at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 08:46by LASD Parent
|Candidates raise funds for city/school races: City and LASD campaigns release finance reports|
|Written by Town Crier Staff Report|
|Wednesday, 17 October 2012|
The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters last week released campaign finance reports for candidates running for office in the Nov. 6 election.
All candidates reported monetary and nonmonetary contributions, as well as their top five campaign donors through Sept. 30.
Los Altos City Council race
• Jon Baer is the lone candidate who has not loaned personal money to his campaign. Baer reported $12,948.40 in total contributions, including $8,894 in cash donations. Baer’s top five contributors: Donna Shoemaker ($2,500), the California Real Estate Political Action Committee ($1,000), Councilman Ron Packard ($500) and his brothers Lon Packard ($500) and Von Packard ($500).
• Jeannie Bruins reported a total of $7,932 in total contributions, which includes a $2,000 loan she made to her campaign and $4,746 in monetary contributions. Bruins’ top five contributors: the California Real Estate Political Action Committee ($1,000), Los Altos venture capitalist Richard Magnuson ($1,000), Barry Bruins ($350), John Elms ($250) and Los Altos residents Gary Hedden and Dennis Young ($200 each).
• Anabel Pelham listed a total of $8,436 in contributions, including a $3,100 loan she made to the campaign. Pelham lists $5,336 in cash and nothing in nonmonetary contributions. Pelham’s top five contributors: Los Altos residents Abby King ($500), Claudia Coleman ($250) and Jim McCabe of Eldercare Resources ($250). Los Altos residents Robert Lee and Gary Hedden, as well as Sunnyvale resident JoAnna Schmid and Washington, D.C., resident James Appleby each made contributions of $200 to her campaign.
• Jan Pepper raised the most cash among the candidates, $9,147, towards a total of $15,737 funds raised. Pepper loaned her campaign $4,000, while receiving $2,590.37 in nonmonetary contributions. Pepper’s top five contributors: Los Altos resident Cathy Lazarus ($750), Democratic Activists for Women Now ($400) and entrepreneur Gary Kremmen ($350). Pepper lists seven cash contributions of $250 from Los Altos residents Janet Harding, Claudia Coleman, Emily Thurber, Jeff Byron and Patricia Castro, as well as Sunnyvale resident Dianne McKenna and San Jose resident Donald Pepper.
• Megan Satterlee, the race’s lone incumbent, listed $18,914.40 in total contributions, including a $10,182 loan she made to her campaign. Satterlee raised $7,566.95 in cash and received $1,165.45 in nonmonetary contributions. Satterlee’s top five contributors: Councilman Ron Packard ($1,000), the California Real Estate Political Action Committee ($1,000) and Los Altos Mayor Val Carpenter ($660.95). Satterlee received three $500 contributions from Lon Packard, Von Packard and Palo Alto resident Mark Beckstead.
• Jerry Sorensen raised the least in cash among the six candidates with $4,072. Sorensen reported $14,697 in total contributions, which includes a $7,000 loan from his family trust to his campaign and $3,625 in nonmonetary donations. Sorensen’s top contributors: Los Altos resident David Auerbach ($1,000), former Los Altos Mayor/Councilman Bob Grimm ($500), Dennis Brown ($500), Los Altos Hills resident Diana Huffman ($500), and East Palo Alto resident Michael Connor and Los Altos attorney Alexander Myers ($250 each).
Los Altos School District Board of Trustees race
• Amanda Burke-Aaronson reported the most funds among the four candidates, with $10,916. She raised $9,916 in monetary donations and loaned her campaign $1,000. Burke-Aaronson’s top contributors: Los Altos resident Susan Berry ($1,000) and 10 donations of $500 from Christine DiBona, Buffy Poon, Lenora Teng, Susan Goldman, Kathleen Justice-Moore, Joan Mellea, incoming Los Altos Hills Councilwoman Courtenay Corrigan, Donna Young, Bullis Charter School board member Anne Marie Gallagher and David Beyer.
• Vladimir Ivanovic raised a total of $525. He loaned himself $150, received a $500 donation from Los Altos Hills resident Heather Rose and donated $25 to his campaign.
• Pablo Luther raised a total of $5,200. He loaned himself $2,000 for the campaign and contributed $2,000 in nonmonetary contributions. He received $1,200 in cash donations, with $1,000 coming from campaign financial manager and former Los Altos Mayor Bob Grimm.
• Steve Taglio raised a total of approximately $4,000. He self-funded his campaign with no outside cash donations.
