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LIVE BLOG: Los Altos School Board Meeting June 4

The Los Altos School Board voted 4-1 Monday night to send Bullis Charter School Board provisions contained in a term sheet made public Friday in a formal proposal. Follow our live coverage of the Los Altos School District's discussion on the tentative lon

 

The Los Altos School Board voted 4-1, with Steve Taglio dissenting, to offer the provisions in the term sheet that was made public Friday.

That offers provides for Bullis Charter School to remain all together on the Egan Jr. High School campus for two years as parties look for a 10th campus site. If no site is identified at the end of the first year, the process will revert to the Prop. 39 procedure of making an annual facilities request. The offer required a response by Friday at noon in order to prepare for the 2012-2013 year.

Los Altos Patch was at the Monday night meeting of the Los Altos School Board, held in the Covington School multi-purpose room. Through CoverItLive's live blogging capabilities, readers were able to follow along, comment and use #BullisCharter and #LosAltosSchools to tweet.

The discussion is archived above. Patch will update in a separate story.

Just Mom June 06, 2012 at 05:04 AM
Again I do not agree with everything LASD has done and have said so. But I also do not agree with everything BCS has done. Both sides carry blame.
supermom June 06, 2012 at 05:07 AM
Just Mom, I have a question for you. As an Egan parent, can you explain to me why you would rather have BCS (@600) sharing a larger and larger slice of the space at Egan rather than a considerable smaller population (@300) of LASD students there? This could lead to the districts own k-8 configuration which could be interesting. I just don't get it. It would seem like a win-win that we have all been looking for.
Just Mom June 06, 2012 at 05:17 AM
Because I refuse to decimate another school community. People worked hard to make their campus a home for their children. I do not like the current share but I understand the need until a permanent solution can be achieved. Yes, I am willing to sacrifice my child's space so we can air this out in the community. I like the current k-6 configuration thank you. I wonder why it was that prior to the Bullis closing was there not a peep about charter school need? The same parents who started the charter were perfectly content with the fine education their children had up to that point been receiving. Now they feel like exacting the same thing on another school. Feels a bit like a tit for a tat otherwise they would be overly sensitive not to do to others what they felt had been done to them. I do not consider that a win-win.
supermom June 06, 2012 at 05:26 AM
I think another favorite expression that has been dragged out tirelessly is that "we are closing one of our high performing schools." I just love this because in fact, there are a number of options including this simple campus switch that would "fix" that concern. At the least we could all agree to say instead, "we are exchanging facilitates and now housing the top performing school." You get your Board to say that and I will get mine to apologize for growing.
Just Mom June 06, 2012 at 05:40 AM
Again I will not tell another school they must leave the campus they worked hard to make a home. It has zero to do with closing a school. I wonder why not agree to build a campus for BCS with their help and cooperation? Choice is my favorite euphemism brought out. Again why harm another school community, what does that serve? Make them pay for all of this?
supermom June 06, 2012 at 05:49 AM
How are they harmed? Remember that the sliver at Egan is deemed inappropriate for the size of our school. A smaller school would not be harmed in any way. And I am all for building a campus for BCS if you can do it in the next year. Two problems. No space & no dough. Your esteemed board and community has done such a great job vilifying BCS that now there is no way the community would get behind that. Further, the lasd community wasn't even ready to agree to a bond! I don't think BCS's votes would have mattered. BCS has been looking for space for 8 years. You think it will suddenly materialize now? Fat chance. Los Altos is not giving up Hillview without a fight. and even if you were to use eminent domain to get it, you can't afford it and it would take years. So now what?
Just Mom June 06, 2012 at 06:01 AM
Taking a school community and taking over their campus isn't harmful? I'd say it is beyond harmful. I believe the earlier name calling did more damage than any board ever could. I was against closing Bullis way back for exactly the same reason as I will not throw another school community under the bus. If you want a bond measure to pass how about some BCS parents reaching out and instead of insulting and threatening lawsuits really listen to the concerns of others? How about both sets of parents coming together and working in concert to make things happen? How about real people caring about one another and telling our boards how we would like the bridge built?
supermom June 06, 2012 at 06:09 AM
It is NOT "their" campus! These campuses belong to ALL of us.
Just Mom June 06, 2012 at 06:22 AM
Again with the rhetoric. I am sure you were out there right along with the other school parents building planters, planting gardens, painting and landscaping to make each school feel homey correct? I am sure you more than understood the meaning behind, "their" campus was not literal. Fanning the flames does zero to foster any slim chance of goodwill and does more damage for image than any board ever could. Again I cannot have a productive conversation about this with someone who prefers to fan the flames and create more ill will.
