Schools

Los Altos School District Board Election 2014 – Forum Video Oct. 8

Vladamir Ivanovich, John Swan, Martha McClatchie, Tamara Logan, Sangeeth Peruri
Written by lalahpolitico

Thank you to an anonymous donor for underwriting the KMVT video of the Los Altos School District Board Election Forum Oct. 8. I have added timing markers for Questions/Answers and Candidate Statements so that you open the video jumping directly to which topic questions strike your fancy.  Who has the time to listen to the whole 90 minutes video (bottom of this page) except Lalahpolitco?! I also have selected three questions I considered most informative. View those clips.

Vladamir Ivanovich, John Swan, Martha McClatchie, Tamara Logan, Sangeeth Peruri

Vladamir Ivanovich, John Swan, Martha McClatchie, Tamara Logan, Sangeeth Peruri
before the Forum

 

Want to listen to just ONE question?

0: 56:24  Will you commit to use the $150M of bond funds to provide a site and a school for BOTH the charter and for North of El Camino? If not, which one do you prefer?

Ivanovich: Which one, It depends
Swan: Listen to Master Plan Committee
McClatchie: I prefer NEC, but will listen to the good advice of Master Plan Committee
Logan (incumbent): I prefer BCS, it is in the district’s self interest to get the charter off the junior highs to make room for sixth grade.
Peruri: We can do it all, put two new 2-story schools on much less land than the existing campuses, and then also fix up existing campuses.

Want to listen to a  SECOND Question?

0: 43:20  How would you resolve conflict in the community?  How would you resolve THE conflict?

Mc Clatchie: 5 year agreement is a start, Communicate
Logan: 5 year agreement is a start, Charter be a magnet school
Peruri: Listen, have empathy
Ivanovich: Build trust by being vulnerable, Charter be a magnet school
Swan: The task force started divergent but got to 100% consensus. Exchange real information, don’t use  misinformation and FUD

Want to listen to a  THIRD Question?

1:07:30 What financial background do you have to manage the $150M of bond money?

Martha: 17 years a CPA
Logan: Math Masters degree, I trust CACF (citizens finance advisory) and staff to develop reports and models. I’m analytical.
Peruri:  Everyone thinks of me as a numbers guy: I develop models all day long
Ivanovich: I’m current chair of CACF. We will hire a professional construction manager. [outsource] Swan: Managed 100 million dollar budgets at GE.  Experience with West Valley College bond management.

[hr] [hr]
Vladamir Ivanovich, John Swan, Martha McClatchie, Tamara Logan, Sangeeth Peruri

Vladamir Ivanovich, John Swan, Martha McClatchie, Tamara Logan, Sangeeth Peruri

TIMELINE OF COMPLETE FORUM

The forum was produced by the League of Women Voters of the Los Altos – Mountain View Area.  At the event, questions were submitted by the attendees who wrote them on 3×4 cards. The cards were sorted, chosen, rewritten and sequenced on the fly by LWV members who volunteer for the role of “card-sorter.” The moderator reads the questions selected by the League.

Opening Statements –

Click the TIME LINK to open video in a new window

0:06:20 Vladamir Ivanovich

0:08:40 John Swan

0:10:40 Martha McClatchie

0:12:42 Tamara Logan

0:14:43 Sangeeth Peruri

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

QUES: Do you support MEASURE N? How should the district spend the funds?

0:17:12  ANSWERS: Swan, Mc Clatchie, Logan, Peruri, Ivanovich.

QUES: What do you think are the major RESPONSIBILITIES of a board member? What do you bring to the board?

0:22:22  ANSWERS: Mc Clatchie, Logan, Peruri, Ivanovich, Swan

QUES:  How do think COMMON CORE can be adopted? How will if affect the current district curriculum?

0:26:25  ANSWERS: Logan, Peruri, Ivanovich, Swan, Mc Clatchie

QUES:  How would you address the ENROLLMENT GROWTH?

0:30:33  ANSWERS: Logan, Peruri, Ivanovich, Swan, Mc Clatchie

QUES:  What CURRICULUM changes/adds would you make? What would you subtract?

0:35:02  ANSWERS:  Ivanovich, Swan, Mc Clatchie, Logan, Peruri

QUES:  The Bullis Charter School board is appointed. Do you support having the BCS BOARD ELECTED by its community? **see footnote

0:40:05  ANSWERS:  Swan, Mc Clatchie, Logan, Peruri, Ivanovich

QUES:  How would you RESOLVE CONFLICT in the community?  How would you resolve THE conflict?

0:44:10  ANSWERS: Mc Clatchie, Logan, Peruri, Ivanovich, Swan

QUES:  What is your most important QUALIFICATION, your most relevant qualification?