Editor's Note: This article was corrected to remove inaccurate information. It mischaracterized one donor.
1"Amanda will destroy LASD"
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 08:46by LASD Parent
She is clearly beholden to BCS interests. Thank you to the LATC for shedding some light on this. I will be voting for Luther and Taglio.
2"Amanda - community healer"
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 10:23by Fact checker
Please check your facts on the wife of Ken Moore. Your report is not correct.
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 10:25by Eliza Ridgeway (editor)
Fact Checker, you are right. Thank you for pointing it out. I have corrected the story and noted the change at the bottom of the article. A correction will also run in the print edition.
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 11:20by Luther-Taglio for LASD
Amanda Burke Aaronson is a mother of three daughters who attend Bullis Charter School.
She has received more donations (almost all from Bullis Charter School parents) and is spending more on her campaign, than all the other three candidates combined!!
Yet, if this BCS parent is elected to the LASD board she "promises" to be fair and to not vote just in the best interests of her BCS children, her BCS friends, and BCS supporters.
That doesn't make sense that anyone would believe she would vote against the best interests of her kids!
We should not place Amanda in a position where she would need to choose between the best interests of her own children, friends, and charter school; and the best interests of the 4500 LASD kids.
I believe the Town Crier has misplaced its endorsement in its desire to end the BCS/LASD dispute at any cost.
Placing a BCS parent on the LASD board would be a disaster for LASD and the community's schools.
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 11:18by Background check
Kathleen Justice-Moore is an attorney who serves as Trustee of Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and is a strong Bullis Charter School supporter.
6"Shame on Amanda"
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 11:51by LASD Parent
I am outraged that Amanda Burke-Aaronson refused to identify her campaign donors when the question came up during the candidate forums a couple of weeks ago. We all see now who is providing the money behind her candidacy. She is bought and paid for by BCS constituents. Please don't tell me that she is independent or objective. This is downright shameful!
7"Vetting Aaronson's Donors"
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 12:21by Checking it out
$500 Courtney Corrigan Los Altos Hills Town Council; "No on E" ballot argument author; BCS
$500 Leonora Teng BCS Foundation Board; BCS Finance Committee
$500 Kathleen Justice-Moore Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation Board, BCS
$500 Joan Mellea BCS Enrollment Coordinator
$500 Christine DiBona BCS Director of Community Affairs
$500 Anne Marie Gallagher BCS Board
$500 Donna Young Bullis Boosters (PTO) Chair
$200 Tanya Radowicz Co-chair, BCS Foundation
$200 Gilbert Ahrens BCS Foundation Board; BCS Investment Committee
$200 Katia Kamangar former BCS Board member
$125 David Jaques Secretary, BCS Foundation Board; BCS
$1000 Susan Berry
$500 David Beyer
$500 Buffy Poon
$500 Susan Goldman
$300 Millie Gong
$200 Nadja Jackson
$250 Susan Mensinger
$100 Peter Chow
$100 Michelle Blaine
$100 Marita Vargas
$100 Martha McClatchie
$100 Victoria Burton Burke
$100 Linda May
North El Camino
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 12:19by LASD taxpayer
Why is it so bad that Amanda is a BCS parent? The other candidates are LASD parents - isn't that a conflict of interest as well? Since BCS has over 10% of the district's kids, they should have a representative on the LASD board, in principle. Amanda isn't running as a BCS rep, but as a concerned parent who would like to bring about healing and dialog. I don't hear that from the other candidates. They want to maintain the rancor.
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 12:28by Amanda Burke-Aaronson
Correction, at the League of Women Voters forum I stated that I was fine with identifying my donors. At the time of the forum I didn't have very many, and I did not know who they were. Is it a big surprise that parents at my children's school are my friends? Is it a big surprise that my friends support me?
As for what is in the best interest of my children, yes, I will act in their best interest, because solving the facilities issue with the needs of all 5000 district children balanced fairly, and ending the animosity/rebuilding the community, IS what is in their best interest.
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 12:53by Let's be truthful
Does anyone know how much money was spent by PACs supporitng Luther and Taglio. The Teachers' Union and Hutts have both produced glossy flyers/mailers and run expensive ads. My guess is that if you totaled up the dollars spent by others on behalf of Luther and Taglio, it would exceed the amount raised by Aaronson-Burke. She is just more honest about it and files with the FPPC. For Taglio and Luther to claim they are self funded is a joke -- they are funded by PACs who have an interest in keeping the status quo. I think we can all agree that the status quo is not working.
