Schools

Uncertain Chances for BCS 10-year Facilities Agreement at Egan

10-year facilities agreement moves Egan Junior High Los Altos LASD to Kohls 10th site
Overflow crowd at the first meeting about the 10-year facilities proposal for moving Egan to Kohls 10th site
Written by lalahpolitico

LASD trustees are considering entering a negotiated 10-year facilities agreement that would allow Bullis Charter School to have exclusive use of Egan starting no earlier than 2023. But there seems to be as much parent opposition to it as there was for a  ‘tentative agreement’ hammered out by Trustees Smith and Logan back in 2012-2013. LINK.

In February 2019, LASD and BCS had begun an annual Prop 39 facilities ‘request’ process. But both sides agreed to pause that process to try to negotiate something longer term – this 10-year facilities agreement.  Trustees Speiser and Johnson huddled with the BCS negotiation team for almost two months and brought back a ~20page detailed proposal for 10-year facilities agreement. LINK TO LASD

protest LASD 10-year facilities agreement Egan Jr. High LASD Los Altos School District

Protest about moving Egan to the 10th site… at the Egan Parking lot, Monday morning, April 8, 2019. About 70 persons including children peacefully assembled and had some fun! They held up signs for passing cars, “honk” to show your support.

Peipei Yu, an Almond parent,  organized a protest at Egan on Monday 8am  to noon, attracting local TV coverage. The 70 or so protesters – including children – put on a good show. Earlier…Los Altos Hills Council Member, Courtney Corrigan helped dissuade Ms. Yu from assembling her minions on the sidewalk in front of the Bullis Charter School. Instead, they safely, thoughtfully, and peaceably assembled on the sidewalk in front of the Egan parking lot.

On Monday night, Trustees held their board meeting in the Covington MPR instead of the board room…in order to accommodate an overflow crowd of consisting of about 95% current LASD parents living within the Egan attendance area.  Superintendent for Business – Randy Kenyon presented a very brief history of Prop 39 and BCS facilities since 2002. [Lalahpolitico: And judging by their later comments, most of the audience was woefully unfamiliar with the history.]

President Jessica Speiser reported that there were 42 comment cards about the 10-year facilities agreement. She allocated 2 minutes per public speaker. Only 3 people advocated for the deal as written. These were former LASD Trustee Sangeeth Peruri, citizen Natalie Elefant, and Jill Jene, a former 10th site task force member.

Egan Junior High, LASD School Board, Los Altos, 10-year facilities agreement, Randy Kenyon

LASD Superintendent for Business Randy Kenyon presented a short history of Prop 39 and facilities offers to Bullis Charter School, which launched in 2002-3.


What’s GOOD about the 10-year facilities agreement
from an LASD POV

  1. The 10-year facilities agreement has a cap on BCS enrollment at 1,111…as opposed to having no cap under Prop 39..a situation which would allow the school to grow even larger… to 1200 soon and 1800 somewhat later…based on the waiting lists.
  2. BCS has to stay split on Egan and Blach for up to six more years, sparing Loyola from having to share  30% of its common facilities – MPR, library, PE facilities – with some BCSers.
  3. BCS gets Egan facilities only ‘as is.’
  4. LASD’s cost of supplying interim facilities to BCS is minimized.  All new portables in the next few years can be placed on Egan right away where they will be long-term.  On Loyola the portables would become disposable.
  5. The LASD trustees and LASD staff don’t have to redraw any attendance areas!  Hurrah. If you are in second and third grade now at Santa Rita, Almond and Covington, when you get to 7th grade, you will still be with your Egan attendance area neighborhood group. Your new campus may be nearer or farther from where you live.

What’s BAD about the 10-year facilities agreement
from a prevalent South of El Camino LASD POV

  1. Students in the Egan attendance area have to ‘move’ to the Kohls 10th site  4 to 6 years from now.
  2. They will be on land worth ~$150 million in brand new state-of-the-art buildings, fields and a gym for another $75 million plus. [Lalahpolitico: boo hoo, so sad.]
  3. The neighbors there include major and minor retailers
  4. Instead of students residing the N. side of El Camino having to cross the busy thoroughfare, now it will be students on the S. side of El Camino that have to cross it. [Lalahpolitico: social justice?]
  5. There will be no mature redwood trees at the 10th site, only possibly dangerous homo sapiens.
  6. Some speakers said the 10th site was unfit for ANY TYPE OF SCHOOL – district k-6, district jr. high, nor BCS. They say don’t buy it.

