 2013-14 Facilities Offer process. We would be pleased to host such a meeting in our Board Room, particularly so that we can take advantage of the District’s Granicus system to record and webcast the meeting. If a different location is preferred, we could request the use of the meeting chambers of either Los Altos, Los Altos Hills or Mountain View. It has been our experience that the broader public can then participate in the process more thoroughly. As mentioned above, weighing public input will be an absolute necessity in this process.
In parallel with this process to evaluate the short term needs for BCS, the District would also like to begin discussions about a long term solution to this entire situation. Over the summer I have been meeting with Joe Hurd, Los Altos Hills Mayor Gary Waldeck, and Enrollment Growth Task Force Member Duncan MacVicar. We have begun to explore potential sites for a new school for BCS. As part of that process, Joe and I have discussed the need to plan and work collaboratively on a potential bond measure. Beginning those discussions in parallel would be a great way for us all to demonstrate a spirit of cooperation, and begin to understand what issues we might face to pass a bond. Trustee Goines and I also discussed this need with Board Members Evans and Hurd, and in fact it was Mr. Hurd who suggested that we could alternate the meetings, one short term and one long term discussion. I will need to consult with the other Trustees, but I would tentatively propose the meetings for Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning 27 August.
Please let us know whether you would have two teams available for the meetings beginning on those dates. I will also confirm those same dates, but we could “pencil them in” for the moment.
The District looks forward to making serious progress on this issue which has been so difficult for our community for so long. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Los Altos School District Board of Trustees
Read More About the Bullis Charter School Controversy on Los Altos Patch:
- Bullis Charter School Calls for Meeting on FUA
- Read the Bullis Facilities Use Agreement
- “We Fully Intend to Unlock our School”
- Bullis Charter School Letter on FUA
- School District Letter On Bullis Charter School FUA
- Battle Broils Over Bullis Charter School