supermom June 06, 2012 at 06:35 AM
No we weren't because we have been trapped on a "temporary camp site" and hoped year after year for relief. We have finally gotten it. Sadly it took the courts to clarify the law for your board as they chose to try and interpret it to their benefit year after year, all the while smugly assuring your community that the BCS problem was being handled in a legally compliant way. You drove right by it for nine years. Did you ever really believe them?
Just Mom June 06, 2012 at 07:01 AM
If the current offer were not legally compliant we would be in court not at a table. You chose it for your family I did not. I really had hoped there would be a site to build a new campus to house BCS. Do you think the 24/7/365 exclusive use sounds much like a public school? I did not. Again BCS has zero blame and no responsibility in any of this. Again both sides got us here and both sides will need to eat some crow. Mine was a little mushy care for some?
Joan J. Strong June 06, 2012 at 07:09 AM
I drove by the top-ranked charter school in the State. I drove by a school which has special elective classes offered to no other students in the District. I drove by a school on a campus which every single parent chose and made their trade-off versus their neighborhood school. I drove by a school where the kids all go on exotic field trips around the world and chum along with some of the top luminaries in Silicon Valley. I drove by a school which takes money away from the rest of our kid's programs and is tax deductible for parents, meaning that I pay more Federal taxes because of them. The founding family of BCS gave $600m to Caltech just for fun. They could have bought or leased a campus for BCS any time they felt like it. They were not "trapped". The lavish and huge campus that they alone could afford would have been much better for every BCS child. They could have bought something unlike what any of our schools have. However they chose--CHOSE--to stay in their campus in order to have a chance to harm LASD children.
LASD resident June 06, 2012 at 12:44 PM
What cracks me up is that just mom and JJS want BCS to accept part if not all of the blame because they are intentionally growing. The entire growth is coming from LASD parents who for some reason what to go there. Just Mom ..getting groups of parents together isn't going to solve anything because the LASD parents really are not interested in doing anything that slightly makes them worse off. They want their board to solve this for them by asking us taxpayers to pony up more money. Too bad their board has been so slow to find any solution they can even ask the taxpayers to support. The original mediated terms had promise in terms of solving this. Too bad LASD didn't follow through. BTW closing Bullis didn't harm any children or destroy any communities.10 sites would be a nice solution but consolidating into 8 sites and giving BCS the 9th site isn't the end of the world either.
Just Mom June 06, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Again no responsibility taken for BCS part. I do not support throwing another school under the bus. I'd say look at where we are, there was plenty of harm done. Of course people would like a private school education at very little cost (this has been said by BCS parents). Funny you keep refusing any and all ideas about trying to find a solution that will allow everyone a say. You wonder why LASD parents aren't falling all over themselves to push the board...look in the mirror as that is your answer.
LASD resident June 06, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Allowing everyone a say is fine but what is the solution? It is my opinion allowing everyone a say produces no solution. That is why we elect officials to represent us. Propose a solution not just another process. We are out of time
Just Mom June 06, 2012 at 01:20 PM
I appreciate the LASD board putting on the brakes, it was a bad idea to try to push this through quickly and without any parental support. I believe any agreement must be done with all parents at least feeling they expressed their thoughts and have a voice with the board elected by the public. I can guarantee coming at the LASD parents with puffed up chests as you have been doing is not going to garner the response you are after.
Just Mom June 06, 2012 at 01:38 PM
I do not have a perfect solution, I do however have a willingness to flesh out a doable situation. Talking to our elected officials is how e express our thought and clearly they listened and stopped for more input. It is the unwillingness of the BCS community to take some responsibility that tends to upset people (and if you think it is all about growth you are out of touch with LASD parents).
LASD resident June 06, 2012 at 01:40 PM
I have no affiliation with BCS and my chest is not puffed but deflated because of the total failure of both school communities to solve this problem. But I think you are being very naive in thinking you have more time. The Court of Appeals is standing by ready to act and the current facilities offer despite what the LASD Board says is in trouble. But hey, you guys take all the time you want and we will see what the Court has to say about it. I thought getting BCS to agree to totally limiting their growth for 10 years and pursuing no further legal actions including recovering over a million dollars in legal fees was a very good deal. But what do I know