Alternatives to the 10-year facilities agreement
as stated by public speakers

  1. Leave Egan alone, force BCS to the 10th site. Litigate as necessary
  2. Leave Egan alone, don’t buy the 10th site, close Covington and redraw that community into 3 other elementaries that need a boost in enrollment anyway. Give Covington to BCS.
  3. Let BCS have old Egan as it, don’t buy the 10th site. Close Covington elementary and build the $100M new junior high facility on Covington land. Move Egan to the Covington land.
  4. Leave Egan alone. Litigate the heck out of BCS, keep them just where they are split in what they’ve got now. Don’t give them more stuff.
  5. Wait for AB 1505 and 1506 to get modified to include the capping of enrollments. Right now the bills just cap the number of new charter schools allowed in California. So delay signing this 10 year facilities agreement by at least a year.
  6. Market the LASD product like crazy. The real problem is BCS growth.  So let’s stop it with marketing.  We can’t change the LASD product, but we can improve the marketing of it. Delay signing this proposal to allow a few years for the marketing push to work its magic.

IS THERE TRUSTEE SUPPORT OR NOT?

We can judge from the trustee remarks at the meeting on April 8, 2019 how they might vote on the 10-year facilities agreement at the end of the month April 29.  Here is a transcript lightly edited to remove repetitions and to heighten clarity. Insignificant remarks and false starts are denoted by an ellipsis …  Brackets are my comments for [clarity of meaning].

LASD, Los Altos School District, Jeff Baier, Steve Taglio, 10-year facilities agreement, Bullis Charter School

Right to Left… Trustee Steve Taglio on the right with Jeff Baier, LASD Superintendent, the night of April 8, 2019


TRANSCRIPT OF BOARD DISCUSSION


 

TRUSTEE STEVE TAGLIO

We’ve been at it for 18 months. We’ve had the chance to absorb options of what may or may not work.  A lot of things we’ve heard tonite we did consider. We looked at those options and we’re trying to figure out how to make those work within the parameters of what we have to work with. I did hear the passion about the 10-year facilities agreement.

Lots of people have mentioned changes in charter school law. So should we even enter intothis 10-year facilities agreement or should we delay moving forward?  But the unknown [uncertainty] of those laws coming to be is what motivates us to get some agreement in place. There are two bills in the legislature AB 1505 1506, To support those get the word up to your state legislator. The laws do not currently include a cap on student enrollments of charter schools. So for those like us who manage an existing charter school, getting that cap written into the laws would help us a lot. [The laws do include a cap on the number of new charter schools that may be created]. 

We are the unicorn in the system, we are unique in that we have high performing schools across the gamut of the district. Having a charter school woven into such a system is unique in California. …

We did consider delaying a decision on the 10-year facilities agreement. Unfortunately, the best Prop 39 offer [annual facility offer to a charter school] I can put in place could be challenged as ‘not reasonably equivalent.’

And the cost of doing that as an interim solution rather than this 10-year facilities agreement is not inexpensive.  So the money I am putting into temporary choices, delaying decisions will actually result in having less money to invest in district facilities. I hope you will think about this when you think about the proposed 10-year facilities agreement. 

Tonite we’ve heard a lot of you say go toe-to-toe, head-to-head [{in litigation and propaganda} against the charter]. When we first started talking [negotiations with charter] we heard exactly the opposite [from the community.] …Having survived the ten years prior to the [expired] 5-year agreement,  to avoid going back to that model [annual litigation and community disharmony] was something we were encouraged to do. So that’s what we are trying to do now with this 10-year facilities agreement…..

There are lots of other things you said that I need to absorb, I’ve been taking notes all night. I appreciate your thoughts tonight. 


