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Two More Groups Urge Courts to Deny Bullis Request For School Site

Two statewide organizations say that there is compelling interest in decisions made in the Prop. 39 case, with impact on thousands of members—and students.

 

Two more groups have applied for friend-of-the-court standing in the Bullis Charter School-Los Altos School District litigation over facilities space.

Underscoring the broader stakes involved in the dispute over “reasonably equivalent” space for charter schools under Proposition 39, the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) filed for amicus curiae standing Monday, followed by the California School Boards Association (CSBA) on Tuesday.

A week ago, the Huttlinger Alliance for Education, a parents group representing the interest of district students, filed an application for amicus curiae. Amicus curiae is defined as "one (as a professional person or organization) that is not a party to a particular litigation but that is permitted by the court to advise it in respect to some matter of law that directly affects the case in question."

The CSBA, representing about 1,000 governing boards of Kindergarten-12th grade schools and county boards of education throughout the state, argued that the case will have “direct and profound” on the members of CSBA.

The school administrators association, representing 16,000 school leaders across the state, argued that it has a “compelling interest” in the matter, and a desire “to resolve this very important question of what standard school districts should follow in their attempts to comply with Prop. 39.”

The school administrators association highlighted the trust necessary to be placed in school administrators who must balance all the interests of students in carrying out facilities sharing, and that the court should rightly give deference.

“The law in this area is straightforward: Allow school administrators to strike a balance within the existing legal framework. California law requires that when, such as here, a facilities offer is the result of a careful and reasonable analysis, the Courts should not intervene.”

The school boards association urges to the court to reject BCS’ demand that the school district provide a school for its express use, and that the district must consider program, fiscal and operational concerns as well as the impact that a decision has on families.

"One issue before the Court is particularly disconcerting: Whether Prop. 39 should be interpreted in such a manner as to compel a school district to close a neighborhood school—with the resulting displacement and disbursement of hundreds of students—in order to provide the charter school with exculsive use of this site," wrote Dina Harris, attorney for the California School Board Association and the Education Legal Alliance.

The brief urged the court to deny the BCS request to exclusive use of a school site, calling it "overreaching."

Joan J. Strong August 08, 2012 at 11:23 PM
@Ross -- Spare us the mindless charter industry talking points: "it's all about the unions!". There are no "unions" on that list. The Charter Industry needs a new straw man: 18% (and growing) of charter schools in the USA are unionized. Charter schools do NOT get rid of unions, and they generally don't have anything to do with unions one way or another. If you want to close a school so bad, why not Bullis Charter School? It has by far the most expensive typical child program in our District (roughly double the costs), is only attended by less than 10% of district children, increases our traffic and child safety problems since it's a commuter school, and sues our school district left and right. BCS is by far the best candidate in our area to be closed, if that's what you really want. My children's school may be closed by a bunch of millionaires and billionaires and their private school. That's why I am here. Why are you here?
L.A. Chung August 09, 2012 at 04:59 AM
@Ross, I'm guessing that the two organizations that are for school administrators and school boards are not likely to be a pro-union groups, since they usually sit on the opposite side of the table during contract negotiations.
BCS Parent August 10, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Sitting on the other side of the table from the unions during negotiations does not mean that school boards and administrators are free from union influence. A lot of people, me included, don’t have problems with the unions themselves, but do have problems with the cozy relationship between the CTA and many school boards. This has allowed some pretty egregious “negotiations” in the past. Just look at the teachers supposed concessions in the last round with LASD. But, I don’t know the specific agendas of these two organizations, and their members have an obvious interest in preserving as much discretion as possible when dealing with charter school facilities requests. In that respect I wouldn’t see unions being an important factor in filing these briefs (although I am sure the CTA is cheering from the sidelines).
Joan J. Strong August 10, 2012 at 04:26 AM
@BCS Parent -- Didn't you hear me? Smearing anti-charter people as "union shills" is MORONIC. 18% of charters across the USA (and growing) are unionized. The anti-union "reason" for charter schools is collapsing on its own weight. I mean, it was a really stupid argument to begin with (for a lovely example of an entire state without teacher's unions, please see: Texas), but now the data just proves it to be self-contradictory. In other words, if you really hate unions, then by all means you must be against charter schools. So every charter school in the USA is also perfect, right? Wrong. Please see: http://charterschoolscandals.blogspot.com/ Closer to home, see a certain charter school very near us that loaned its principal $250k illegally. You might have heard of it, it's name is "Bullis Charter School". Charter schools can create scandals FAR EASIER than public schools can because they have virtually no public oversight and are NOT beholden to anybody but their private board. They can come and go as they please. Finally, can you go beyond innuendo and tell us EXACTLY what that "cozy relationship" with the CTA and our district leadership entails? Are there kickbacks? Maybe the CTA--I don't know--offered to pay for the remodel of one our our District board member's home? You also understand that BCS teachers have more expensive benefits than LASD teachers, right? Want to throw some more stones in that glass house you live in?
Ron Haley August 10, 2012 at 05:15 AM
These are the same turkeys that got their brief into the Supreme Court two days AFTER the decision was handed down in favor of BCS. It's probably the same brief - need to justify the legal expense somehow :)

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