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 12:54by Luther: time to be honest
Has Pablo Luther yet disclosed his business relationship with Mark Goines? They are two of three listed Managing Members of Marymount Vera Apartments LLC. which appears to own a large, multi-story apartment building in Redwood City.
That Luther has an economic interest with Goines is highly relevant. WHy hasn't he been upfront about it? Possibly because it would be a negative in his campaign? Is that the kind of person who can help heal this community?
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 15:29by Jon
It's interesting that the city leaders have all endorsed Amanda Burke-Aaronson and none of the other candidates. I find that very telling. They have certainly earned her trust.
And if LASD is following the law and sharing resources equitably with BCS, how is that a conflict of interest for Amanda? Unless you are arguing for LASD to break the law, there is NO conflict of interest here.
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 16:41by Shame on Doug Smith
Doug Smith still claims on his blog that he has two kids at LASD schools when in fact one of his kids attends, gasp!, a private school. He seems to have plenty of time to offer commentary on many things so one presumes he could easily update his blog. Oh, maybe he does need to be honest.
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 17:06by Christy
It appears that none of the candidates have many LASD supporters financially. Doesn't seem fair to ding Amanda for not having any when the other candidates do not either.
15"Why it Matters"
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 19:18by Another LASD Taxpayer
LASD has no governance over the kids in BCS - it only provides facilities.
So it would be quite 'strange' to have a board member who chooses to send her children to a non-district school make important decisions for those district schools such as their curriculum, special ed programs and grade configuration. This is after all the main business the district needs to get back to.
Its hard to imagine that she would not be focused mostly on the facilities side which would directly affect her children and those who financed her campaign. Making decisions on closing/moving schools only from a facilities point of view to accommodate a charter school which chooses to grow too large for its site when it knows there is no other free site to use is one way to go...
16"To Why It matters"
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 23:11by Jon
Then don't vote for her... what you fail to realize though is that there are many in this community that not only think she can be objective having experienced both LASD and BCS, but hope that she can bring some of what's so great about BCS to LASD. You might say it's also strange for Pablo Luther to be running when he has no children in the schools? How can he make decisions about curriculum. His children went to private schools as well as public schools.
I think LASD's relationship with Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and MV has deteriorated so badly, that the status quo will be a huge issue.
Amanda has the endorsement of all these city leaders. The others do not have that endorsement.
17"LASD is doing very well"
at Thursday, 18 October 2012 09:06by LASD Parent
I love all these comments from BCS parents who complain that "the status quo is not working". I feel that I must vigorously disagree. Our school district has had a huge influx of diversity in foreign languages, racial and ethnic makeup, family income, special needs, etc. and continues to maintain its position as one of the top 2-3 school districts in the entire state. LASD schools are doing a fantastic job of educating our children. New and exciting programs are being introduced. After school and enrichment activities are plentiful. School spirit and sense of community are high. So, BCS parents, the status quo for LASD is actually quite good. If BCS would work with the school district instead of filing lawsuits every year and making public demands to close an existing high performing neighborhood school, then things would be great.
at Thursday, 18 October 2012 09:06by No way Amanda
My vote is for Luther and Taglio. They represent the best interests of LASD families and the broader Los Altos community. Amanda does not!
Like other posters on this board, i think BCS should appoint Amanda to their board. I think BCS's relationship with Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and MV has deteriorated so badly that the status quo will be a huge issue. Amanda has the endorsement of all these city leaders.
19"Vote for Amanda!"
at Thursday, 18 October 2012 14:29by The community has spoken
-Based on the above comments, many LASD folks seem to feel that the public system is theirs and theirs alone, never mind the fact that BCS students are public school students that by law need to receive fair and equitable funding and facilities through the LASD system.
-Amanda has way more supporters and endorsers willing to put their names and financial support behind her candidacy - the existing Mayors of MV and LA, the incoming mayor of LAH, and many many other community leaders.
-the fact that Luther and Taglio have the support of LASD Voices and Huttlinger and NO ONE ELSE shows what a narrow band of support they have. Do we really want the Huttlinger PAC money, nameless, undisclosed, and probably from outside our community, influencing our elections and likely going to support LASD's lawsuits? Voting for Taglio and Luther is going to keep escalating the fight between LASD and BCS. Is that what the community wants? More lawsuits?
-Vote for peace. Vote for Amanda!