Vladamir Ivanovich, LASD, Los Altos School District, LASD trustee, 10-year facilities agreement, BCS, Bullis Chart School, Egan Junior High, Egan

LASD Trustee Ivanovich had a lot to say about why he thinks signing the 10-year facilities agreement is a bad move. He spoke at the April 8, 2019 school board meeting.


TRANSCRIPTION Vladamir Ivanovich 

I gathered 57 different comments [from the public speakers] about the 10-year facilities agreement, most of which I agree with by the way. One of the speakers seemed to imply board members gave preference to their own school. I would like to put a stop to that idea.  In my 4/ 12 years I have never seen that. That’s not what we do. We think of all the schools. [lalah -why not think of all the students?]

I agree that teachers are the soul of our district. They are the ones in front of our kids and have a great impact. Building them housing is a great idea but we can do that independently of where we put BCS. 

We are not going to spend $100M on a new site. One of the reasons this particular site [Kohls 10th site ]  is so valuable to us is because we won’t spend $100M on it.

We’ll spend way less that – in the $30 to $40M range – and we are going to get a property [land] that is worth nearly $150M dollars. So it’s a good deal. And once again, that’s independent of where we put BCS. 

Some people talked about multiple alternative proposals to this 10-year facilities agreement.  There are digital tools that will allow the community to make suggestions and decisions on complicated topics. Not just sound bytes.  But we haven’t used that, and I think we should look at that more closely.

I think that two principle reasons are given for signing this 10-year facilities agreement. The first one is that we get an enrollment cap.  And the second one is it’s the best of bad alternatives. I think both of those are wrong. I think BCS can evade any enrollment cap we put into the 10-year facilities agreement because all they have to do is start another charter school. And they can either transfer some of their students to that other charter school, and they can backfill in the first school. And they don’t have to even transfer students. All they have to do is stop accepting students in a particular grade and tell them, ‘go over there to our associate school. 




Granted that starting a new charter school is not a trivial idea, nor it is certain.  We can look to Bullis Mountain View as an example of failure there. But I have a hard time believing a 6 to 8 grade mandarin immersion program wouldn’t get approved by the County Board of Education or the State, because we don’t serve those kids right now.  I think they could get approval for something like that and transfer their students there. 

LASD, 10-year ageement, Bullis Charter School, public input schedule

If you are a mature adult and don’t enjoy the scheduled parent mob scenes at the school sites, you might find these upcoming April 2019 Trustee Office Hours to your liking.

One counter-argument to the idea they can evade an enrollment cap is that they would never do that.  But in that counter-argument, it is up to them whether they decide to do the agreement or not.  I think that including an enrollment cap is wishful thinking. 

{Lalahpolitico:  Well during the now-expired 5-year agreement, BCS abided by the enrollment cap year by year as required! But hey LASD, Keep an eye on the folks who you are letting set up after school Mandarin immersion programs at all your k-6 schools. Maybe they will morph into an immersion charter school petitioner…totally independent of the BCS powers that be.}

Another argument against evading the cap is that the community would rise up and protest.  Well you are rising up and protesting right now. We don’t have to wait for that event to occur. Let’s rise up right now. 

The second major argument is that the alternatives are worse. And I agree that the alternatives to this 10-year facilities agreement are worse, but only if we don’t do anything about it. We have a lot of very intelligent people up here.  We have lawyers, we have planners, we have pr people, we have marketing people, we have people who work to curb BCS’s growth. That’s what is killing us BCS’s growth. And there are other things we could do.  We could improve our after-school programs. We could do more to celebrate our successes.  In the state legislature, as I’ve said before,  they could pass laws that limit charter school enrollment. We could highlight that BCS does not have a fair share of Spanish-speaking  English Language Learners, children with Special Needs, nor low-income kids.  We could hold their feet to the fire.  And MV Whisman did just that. It stopped that charter school.   

We don’t discriminate against these children. We educate them willingly. They are the most expensive children to educate. We spend a lot of time thinking about that. BCS doesn’t. 

And we can even try to litigate this thing. So let’s get to work on curbing BCS’s enrollment growth. And that’s basically the direction I think we should go.  

