at Wednesday, 21 November 2012 08:29by LA Mom of 3
|Stakeholders in schools’ debate must come to the table: Other Voices|
|Written by David Casas and John Radford|
|Wednesday, 21 November 2012|
The election is past. The opportunity for a fresh start is here. Let’s turn the corner on divisiveness and welcome peace into our community for the holidays and beyond.
We invite everyone to stand beside us in calling for a new tone in the schools’ debate between the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School. We need a commitment from all of the stakeholders – from the board level on down to the parents – to civil discourse, community values, respect for school choice and honest effort toward brokering a long-term solution. We believe that we have what it takes as a community to solve this, and that we need to commit ourselves to getting this done.
It is not good for any of us, regardless of affiliation, to let this issue fracture our community any longer. It’s true, Los Altos schools are among the best public schools in the state. But so, too, is the charter school. Let’s accept that we have a wealth of excellent public options and move on to find a solution that respects the desire for choice in our district, and the rights of all public-school children for equal facilities.
Our community cannot afford to be pulled apart any longer; it’s time for all of the stakeholders in the schools’ debate to come to the table and agree – and stick – to a solution. That means that the two boards, the leaders of the various school and community groups, the school communities and the population at large will need to compromise – it is the only way. Let us stop the online nastiness and face each other with respect and understanding. Let us remember that we are all neighbors and members of a shared community above all.
We know it will not be easy. It will require compromise from both sides. It may require the passage of a difficult bond measure. But we have to accept the reality of the situation we are in, and get this done for the well-being of our community. This is especially important for the children who are suffering while the adults fight. We hear stories of children trying to work this out for themselves, accusing each other of trying to take one another’s schools away. It’s time to move forward, out of the quagmire, for the long-term health and well-being of our children.
As public officials, we are confident that there is enough to go around. The glass is half full, if we can only see it that way. How many communities have one of the top-performing districts and the No. 1 charter school in the same town? With the bright minds and resources we have at our disposal, we can solve this. Things may not stay exactly the way they are today, but we believe the emotional costs of not having a solution are far too high for our community to bear.
Please join us in demanding that both sides come back to the mediation table, with no pre-existing conditions, to try to work this out.
Los Altos City Councilman David Casas and Los Altos Hills City Councilman John Radford have been at opposite ends of the charter school debate.
at Wednesday, 21 November 2012 08:29by LA Mom of 3
A step in the right direction would be for the cities of LA and LAH to work together to find city land to lease/give to the LASD. Seems like this article puts the burden back on the parents to "behave nicely" instead of modeling that behavior themselves and offering real solutions in the form of city land/resources. Walk the walk, don't just talk the talk.
at Wednesday, 21 November 2012 10:23by LASD and BCS Parent
I appreciate the sentiment of this e-mail but David Casas, I would appreciate YOUR support. FACILITY SPACE is the true limited resource here and the City of Los Altos has shown NO effort to be creative to share its resources. There is a win/win where Hillview could be creatively shared with LASD so that ALL city residents benefit. As the first poster commented, walk the walk.
at Wednesday, 21 November 2012 11:30by Joan J. Strong
BCS just announced their "new tone" last week: they just filed another lawsuit against our school district. This isn't "online nastiness", it's real, physical OFFline nastiness that costs real, physical US dollars.
Mediation between parties in the context of litigation is impossible. BCS will simply assert that they will win in court if they don't get what they want--just like they did last time. Both sides are also drastically limited to what they can say, what they can agree to and so forth. And it must be done in secret, which is a non-starter for a public entity.
The BCS board can stop this entire crisis in five minutes if they wanted to. They don't want to.
I agree with the others that despite the BCS threat, the cities of LA and LAH can help us create a solution to this problem regardless of BCS: they need to join us in building a new campus (or two!). This is the one POSITIVE solution to this mess that's a win/win for everybody.
at Wednesday, 21 November 2012 11:30by Los Altos Native
Couldn't agree more with the above comments. The City Council(s) need to make new facility space a priority- if they don't now, they will merely be kicking the can just a few years down the road as overall enrollment continues to grow. If Hillview isn't the solution, then they need to get behind another one. Stat. Public schools are the crown jewels of Los Altos, and we need council members to lead with action on this crisis facing a priceless asset that benefits every member of our community.
5"City of Mountain View"
at Wednesday, 21 November 2012 12:21by Another Necessity
The city of Mountain View needs to step up to the plate along with the cities of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. The growth coming from north of El Camino is putting a great strain on LASD facilities. Mountain View should be asked to provide a site for a new school within LASD boundaries.
6"Action not words"
at Wednesday, 21 November 2012 16:36by LASD parent w/BCS friends
I agree with all of these comments. David Casas was one of the LASD board members that caused this entire thing in the first place by making the short sighted decision to close Gardner Bullis back in 2003 in the first place. Now he is on the LACC and when the LACC finally meets with LASD BoT David basically tells them "take a hike, this is your mess, we have no role here and by the way don't even think about Hillview as an option". We need LACC, MVCC, and LAHCC to get involved and help solve this problem with real action and focus on the facilities issue. I for one am glad to see some new blood on the LACC who hopefully will get engaged to help solve this problem since the previous regime did nothing.
at Wednesday, 21 November 2012 16:36by los altos homeowner
I appreciate the call for civil dialogue and for getting everyone together to try to solve this once and for all. The negativity in our community has gotten so overwhelming, we have to figure this out now. I am glad to see our civic leaders supporting the process, but contrary to what some of the other posters have stated, I think the resources to solve this are already at the disposal of the LASD Board of Trustees. Hopefully, unlike the last go around, LASD parents will support their board's efforts in a future mediation effort. Our community was so close to having this solved just a few months ago. Let's support them in trying again. It's our only hope for moving on and putting this sad chapter of divisiveness behind us.
at Wednesday, 21 November 2012 16:37by suzi berry
I appreciate the sentiments of this opinion piece and agree that it is going to take a village to solve this. I am hopeful that if more community leaders are willing to take a stand, such as Radford and Casas have done here, and will lend their support to the process of finding a solution, there is a much better chance of success this time around. Fundamentally the resources exist within LASD to solve this issue today, we simply need the political will and community support to make it happen. Hopefully, we can all work to get the two boards back to the table, and in agreement, so we can move forward as a community.
|< Prev||Next >|