20"The Status Quo"
at Thursday, 18 October 2012 14:29by John Radford
Lets so talk about the status quo and whether it can keep working
There is certainly a very large group of LASD parents that favor this. As long as the LASD Board does not shut down their own school they are willing to support the Board including acting in bad faith, continuing to make marginal legal or illegal facilities offers and spending lots of money fighting BCS.
Unfortunately, a number of other LASD parents have decided they prefer the education at BCS and are voting with their feet to leave LASD.
The LASD's current plan involves creating a growth committee leading up to a June 2014 potential bond measure. If it passes and they can find suitable land, they could possibly have a 10th site ready to go by the 2015-2016 school year.
Does anyone want to go through three more school years in this state? Do LASD parents believe the status quo of fighting BCS, a school growing with LASD parents is the only option available.
My vote is to get the two boards back talking
21"Why not BCS Board?"
at Thursday, 18 October 2012 14:30by Good point
With all the support that Ms. Aaronson has from the BCS leadership and community, she should absolutely be appointed to the BCS board, especially if she fails to win the LASD board.
Surely, if she is a good candidate for a LASD, she'd be an even better candidate for BCS board.
22"to why not bcs board"
at Thursday, 18 October 2012 17:22by MV Resident
She probably would be good on the BCS board... but her goal is to impact the LARGER community. As a MV resident, I'm thrilled to have a Mountain View resident to vote for. I think she will be a huge asset to the LASD board. Nice to see that she has so much support from city leaders.
23"talking is a good idea"
at Thursday, 18 October 2012 20:05by ready for change
I agree that talking is a good idea and I appreciate Mr. Radford's willingness to advocate for a solution. LASD seems to be entrenching further in their position of giving no ground, Doug Smith's blog celebrates the recent court filing, which is an attack on BCS's very existance as a school, both Luther and Taglio have taken positions stating they believe in a limited timeframe for BCS, meaning if you believe in public school choice these are not your candidates. They are LASD insiders who will most likely continue the policies of acting in bad faith, litigation, and stirring up the community because those tactics are easier than facing their legal obligations and doing what is right. If you believe in dialogue and coming together, these two, Luther and Taglio, will only get you more of the same pot stirring and litigation. Haven't we had enough of that already? Let's try something new, our community leaders are ready for change. We should be too.
24"Abuse of Power"
at Monday, 22 October 2012 09:13by Los Altan
Is Val Carpenter's endorsement something to brag about? Read more about our illustrious mayor and abuse of power.
25"BCS is part of LASD"
at Friday, 19 October 2012 23:09by wake up &smell the coffee
The BCS parents pay all the same taxes as other LASD property owners. What's too bad is that LASD ignores the interests of the taxpayers. It's not true that spending money for the sake of doing so improves education. The board should take more viewpoints from concerns citizens and not just parents. It should hold a vote to renew the Gann limit expansion for its parcel tax. It is required every 4 years, and LASD's parcel tax "permanent" authorization refers to the Gann limit votes being required as well. LASD is sloppy with bond proposals and spends money like water. Parents shouldn't feel they are entitled to ride roughshod over the economic interests of the taxpayers. Amanda is the only candidate who has indicated there is a good chance a 10th school site is not needed. No one else is open to the possibility since they got Vladimir to pull out.
at Friday, 19 October 2012 23:10by To: Ready for change
You said you appreciated Mr. Radford's wilingness to advocate for a solution.
But it is hardly surprising or noteworthy that a Los Altos councilman and long time BCS supporter wants to elect a BCS mother of three (Amanda Burke Aaronson) to the LASD board and encourage her to close down a LASD school and give it to the Bullis Charter School.
Just to be clear, LAH receives an admissions preference to BCS.
Mr. Radford said above:
As long as the LASD Board does not shut down their own school their parents are willing to support the Board including acting in bad faith.
Let's not be in such a hurry to shut down and evict LASD families from their neighborhood school. BCS was founded when their school was shut down and now they want to do it to someone else!!
The LASD offer of K-6 and 7-8 at different campuses is what all other kids in the district live with. So this should be reasonably equivalent with no special treatment for BCS.
at Saturday, 20 October 2012 22:53by Correction
Should be Los Altos Hills councilman, not Los Altos councilman.
at Sunday, 21 October 2012 18:43by Correction
Ms. Burke-Aaronson is on record for NOT being in support of closing an LASD school. Your comments imply she wants to close a school which is just plain WRONG.
More misinformation being spread... this community is just toxic.