I want to make two additional comments.  This is not really a 10-year facilities agreement. This a forever agreement. Fast forward to 10 years from now. The agreement ends. What are we going to do? We are not going to kick them out.  There are 1200 students there at Egan. They have to stay there. And they are going to be able to stay there forever. We don’t have any place to move them. The written agreement says 10 years, but I believe it is actually forever. 

{Lalahpolitico:  Well yes, if BCS manages to continue to attract 1200 students year after year, and fills up all the enrollment slots there at Egan, the district is gonna leave them there at Egan.  Remember those will be a different set of 1100 to 1200 students that now.  And there will have been a couple of different board turnovers by them.  Only the tenured union teachers in LASD will be pretty much the SAME PEOPLE.  BCS has higher teacher turnover and IMHO that is a good thing. }

If BCS violates the agreement, we have an option of terminating the 10-year facilities agreement. But again. What are we gonna do with BCS? It’s an agreement that has no teeth. I just don’t see that it makes any sense.

As somebody has mentioned here, we are giving up Egan. And what exactly are we getting in return? If you look at the agreement, we are actually giving less than what BCS wanted.  They wanted 1200 students, but thy ‘graciously’ agreed to 1100. They wanted more portables, but ‘graciously’  agreed not to demand them all.  They wanted a longer term, but they ‘graciously’ agreed to 10 years.

So we end up giving up what somebody has called our crown jewel [Egan]. In return we just get to give less than what BCS wanted. 

{Lalahpolitico:  What BCS wanted is undoubtedly what the ‘reasonably equivalent’  calculations entitle them to.  They can and would litigate about getting less than that. They are agreeing to less than what they can argue they are entitled to. We are avoiding litigation! }

One thing I did not appreciate before tonight was the neighborhood school aspect of Egan. If it goes across El Camino, there is no neighborhood there. [ inaudible syllables.]

{Lalahpolitico: Say what? No neighborhood there? Opps, politically incorrect!}

So what should we do? I think we should wait a year before signing it. { Some of the audience murmurs loudly, Yeeeessss. And then much of the audience breaks into loud clapping and cheering.  Board President asks the audience to settle down. }

This 10-year facilities agreement freezes a very unfavorable environment for ten years. Should we do that when there is a possibility that the law will change?  I think we should offer BCS two sites – take it or leave it – [audience clapping and cheering drowns out Vladamir.}

And if they decline that offer as I expect they will, let us use the resources of our fabulous parent community and drive BCS enrollment down. Because that is the real problem. 

{More clapping and cheering}

Lalahpoltico:  I guess Vladamir is a NO vote later this month!   


Egan Junior High, LASD Trustees, Sirkay Shali, Jessica Speiser, Bryan Johnson, Los Altos, Los Altos School District

Left to right, LASD Trustee Sirkay Shali, President Jessica Speiser, Trustee Bryan Johnson. Speiser and Johnson were the ‘mediated’ negotiating reps behind the proposed 10-year facilities agreement with BCS, Bullis Charter School. Ms. Shali is the newest board member with four months service so far.


TRANSCRIPTION – SIRKAY SHALI

I want to thank Jessica and Bryan – our mediation team. I know it wasn’t easy or pleasant. Thank you for your work on this proposed 10-year facilities agreement.  I am so sorry that our community is going through such a traumatizing time. And believe me, I am there with you guys.  I am only four months old at this job. Not too long ago I was sitting in the audience with you. And it’s not better sitting up here. It hurts as much as when I was sitting out there. I hear the anguish and the heart behind your anger. I have a lot of that my self. I have read all the email you sent me. I am not always able to answer. 

But I am happy to meet with you one-on-one. So please send me an email. 

This is a very difficult challenge. And it’s complicated by all the parameters the board has to work within. Not the least of which is charter school law. And I agree with my colleague about supporting the new bills that are in the legislature right now.  I’ve spoken to a few of our local representatives and they’ve heard you. And they are getting your email.

