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Take two: BCS files another facilities suit

So much for compromise.

After petitioning the court to compel the Los Altos School District to abandon its pursuit of a new school site outside district boundaries, Bullis Charter School filed a second lawsuit last week asking the court to force the district to provide the charter school with a single site to accommodate its K-8 program.

The lawsuit challenges the district’s final facilities offer for the 2013-2014 school year, which divides the charter school’s program between Egan Junior High and Blach Intermediate schools.

After months of touting its decision to “compromise” and accept the two-campus split, the charter school’s suit now aims for “dislocation of Los Altos School District programs” – that is, requiring the district to hand over the keys to one its currently operating elementary or junior high schools.

Bullis Charter School’s legal team objects to the district’s vision that district schools house no more than 600 students per site, while the charter school must be split between two sites. The filing states that the district’s enrollment cap “inequitably shift(s) the entire burden of disruption to in-district students who attend Bullis and avoid(s) any disruption whatsoever to in-district students who attend district-run programs.”

In addition to requesting a single campus, the lawsuit disputes the district’s attempt to impose grade configurations for the two campuses. The district’s final offer included language aimed at preventing lower-grade students from using the facilities at Blach.

Bullis Charter School’s legal team also contested the district’s California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) report addressing the number of students at Egan and the impact enrollment has on the surrounding environment.

The district approved an addendum to the original CEQA, drafted in 2005 when the district relocated students onto the Egan Camp site during districtwide renovations. The original CEQA assumed 200 students and a smaller building footprint on the site.

The charter school filing alleges that the CEQA addendum addresses “minor” changes, neglecting to factor in the 135 percent increase in student enrollment since the original draft. The suit questions the conclusions of the addendum and calls for the court to ensure that the district’s final facilities offer complies with Proposition 39 law and CEQA regulations.

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