0:48:45  ANSWERS: Logan, Peruri, Ivanovich, Swan, Mc Clatchie

Vladamir Ivanovich, John Swan, Martha McClatchie, Tamara Logan, Sangeeth Peruri

Vladamir Ivanovich, John Swan, Martha McClatchie, Tamara Logan, Sangeeth Peruri

QUES:  How would you improve the TRAFFIC SAFETY of walking and biking to school?

0:53:00  ANSWERS: Logan, Peruri, Ivanovich, Swan, Mc Clatchie

QUES:  Will you commit to use the $150M of bond funds to provide a site and a school for BOTH the charter and for North of El Camino? If not, which one do you prefer?

0:57:20  ANSWERS: Ivanovich, Swan, Mc Clatchie, Logan, Peruri,

QUES:  What are the benefits of SMALL SCHOOLS? How do you define small? How can we maintain small schools if we don’t get any new sites?

1:02:45  ANSWERS: Swan, Mc Clatchie,Logan, Peruri, Ivanovich

QUES:  What FINANCIAL BACKGROUND do you have to manage Measure N bond money?

1:07:40  ANSWERS: Mc Clatchie, Logan, Peruri, Ivanovich, Swan

QUES:  Besides Enrollment Growth, what is the district’s OTHER big challenge?

1:12:20  ANSWERS: Logan, Peruri, Ivanovich, Swan, Mc Clatchie

CLOSING STATEMENTS

1:16:50 Sangeeth Peruri

1:17:42 Tamara Logan

1:18:48  Martha McClatchie

1:19:52 John Swan

1:21:00 Vladamir Ivanovich

 

LALAHPOLITICO OPINES…

**Footnote:  Elected boards, Pseudo-elected boards, volunteer boards…..

Actually most California School District boards are “appointed” because the elections are often uncontested. Here in LASD there hasn’t been an uncontested election for over a decade, but each contest is heavily managed. Lalahpolitico calls this a pseudo-elected board.

Tamara Logan dropped out of her first race and waited 4 years in  the CACF and as “legislative liaison” [lobbyist training] before being encouraged to run by the then current board (and union supporters).  Vladamir Ivanovich dropped out his first race in 2012 and has waited two years synchronizing his messaging with that of the current board.  He has attended virtually every board meeting since 2012 and earned the nod from the current board (and union supporters) to run now in 2014. Sangeeth Peruri only started attending LASD board meetings as an observer in late spring this year, apparently having been hurriedly recruited by outgoing trustee Mark Goines (and oked by union supporters). Only about 40, Peruri is semi-retired, so has time to devote to the job. The only “contesting” candidates are John Swan and Martha McClatchie.

Charter schools are commonly structured as non-profits with appointed boards.  No charter school can raise taxes or execute eminent domain like a school district jurisdiction can.  In contrast, the community-at-large cares very much about what taxes a school district may levy, so it is appropriate we can vote for those trustees. In fact LASD board members ARE trustees, while BCS board members are just board members.  It is incorrect usage to refer to the BCS board as trustees. They aren’t. They don’t tax or execute eminent domain. Call them board members.

In the case of  non-profit, independent Bullis Charter, there has been and continues to be involvement of the CHARTER PARENT COMMUNITY in the BCS board nomination process. See the BCS info here.

If the LASD taxpayers are going to vote on BCS boards, I think we also should vote on the local CHAC board for example.  Doesn’t half of their revenue come ultimately from our local tax dollars too, about the same proportion as for the charter school? Or maybe the whole of the Santa Clara County  voter base should vote on the BCS board? After all Santa Clara County is the charter’s authorizer!!!

To reciprocate, maybe the LASD community-at-large — parents AND the greater community — should vote on the leaders of the local school PTAs ? Why limit it to just current parents?  And why not have the parents and the community-at-large vote on local CTA union leaders? Arguably the CTA leaders are responsible for increasing our taxes through union contract agreements?

Lalahpolitico: I think all this faux angst over elected TRUSTEES VS. unelected BOARD MEMBERS in the context of our local public schools is just plain silly. It’s just misinformation and intended to generate a negative image of the performance of our Bullis Charter School and a positive image of the the performance of the LASD. If you want to angst over appointed education boards playing with lots of taxpayer money, worry about the UC and CSU boards – those are appointed.

 

The whole 90 minute video. Start at 6:20 after the commercial

About the author

lalahpolitico

Norma Schroder is an economics & market researcher by trade and ardent independent journalist, photographer and videographer by avocation. Enthralled by the growth of the tech industry over the decades, she only became fascinated with business of local politics only in the past couple of years.

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