I’ve spoken to a  few of the people at the County Board of Education and they are getting your calls and emails. Keep the pressure up on them. They are the only ones who can enforce anything with BCS. And they are choosing not to. And we have to bear the brunt of their inaction.  The people I know up there are good people, but they really need to have more pressure put on them to oversee BCS. 

So for me capping BCS enrollment growth is a top priority. We’ve heard that over and over again tonight.  I understand that this 10-year facilities agreement is really a hard deal to swallow, but it does give us a cap. If we don’t do this and instead go to prop 39, we don’t get a cap. If we wait a year and see if that legislation gets done, we till don’t get a cap.  They can grow this year and they can grow next year. We have no choice. We cannot enforce a cap on them. 




Why 10 years? Someone said ten years is not long enough.  I am personally not comfortable with anything longer than 10 years. Let’s put BCS in the context of our surrounding community and what is happening in the Bay Area.  I know a lot of you may have friends in Redwood City.  There are schools closing in Redwood City. I do not want to see that happening in Los Altos. 

Being able to move Egan to another site is one way to mitigating…to keep us from having to close Egan. But besides that, a lot of you have talked about having to educated low-SES and Special Needs kids. This is why I am comfortable with 10 years and not anything longer. I am going to watch BCS and I hope you all watch BCS.  I want to see how well they uphold educating all of our kids. Because all means all. And given the debacle in Mountain View, I’m not sure what they are going to do.  {Lalahpolitico: I guess she means the new charter in MVWhisman District –  BullisMV – is not happening and then….so what?}

That’s all I have to say for now about the 10-year facilities agreement.  I do encourage you to reach out and set up a meeting with me one-on-one.


LASD, Los Altos School District, Trustee, Bryan Johnson

LASD Bryan Johnson at the April 8, 2019 board meeting.


TRANSCRIPTION BRYAN JOHNSON

My primary feeling right now is emotional exhaustion. I’m probably not the only one in this room. We’ve been struggling with this for a long time. Part of what makes it so hard is that there are so many contradictions in what we are trying to do here. Right? 

We want to keep the status quo and keep them on Blach and Egan. But we want the traffic nightmare that is Portola to not be there for the rest of our lives.  But those things are attached. 

I hear the calls for transparency and why this 10-year facilities agreement was done confidentially. We can’t under the rules say anything about was discussed during mediation, but I think I can say that I agree if it had been our choice, it might not have been our preferred mechanism. You can only have discussions if you can get the other side to the table. 

{Lalahpolitico:  In the past when the two sides tried to negotiate in open meetings held in Los Altos Hills and mediated by Gary Waldeck,  that was a disaster IMHO. See link here. }

I think it is a testament to [ex Egan] Principal Dyckman and the teachers at Egan – if they are still here in the MPR –  how great they are.  They are so beloved by this community.  I have faith they could do an equally great job in whatever building they were FORCED to teach out of…I’m tired my choice of words is not the best, I’m sorry .. whatever building you NEED to teach out of.  

I do have a child at Egan. I am on the campus all the time, It kills me to look at the mature redwood trees, and think about walking away from them. We’re not considering this 10-year facilities agreement because we want to consider this.  I think Shali talked a little about the short term vs. the long term so I won’t repeat that.  

I think there are a lot of questions about traffic flows, population.  We are going to come back and consider this a couple more times [at board meetings] before we make a decision [April 29].  Jeff and Randy, I would love to see data about where Egan students live, going where.  I think some people who I hear dismiss the neighborhoods across El Camino as not real neighborhoods and that they are totally unfit for children are making some of the same category mistakes as the charter school is making.

And so as we’ve said, we’ve considered all the kids — there are more than a school’s worth of kids who live on that side —  and we need to accommodate them right? And absent BCS, the 10th site would best be used as an elementary school for those kids. But we have BCS. And we have to make tough choices. 

I hear the fear of disruption from the 10-year facilities agreement. I fear it as well. I agree with Steve and Vladamir that the feedback we got before was the number one priority was to not to shut down a neighborhood school. In my mind that was a neighborhood elementary school.  Even though I live in the Egan neighborhood, it was not in the same category. Perhaps my mistake.

