Bullis Charter School officials last week filed a motion asking the Sixth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal to compel the Los Altos School District to improve the scope of the facilities they offer the charter school.
The motion appeals a Sept. 20 ruling, in which Judge Patricia Lucas denied the charter school’s complaint in Santa Clara County Superior Court.
Charter school officials framed their writ of mandate as an enforcement request, arguing that “adequate facilities” as previously defined by the court of appeal were not in fact offered for the 2012-2013 school year.
“We believe the appellate court will be shocked to learn that after its very clear opinion saying the temporary Egan camp site was inadequate, the district again placed Bullis on that site,” said Ken Moore, charter school board chairman.
Judge Lucas’ finding questioned the court’s jurisdiction in applying the court of appeal ruling to the current facilities, because the charter school’s enrollment has expanded, with new students and new grades. She also stated that the charter school’s legal team sought relief that exceeded the scope of the original ruling.
Lucas described what the charter school is “actually” seeking from the school district: “to provide (the charter school) with exclusive use of one of the four sites that the parties agreed to in mediation” and “immediately confer with the charter school in good faith to provide additional facilities at the Egan location.”
Out of a mediated agreement, which fell apart in the spring after the district faced a public backlash, the charter school would have been able to use either the Almond, Covington, Gardner Bullis or Santa Rita school campus.
After Lucas heard oral arguments on the case, the charter school filed a new lawsuit, which addressed only the 2012-2013 facilities offer. Arguments in that case were heard Oct. 30; both parties await Lucas’ ruling.
“Litigation is wasteful to begin with,” said Doug Smith, district trustee, in his blog. “For Bullis Charter School to now try to create two paths of litigation in parallel (while apparently not succeeding on either path) is a horrendous waste of taxpayer resources.”