29"Ready for Change"
at Monday, 22 October 2012 09:04by John Radford
It is a shame people are allowed to say whatever they want in these comments whether they are true or not.
Im not aware of Amanda advocating to close a school and I have certainly not encouraged her to do so
at Monday, 22 October 2012 09:13by Too many conflicts of int
Yes, despite the fact that her three daughters attend the Bullis Charter School, and all of her financial support comes from BCS Supporters:
Ms. Burke-Aaronson "promises" she will not vote unduly in favor of BCS's best interests, and she "promises" to vote against the best interests of her children at BCS, and "promises" she will only vote in the best interests of LASD and the community...
The problem is that it doesn't make sense!!
Voters should not put her in a position where she would need to vote either against the interests of the LASD community she is elected to represent, OR against the interests of her own three children at the Charter School.
It is better to just elect representatives to the LASD board who have the best interests of LASD at heart, with no built in severe conflicts of interests.
If Amanda is not going to vote to favor BCS on all issues, why are all of her supporters BCS parents and board members, and no LASD parents?
31"Cram Em & Slam Em"
at Monday, 22 October 2012 09:14by Joan J. Strong
If you think it's fishy that a bunch of super-rich (see: donors of the ABA campaign) are suddenly terrified of their property tax going up by a few hundred dollars a year, then you'd be right. There's a hidden agenda at work here.
"Breaking the 600 barrier" is code for, "load up other campuses so we can close one of them and hand it to BCS". A strategy many call, "cram em and slam em".
BCS should curtail its enrollment to siblings only until a new campus is built. This will hurt nobody and will end this crisis. Every other solution proposed puts our top-ranked school status at risk, which is worth billions of dollars in lost home values--a minute fraction of the cost of a new school campus.
If the BCS board remains unmoved, LASD should consider an LASD-run magnet school targeted specifically at current BCS students in order to eliminate demand for the entity currently controlled by the unelected board.
at Monday, 22 October 2012 09:14by Mountain View parent
Amanda has said she doesn't want to close a school, she just wants to move an entire school community to another location. How deceptive. She has also said "neighborhood schools are discriminatory." Her views will destroy our community. To protect our schools and neighborhoods, Vote for Luther and Taglio.
at Monday, 22 October 2012 16:01by wake up &smell the coffee
This last comment is just flat wrong. Amanda talked about a lot of options. For example one of them was to move the district offices away from Covington and place both BCS and Covington on that 14 acre campus, also making arrangements for the schools to get access to the adjacent city owned Rosita Park during the day time. That does not involve moving any schools. Just the fat cat district offices..... Of course that was just one option. Do you think the existing bureaucracy will back that option?
34"Above idea is old"
at Tuesday, 23 October 2012 08:33by Joan J. Strong
The "existing bureaucracy" suggested sharing Covington last year, including ditching their "fat cat" District offices which they clearly could care less about.
On an ironic note, some of the BCS "constituency" comes from upset citizens of the Crossings neighborhood who were moved from Santa Rita to Covington. Many (most?) immediately applied to BCS which is the closest school to that area in protest. Now they may need to drive to Covington anyhow.
What Amanda thinks doesn't matter. What the BCS board wants is "exclusive use" (a direct quote from the chairman) of a stand-alone campus. The same BCS chairman could expel Amanada's children from their school if he felt like it, disrupting their lives.
This job is about stopping the BCS board from ruining our school district, nothing more.
35"BCS board meeting live bl"
at Wednesday, 24 October 2012 08:50by wake up &smell the coffee
They were talking about making use of 2 different sites when they expand to 900 students. Also they implied they'd be sharing the sites. When Covington was up for sharing last minute last year, the conversation did not involve relocating the district offices or using Rosita Park. There was no planning done for that sharing option. It was brought up right before an offer needed to be made. BCS has students from all over LASD and Covington is fairly centrally located..... not a bad spot. Close for some students and further for others. It's different when you are not pretending to be a 'neighborood' school.
at Wednesday, 24 October 2012 08:50by To Wake Up and Mr Radford
To Wake up and smell the coffee:
Amanda is OBVIOUSLY planning to close a LASD school and give to BCS.
Her red herring idea of sharing Covington was specifically REJECTED in April by the BCS board, please see the 4/4/12 Town Crier article, Charter Cold to Egan-Blach:
"Moore, speaking for the charter school point of view in an interview, also wasn’t a fan of the super-campus split and said the charter school instead seeks “exclusive use” of Covington, Gardner Bullis, Santa Rita or Almond, or a newly constructed campus."