Clearly I do understand the feeling in this room that they do consider Egan junion high a neighborhood school. And that is something we are going to have to factor in. 

But here’s the question.  BCS by 2019 is going to enroll 20 % of public school kids in our district.  So when I am thinking about this…as I put up the slide where we have school visits…I feel there is an inflection point here..whether BCS is going to be a charter school or a charter school district. Are they going to be a school or a school district? So you may not know that the head of their school has had the title Superintendent from day one.

As the president of their BCS board has said, they should be able to enroll anyone they want. And there must be a large faction on the BCS board who agree with that given their continued growth and unwillingness to stick with the status quo of the last 5 years. [max 900 students].  So what I struggle with is that I don’t see a way to give them a single school site without closing one of our schools. And that’s the last think I want to do. 

The 10th site would have been a great solution IF we could have done it last year.  {Lalahpolitco: Ummm, If you already had it built and ready LAST school year! } when they were still small enough to fit. But they are not.  So we either have to give them a single school site or we have to put them across the district.  And putting them across the district, my big fear is that putting them across the district turns them into a school district.

And our [LASD] administrators and teachers, the time they should spend educating our children, will be spent trying to coordinate use of MPR schedules, library schedules, school bell schedules, sharing campuses, and competing head to head for enrollment  {LosAltosPolitico: competing right in the same cherished neighborhood!}  It is not fair. They shouldn’t be able to do it.  We are trying to take away their ability to do it.  But that is what we are facing in the short term. That is why this is so hard. 

Even though Jessica and I have brought this 10-year facilities agreement to the board, we did so because we thought it was worth considering. I haven’t decided yet whether we should go through with this 10-year facilities agreement.  What I haven’t found yet is an option that I am sure will do less damage to the district in the short term and the long term.


Los Altos School District, Jessica Speiser, Bullis Charter School, Los Altos

LASD Board of Trustees President, Jessica Speiser at the April 8, 2019 board meeting.


JESSICA SPEISER – TRANSCRIPTION

I will end up repeating some of what the other trustees said, but I won’t do that so very much. The way I deal with making public comment as a board member is that I chew on it a while. And I am going to chew on it for a while.

But just like Bryan said, while we brought this 10-year facilities agreement to the board as a solution that was in the interest of the district, my decision is not 100% made. I’ve listened to everything you said. I’ve been taking furious notes. And I’ll be chewing on them. We are not making a decision tonight. …. I plan to be at all the school site forums [that are scheduled over the next two weeks.]

Under prop 39,  BCS thinks its reasonable equivalence is 20 acres. So for a Prop 39 facilities offer – which we would fall back on if there is no 10-year agreement – it would require SIGNIFICANT amounts of sharing at Egan and Blach and Loyola.  That’s 50% [of the school day] for PE , library and computer lab at Egan,  and common spaces.  The same at Blach.  At Loyola it would be 30%.  That is significantly more sharing that they have now. { The BCS sharing level was FIXED for something like 600 students at the beginning of the 5-year term }.

Sharing not only means less time for our kids, but more time spent by our administrators and teachers on more work. 

Having 10 schools on 10 campuses long term, allows everyone to go back to focusing on what they do best – offering a great education. 

Without an enrollment cap, BCS unilaterally grew 200 in-district students. If they can continue to grow without an enrollment cap they have promised to grow to 1200 in the near term and at least 1800 longer term.  Barring a change in the charter law, the only way LASD can control BCS is through a negotiated agreement. 

Saying that, we need charter law to change. It is 100% not in our favor. I like everybody’s passion about that. And we will too.  

And the thing is Egan would be getting a brand new campus, with a brand new buildings, brand new field , and a brand new gym.

The new Egan facility will have much better facilities than it currently does and BCS will be left with using Egan facilities as is.

What I do like the most about this is we will finally be able to offer our wonderful teachers affordable housing. Many of our teachers live nowhere near Los Altos and have to go through hours of travel time to get to and from work. We all know intimately the cost of housing in Los Altos and Silicon Valley has gotten out of control. 

