At the March 21 LASD board meeting, BCS Trustee Sang Yoo agreed to reveal new applicant/registrant information – as has been repeated requested by LASD to “document” BCS forecasts – but not till June. At that time, LASD should add extra portables to meet the documented demand.
Sang Yoo, BCS Trustee:
Thank you for this opportunity to speak and to provide some input from Bullis Charter School about the Final Offer. There are two primary issues I’d like to focus on tonight.
1) First is the gap in our respective enrollment projections.
BCS has projected 678 in-district students for next year, but the District has used only 605 students for the Preliminary Offer.
2) And now the District has asked for names and addresses of BCS’ registrants for next year to validate BCS’ projections.
Out of respect for the registrants’ privacy, BCS has not yet provided this data.
But we have some suggestions, hopefully viewed by you as constructive, about how we might move forward here.
3) As noted in detail in our formal March 1st response to the Preliminary Offer, the District has not been fair in allocating facilities for BCS, EVEN WHEN USING THE DISTRICT’s own enrollment projection numbers. And I’d like to highlight some specifics.
I’ll talk first about the registrant / enrollment data.
As you know, Bullis Charter School has already provided the District with the names and addresses of all current BCS students. We gave that data back in December.
But we believe it would be improper to release, right now, the names and addresses of students who have registered for next year. Many of those families don’t want their friends, or their children’s teachers at District schools, to know that they are considering BCS for next year. However, once this school year is over in June, BCS is happy to meet with the District to confirm the in-district status of next year’s new students. And we have a simple proposal to protect the children. We would like to see the District include, in the Final Offer, a plan to add more portables over the summer if, in June, BCS is able to document that it will have more in-district students enrolled next year than what the District is projecting.
If BCS’ numbers in June fall short, the District can simply not place those portables.
There’s nothing in the law that prevents the District from adding this flexibility into the site planning, just like it does for the District run schools. Nothing in the law prevents the District from taking this action to meet your statutory responsibility to the local public school children choosing BCS program. Please don’t treat these in-district children any differently than you would otherwise.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, the District’s preliminary offer for BCS is not reasonably equivalent to what District schools have, even when using the District’s own enrollment projections for BCS.
Here are a few examples:
First – the Preliminary Offer has no outdoor space at all for BCS 5th and 6th grade students who are being offered their facilities at the Blach site next year. These BCS children have nowhere to go for PE, and nowhere to play at recess and lunch. By District’s own calculations, the Preliminary Offer is missing 23,000-sf of blacktop and over 43,000-sf of turf space.
Second – the District has allocated less Specialized and Non-Teaching Space for next year’s 197 BCS students at Blach-site than what the District offered for 129 BCS students at Blach this year. Less space for more students. And again, this is using the District’s own numbers. By the District’s calculation, at least two 960-sf portables are missing from the preliminary offer, even after accounting for the new 1440-sf compensatory portable.
I would also note that a single 1440-sf “compensatory” portable cannot reasonably be expected to provide the educational conditions and facilities that are equivalent to what the District provides at the comparison schools. A single 1440-sf portable cannot function as all of specialized teaching space such as science, art, music, drama and more, for the 149 5th and 6th graders, and on top of it to also serve as a Multi-purpose room for the entire 197 BCS students and associated teachers.
The Preliminary Offer allows BCS to use the Blach’s Multi-purpose room for just 12 days [lalahpolitico: bumped to 20 in FO] during the entire school year, giving Blach students access to it for the rest of the year. BCS will have more than 25% of the total student count on the Blach site, but less than 7% of the Multi-purpose room time.
But as it is with all other comparison schools in the District, BCS’ educational program requires access to a space where all students and staff at the site can be gathered on a regular basis.
So instead of the 12-day access to the Blach Multi, we request that you provide BCS with a dedicated Multi-purpose room, large enough for all students and staff at the site for this upcoming school year and beyond. The District rightly planned ahead when opening Gardner Bullis and built a Multi larger than originally needed. Please take the same prudent approach in allocating the Multi-purpose room to BCS at Blach for 2014.
Lastly – when assigning square footage to the shared facilities, the District has used the ratio of Bullis’ assigned time to Blach’s scheduled time. However, Blach’s scheduled time is only a subset of the total time the facilities are available during the school day.
The District has stated that by default, any unscheduled time is Blach’s time. In effect, then, this way of calculating space is same as not counting all the space, a direct violation of the appellate court ruling.
I would also like to request a true, equitable sharing of the middle school facilities at the Blach site. As an example, the various sharing schedules proposed by the District do not work well due to the fact that BCS is on a block schedule whereas Blach uses 46-minute periods. I understand that Blach maybe going to a modified block schedule in the future.
But in general, in order to share these facilities efficiently with minimal disruptions to both programs, the actual sharing schedules for these spaces should be worked out between the administrators from each program, allowing for maximum flexibility for both, as they are doing now.
I’d like to conclude by saying that I believe BCS is only asking the District to treat BCS children fairly, the same way the District children are treated.
There are many things in the Preliminary Offer that should be changed. I and our other members of the Prop 39 team are available any time this week to meet with you or the District staff to work through the details before you finalize the Offer for 2014.