LASD resident June 06, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Just Mom One last post and then I have to go. You say you have no perfect solution. Agreed there is none. But in all of your post I don't think I have seen you suggest any solution at all. BTW I know it is not all about growth. I just quoting from JJS who says that all the time
Just Mom June 06, 2012 at 02:16 PM
I have offered a idea that parents come to the table and work together to find a solution that all can live with. Clearly others felt the offered solution did not work otherwise it would be in place. If BCS thought the offer was non-compliant they would already have dragged it back to court and not even sat down with LASD. I have said and will say again I agree with a couple of JJS's points not that I wholly support all she has said full stop. Will having parents try to work a doable solution be a success? I do not know, but what does anyone have to lose by giving it a try? Certainly it can't get much worse.
Joan J. Strong June 06, 2012 at 02:43 PM
A bunch of rich people subsidized programs and created a slick marketing program for it. People did not just "show up" at BCS--far from it. They knew EXACTLY what they were doing and intentionally grew BCS to make a mess in facilities. Who can pass up free money? If there was no billionaire money, there would be no BCS and no growth. Period. And yes, closing BP didn't do anything... except create a 9-years-and-counting war that is ripping our community apart and threatens to ruin it. Closing a school and destroying it's community is very, very harmful. Please see: http://bullischarterschoolthoughts.blogspot.com/2012/04/neighborhood-public-school-worth.html
Problem Solver June 06, 2012 at 05:10 PM
The Board's came together and came up with a mediated offer. That is what both Boards agreed to. The May 7th offer. I think that offer, in the end, might be the best deal for LASD. LASD parents, I know that you are smart, and you have your child’s best interest at heart, but please stop and consider why the board agreed to it in the first place. They know what the court is likely to do.
Problem Solver June 06, 2012 at 05:23 PM
LASD has problems that are going to require redrawing boundary lines. There is overcrowding in the North area of the District. They are going to need to move 6th graders to the middle school or open a 10th school as close to El Camino as possible. They would have had to do this already, but BCS has been keeping the 3 largest schools from crossing the 600 student mark. LASD has two schools - Covington and Gardner that could be consolidated into one school. This school will be under 600 kids if 6th graders are moved to the junior hIghs, or if a new small school was built at the Egan Camp site for the NEC and Egan area neighborhoods. BCS would then be moved to either GB or Covington. It could still work under the terms of the mediated settlement. The alternative is the court ordering LASD to had over a huge chunk of Egan, or an entire school with nothing gained by LASD.
supermom June 06, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Nothing gained for sure and probably the additional burden of covering the $1Million+ legal fees! Lets see 1million divided by 1500 (petitioners) would come out to about $66,666 each. That is what kicking up all this dusts has cost the community rather than supporting the joint mediated agreement. You think they will pony up? Doubtful seeing as most don't even donate a grand to LEAF every year!
Joan J. Strong June 06, 2012 at 05:48 PM
The mediated "deal" included terms that no judge could ever possibly give BCS including exclusive (as in, a barbed-wire fence around the campus) use of a campus for the next 30 years without any possibility of moving them no matter what, even if we have a dozen new charter schools here or any number of other things happen. The District was absolutely correct in not taking this deal. Your "problem solving" here creates the biggest problem of them all: it closes a school and annihilates a school community. Are you aware of what got us into this mess in the first place?
Just Mom June 06, 2012 at 05:51 PM
It is LAEF and that was rude and quite frankly uncalled for. This is exactly the reason you have so much frustration and animosity pointed towards your school. Instead of talking and sharing you belittle and attack. As much as I have tried to talk and share ideas I am finished if this is all that you can do.
Joan J. Strong June 06, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Did your PR firm tell you it was going to be a great idea to take $1m from all of the children in our District? Did they mention that was going to make you look really great and powerful and make people fear your school? Did they mention that is how they used to handle their other client, the late Kim Jong-il? BCS's new motto: "Rob from the Poor, Give to the Rich!".
Just Mom June 06, 2012 at 06:55 PM
JJS I called them out for being rude and I feel you too are doing the same. There is no place for name calling and attacking others. How can we have honest, productive discussion if this is what occurs every time. I appreciate it is a heated issue, but when does the belittling stop? We can agree to disagree, but really I hope the attacking ends. Thank you.
Ron Haley June 09, 2012 at 01:10 AM
There have been three lawsuits. BCS has sued LASD twice, won one, lost one. LASD sued BCS once and lost.
Ron Haley June 09, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Here we go again - JJS hates the rich!

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