To ensure we can hire and retain great teachers, the ability to offer affordable housing is a must…Honestly, I do love your passion for your schools.  I have that same passion for my school. But I want you to know I am a Covington parent. And I have considered Covington as part of that solution. I have not gone into this because I wanted to save Covington, but because I want to save the entire school district. I want our entire school district to survive into the future. I moved here because I loved the Los Altos School District. All the school, not the one school my kids go to. Thank you very much. 

LASD, Los Altos, April 8, 2019 Los Altos School Board Meeting

The April 8, 2019 meeting is over. Former Trustee Sangeeth Peruri can be seen in the approximate center. He stayed for the whole thing!


LOS ALTOS POLITICO BOTTOM LINE

We’ve been here before. In 2012-13 Doug Smith was pitching a proposal that would have ended the BCS-LASD conflict by giving one elementary school site to the then small BCS — about 500 students at the time I think. Smith’s meeting was in exactly the same Covington MPR as used now on the eveneing of April 8, 2019.  That 2012-13 tentative agreement was ill-fated.

Back in 2012-13, the MPR was just as full, but with different parents of course.  Doug Smith seemed to sincerely think the community might accept the proposal!

Of course what happened at that 2012-13 meeting is that scores if not hundreds of parents from the four targeted k-6 elementary schools showed up to say, ‘No, not my school.  Not any school… in solidarity with all!”

And of course, over a couple of weeks, Doug Smith was convinced he must have been inhaling some kind of BCS negotiation LSD fumes. He regained his senses. And that deal never happened. The District went on to some more fraught and expensive Prop 39 negotiations and lawsuits {beyond my pay grade or interest to recapitulate that!}.

Thanks to the cease-fire of the now expired 5-year agreement, there are young families here in Los Altos who knew nothing of the old BCS-LASD struggles.  Young BCS and District families have been happily socializing together in sports leagues, the scouts, etc.

Sadly, our local community harmony is disappearing fast.

But now you can hear the loud calls for litigation and ‘going toe-to-toe’ from some LASD board members and too many parents.  You can hear the repetition of the old them vs. us propaganda furnished by the unions.  “BCS is full of rich people, takes your tax money away from YOUR real LASD public school kid, and BCS evades the responsibility of teaching poor, non-English speaking, and disabled kids. Who knows how many of out-of-district kids they are harboring? Etc.”


Lalahpolitico: Trigger warning – Union bashing coming up. What BCS does is reduce the number of tenured CTA jobs in LASD. The CTA is about preserving and increasing “decent, secure” union jobs…”protecting workers”…unite brothers and sisters against organizations that are required to make a “profit.” If you really look at the goals of SEIU and other unions it’s about the workers, not the product&services, not the customers, and not the kids.

BCS has to follow most State Board of Education requirements, but somewhat less of them. It does not have to follow any BIG LABOR union rules.  In particular, BCS requires an 8 hour day on site – which are the hours you probably put in at your private sector job.

The current lobbying in Sacramento for AB 1505 on 1506 to forbid the formation of more charter schools – even parent led ones like BCS –  is funded by CTA and other BIG LABOR. The lobbying for more and more “oversight” is intended to make charters as burdened by bureaucracy as our public school districts.

The solution is to LIBERATE OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS from excess bureaucracy with our votes, not to hobble or ban charters. 

 


LASD, Los Altos School District, Bullis Charter School, 10-year agreement, schedule

If you are a parent at LASD or Bullis Charter, you may find these school site forums informative and cathartic. The schedule for the Covington Board Office location is toward the top of this post.


RESOURCES:

A. Presentation – Proposed 2019 Agreement with BCS

B. LASD/BCS Proposed 2019 Agreement complete document

10th Site Task Force – 2018 Use Recommendations and background

City of MV Abe-Koga Option to Move Egan to 10th Site

2013 Agreement Falls Apart

Task Force Predictably Chooses Charter School for Kohls 10th Site

 

 

And below one from the vaults…way back machine 2012-2013

Bullis Charter School LASD Agreement – Big Cracks Appearing

 

 

 

 

 

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 became fascinated with the business of local politics only in the past several years.