And to Mr Radford:
I'm sure you realize that a BCS mother of three daughters Amanda Burke Aaronson will be highly motivated to close a LASD school and give it to BCS where it would benefit her children, her friends, all of her campaign supporters at BCS. No matter her claims.
Some "campaign promises" are difficult to spot, but others like this are obvious conflicts of interests.
A BCS parent on the LASD board is trouble if you care about
at Wednesday, 24 October 2012 13:12by wake up &smell the coffee
The reason given by BCS for not liking the sharing of Covington was that it restricted their future growth. We seem to be past that now. Nothing can stop them from growing now. When they get ti be 900 in size they have already discussed being located on 2 different campuses. Covington would only work for about 600. The next increment of growth would have to involve space at another campus. Times change. Never say never as they say.
38"To Wake Up"
at Wednesday, 24 October 2012 13:14by John Radford
No I dont believe Amanda is going to be highly motivated to close a LASD school. BTW she would be only one vote out of five
Why Im supporting her is because I believe the LASD board has become very polarized against BCS and the timetable of a growth study for a June 2014 Bond Measure vote is too long to wait to start talking with BCS again. Hopefully Amanda can shift the thinking a bit and open up discussions for a number of solutions
at Wednesday, 24 October 2012 14:19by LASD Parent
> "the LASD board has become very polarized against BCS"
No wonder. BCS keeps suing them. You'd be polarized too.
How can LASD defend itself fairly against these lawsuits if Amanda is leaking LASD litigation strategy to her BCS friends? The BCS leadership knows what it is getting for their campaign donations.
at Wednesday, 24 October 2012 14:20by LASD Parent
Everyone who's paying attention knows that having a BCS parent on the LASD board isn't in the best interest of LASD students.
Even Amanda Burke-Aaronson seems to understand this fact. Her guilty conscience gives her away. Her campaign materials give no hint BCS is her family's school even though it's normal practice for candidates to proudly proclaim their school affiliation to connect with voters. Hiding this info is highly unusual. For example, of the 13 candidates for the Los Altos, Palo Alto and Mountain View school boards, Amanda is the only candidate who doesn't mention her school affiliation. Amanda knows that if LASD parents knew she was a BCS parent they wouldn't vote for her.
Now that you know the facts, you know what to do. Even Amanda won't be surprised if you don't vote for her.
41"To LASD Parent"
at Wednesday, 24 October 2012 16:24by John Radford
So just to be clear, if Amanda somehow gets elected to the LASD board you are sat she woudl leak LASD litigation strategy to her BCS friends.
Is that really the claim you are making?
at Thursday, 25 October 2012 07:45by To Mr Radford
To Mr Radford,
Amanda would only leak LASD litigation strategy to her BCS friends IF she were motivated to act in the best interests of her three children attending BCS, the best interests of her charter school and her BCS friends.
Voters need to decide how likely that is, compared to the likelihood that she acts in the best interest of LASD and against the interests of her children, her charter school and friends.
You obviously come to a different conclusion than LASD parents do, or else you wish to downplay the obvious conflict of interest that Amanda represents.
LASD deserves representation as well. There is a reason why BCS doesn't recruit LASD parents for their board. In fact they don't even open elections to anyone other than the intransigent founders.
at Thursday, 25 October 2012 09:29by John Radford
LASD parents like you scare the heck out of me. You are willing to challenge anyones integrity if they are not on your side. You are willing to endorse anyone who will fight BCS regardless of their credentials. You demand from the LASD board any actions ( legal or illegal) to protect your interests as if you own the land your schools sit on.
Quite candidly, Im sick of this. LASD parents are voting with thier feet and going to BCS. After months of negotiating a mediated agreement between the Boards, it was shot down in less than two weeks as unacceptable.
This community deserves better. With LASD parents representing something like only 20% of the voters I wonder what the rest of our community thinks about all of this? Are we really willing to continue to foot the bill ( a bond measure, two parcel taxes and another bond measure in 2014) Are there no solutions except continues legal battles and then going back to the voters for even more money?
at Thursday, 25 October 2012 10:41by LASD Parent
I wouldn't want to be on the board discussing strategy when I know one of my fellow board members benefits if the other team wins. Every suggestion by that member would be suspect. Every sensitive piece of information heard by that member would put the district at risk.
