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Los Altos School Board Votes to File Suit Against BCS

The Bullis Charter School has not fulfilled the Public Records Act requests, trustees contend.

 

The Los Altos School Board voted 5-0 Monday night to file an action to compel the Bullis Charter School to fulfill the school district’s request for “student information.”

Board president Mark Goines reported out the decision, which was made during closed session Monday night to discuss existing and anticipated litigation. The request for student information had been made over a two-year period, Goines said later.

for the first time since mid-July, has been preparing for a Wednesday Superior Court hearing. It also authorized its counsel to file a cross action to the charter school’s original action.

The meeting’s agenda, which ranged over a wide range of business, included discussion of:

-       An update on school preparation for staffing, enrollment, and facilities. Assistant Superintendent for Business Randall Kenyon reported on the snapshot of enrollment figures, the number portables moved to which campuses, and facilities changes over the summer.

-       Professional Development Plans. Assistant Superintendent Alyssa Gallagher reported on teacher training and staff development to improve student learning. Patch will have more on this at a later time.

-       Agenda for upcoming subcommittee meeting between the school district and the Los Altos City Council. The district and the council subcommittee regularly meet, and each prepare agenda items. Discussion of follow-up from the big meeting of both full bodies that took place in May was a major item on the list. Board President Mark Goines asked for a board member to take his place on the subcommittee, which includes Trustee Doug Smith. Trustee Tamara Logan offered to serve on the subcommittee, pending further information about the role. Jim Gustafson and new transportation planning project manager Cedric Novemario answered questions about traffic safety issues at Egan Jr. High School.

-       Assembling a task force on student growth. The board discussed starting a task force studying the growth of student enrollment, facilities and program. Goines suggested approaching former Mayor Lou Beck because of his insights and analysis.

-       Oposing the Waiver for Rocketship #6.  The board approved 5-0, sending a letter to the Santa Clara County Board of Education opposing a vote set for Tuesday, Aug. 14 to grant Rocketship #6 a waiver that exempts it from following local zoning codes to build its new facility in San Jose. Trustee Logan, who attended the Aug. 8 meeting at which other school superintendents and school board members spoke out against making a decision at that meeting because there was little notification to school disticts. The SCCBOE set a new date of Aug. 14, but few boards have been able to meet before then.

-       Accepting a student teaching agreement with San Jose State Universit. The board voted 5-0 to accept the agreement.

During the public comment period, Bullis Charter School parent Ron Haley announced he was making a Public Records Act request for records pertaining to the facilities offer made to Bullis, any discussion of the Hillview Community Center site as a potential for a possible LASD school. Goines said later that board members receive training in open meeting laws and California Fair Political Practices Commission regulations and gets advice from counsel.                            

Stacy August 14, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Can you report why LASD has decided to sue BCS over "student information"? What are they trying to discern? Are they not satisfied with whatever information they received from BCS under CPRA? And what are they trying to accomplish using the said "student information"? If they don't believe the number of in-district students as stated by BCS in their request for facilities, why don't they hire a private investigator (like they hired one to go undercover at the Parent Information Night)? According to the court filings, LASD hired Roberto Rivera, a private investigator, to attend the information night and videotape/record certain parts of the meeting. http://www.lasdschools.org/files/user/1/file/2012-07-24%20LASD%20Declaration%20of%20Roberto%20Rivera.pdf Wouldn't that be less expensive than filing a lawsuit?
Kyle August 14, 2012 at 07:17 PM
A private investigator could be hired by someone other than the district. There are citizens concerned about the governance and financial management at the district and BCS.
L.A. Chung August 15, 2012 at 05:08 AM
@Stacy: Board president Mark Goines would not say more than "student information Monday night. The board is required to report out in open session, whatever action they take during closed session, but they are not required to provide more than the action taken. An examination of the PRA requests the district has made would probably shed more light on what information is being sought.
Mary K August 17, 2012 at 09:20 AM
I guess LASD must have an infinite source of legal funds...
Ron Haley August 18, 2012 at 08:54 PM
They'll have a lot less after they pay BCS $1.3 million for their legal fees.

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