I wonder if Amanda has considered the situation she would be in: routinely exposed to information that could help BCS a lot and hurt LASD a lot if divulged to BCS. She would constantly be tempted to help her girl's school by divulging this information and would feel social pressure amongst her BCS community. It may well be suggested to her that she owes it to her campaign donors. The problem is that even a single act of sharing with BCS is a breach of fiduciary duty to the school district.
at Thursday, 25 October 2012 11:01by LASD Parent
John, you're putting words in my mouth. I haven't challenged Amanda's integrity. Frankly it's funny to hear you say that given the mudslinging by BCS parents at Cortright and others. LASD parents have never stooped to that level.
You say I'm challenging Amanda's integrity. Actually I'm pointing out that the situation would be a huge challenge to her integrity. Given the obvious conflict of interest she seeks to place herself in it would challenge anyone's integrity.
I'm not comfortable trusting anyone who is that conflicted on such an important matter.
46"Amanda closing schools"
at Thursday, 25 October 2012 11:24by Parent
Yes, it's true Amanda would only have one vote. That helps me sleep at night but doesn't make me want to vote for her. She doesn't represent my views. Her campaign materials talk about having LASD switch to a K-8 model (just like BCS) which would conveniently open up 2 campuses (for BCS I assume although she doesn't say that). Umm.. how do you get 2 campuses if you're not closing schools? And her discussion is solely based on economics - not what's best educationally and socially for the kids.
47"To LASD Parent"
at Thursday, 25 October 2012 16:27by John Radford
Not challenging Amanda's integrity? Here is actually what you said
How can LASD defend itself fairly against these lawsuits if Amanda is leaking LASD litigation strategy to her BCS friends? The BCS leadership knows what it is getting for their campaign donations.
Pretty clear to me
at Thursday, 25 October 2012 16:31by Amanda conflict of intere
It simply does not make sense to put a BCS parent of three in a conflict of interest situation where they decide whether to close LASD schools and give them to BCS.
It is really that simple.
It's not a matter of integrity. It's just a matter of conflict of interests.
Similarly, BCS would not want LASD parents to make their operational decisions for them, because LASD parents would similarly have a conflict of interests. It is not fair to have BCS make decisions for both BCS parents and LASD parents.
Prop 39 is not written very specifically, so if BCS chooses to push the envelope on what is legal, there will be an expensive consequence. Unless the community chooses to shut down one of its neighborhood schools and give it to wealthy charter schools that threaten with legal muscle.
Some here have suggested the community should give in to the BCS legal barrage. Others want to hold on to their neighborhood school if they can.
But BCS should not decide for all.
at Thursday, 25 October 2012 18:59by Amanda Burke-Aaronson
Just chiming in once.
Many of you are taking one idea of many and misconstruing it. I know there is a core group of parents slinging misinformation.
Covington, previously proposed by the LASD BoT in the late spring, involved facility SHARING. This is not what I propose, rather co-locating. K-8, one idea of MANY, in light of the pilot project (BCS) that we have in our community - one of the goals of charter laws. What is lost is my long standing conviction that before we rile up the community (too late, it's already been taken to extremes by parents), we involve members in discussion about the positives and negatives of ALL options.
With regard to the sense of "conflict of interest", I will say again that it is absolutely in the BEST interest of my three children to have a united community where the village can truly raise the child.
If I misrepresent this district in that sentiment, well, I guess I'm disappointed.
I invite anyone to e-mail me at amanda@momthebabynurse.
at Friday, 26 October 2012 00:20by Conflict of Interests
Of course it is in the best interests of everyone to have a happy, united community.
But that is motherhood and apple pie. It goes without saying. It doesn't say anything new. And as we all know, that is not the problem...
The problem is when inevitably a BCS parent on the LASD board would be called on to vote in a case where one outcome would favor BCS, and the other would favor LASD.
The conflict of interest you represent is clearly a topic you would prefer to hide.
Or else you would mention in your campaign ads that you have three children attending the Bullis Charter School. Every other school board candidate mentions their children and where they go to school.
And you would mention that your suporters are all Bullis Charter School parents and board members.
But you recognize the conflict of interest that this represents, and that others would likely see the conflict of interest as well, so this is not part of your campaign.
51"Pound Foolish, John"
at Saturday, 27 October 2012 21:01by Joan J. Strong
John, between LASD and BCS alone, that tiny minority of 20% spends about $5 million dollars per year in charitable donations on our schools. This is perhaps ten times the amount people here spend on any other local cause. LASD is Los Altos' largest employer. Los Altos is famous for it's schools, not it's senior center.
The polls show that seniors know that, too. They universally support our schools, and don't mind spending a tad more in property tax in order to ensure they are outstanding. They don't share your fear of possibly over-investing in our schools. If that's the worst case scenario, then most will take that risk. The risk of us falling behind in education and our property values tanking is a thousand times greater.
BCS should curtail its enrollment to siblings only until we build a new campus for the school. This will hurt nobody and resolve this conflict.
at Monday, 29 October 2012 11:10by John Radford
Congrats to the 20% who donate so much to our schools. I sincerely applaud their efforts. I served on LAEF for three years and know how important it is for parents to support their schooles
That still leaves 80% and a bond measure requiring 55% so we need to convince a very large group of voters to support the bond measure without having kids in our schools. For the parcel taxes, the seniors did indeed support the schools although you might want to check how many of them them exempted themselves from paying the parcel tax. For bond measures there is no such exemption.
I simply dont believe most people are willing to accept being over taxed to protect their schools if the schools don't appear to be solving their own problems. If you think BCS and LASD can continue to fight all the way to a June 2014 bond measure vote and then pass it, as my father father was fond of saying, you have rocks in your head.
53"Spending on schools"
at Monday, 29 October 2012 11:11by [word deleted by TC] corrector
It strikes me that since LASD spends $45 million on 4500 students, every group of 500 in LASD spends $5M. Is Joan J Strong seriously complaining that BCS spends the same amount on its 500 students? Is it somehow wrong to get half the money from private sources, cutting the taxpayer cost in half? People act like LASD could absorb these 500 students but it would mean LASD would need to raise at least an extra couple of million in tax revenue if BCS were to cease to exist.
54"We can tell Mom too"
at Monday, 29 October 2012 17:21by Joan J. Strong
John, the polling on the bond for this year was... close. Close in the context of having almost no plan and the no campaigning. I think you have the sentiment for helping our schools here exactly wrong.
A very concerted effort by 20% of the population can be a powerful thing. All of those seniors you speak of can be convinced by them. A lot of them have grandchildren.
If you are saying that we need to make the case to voters with a clearly laid out plan, then I agree. If you are saying that BCS controls things and can continue to sabotage our efforts, then no, I don't agree. We can overcome BCS if necessary.
@spending -- BCS has the most expensive program in our area with the possible exception of Pinewood. BCS's uniformly mainstreamed students could be educated by LASD far cheaper than they are at BCS. BCS costs our district money. It does not save taxpayers money. Beyond local, Fed taxpayers are taxpayers too--and BCS tuition is a tax write-off...
at Tuesday, 30 October 2012 09:25by corrector
LASD spends less than 10% of its budget on its 100 or so non-mainstreamed students, including those where LASD pays for private school. That spending doesn't affect the cost of educating BCS students more than $500K total. It would cost LASD much more than it current pays Bullis Charter, if it had to educate those students directly.
at Tuesday, 30 October 2012 09:26by LASD Parent
It is not clear what you are proposing.
I simply dont believe most people are willing to accept being over taxed to protect their schools if the schools don't appear to be solving their own problems.
1. I don't sense that LASD residents feel they are overtaxed when it comes to their top schools, which increase their property values and attract great people to our community.
2. It's just not clear what you specifically think LASD should do to solve the BCS problem. Close down a neighborhood school, evict the local families, and give it to the charter school?
at Tuesday, 30 October 2012 16:02by John Radford
To LASD Parent
1) The only way we will know is when and if we ever get a ballot measure to vote on. It is my understanding that the LASD Board did two marketing studes to try to determine if they could move forward for the November Bond election and neither showed enough support to do so. I dont know what you call that other than residents not wanting to be taxed more for their schools.
I have talked with a lot of residents that felt overtaxed and seniors who voted for the parcel tax only because they could exempt themselves for paying it.
2) In the mediated settlement offer that was pretty much dead on arrival, I think they had offered to put BCS on a single Egan site until they could buy land to build another school, then move one of the existing schools to the new site. Why not put BCS one Egan only, work with BCS to identify land that would be acceptable to them and then devise a marketing strtegy to go to the voters. That is just one idea. Im sure there are more
at Tuesday, 30 October 2012 17:53by BCS is already at Egan
Why not put BCS on Egan only, work with BCS to identify land that would be acceptable to them and then devise a marketing strtegy to go to the voters.
BCS is on Egan only today. So you are ok with how things are today? We all need to just identify land for a new site?
Maybe BCS should just be given more land at Egan, perhaps by building over the baseball field and tennis courts.
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