Thu11272014

Schools

Breaking news: LASD puts charter school on notice

Alleging that Bullis Charter School breached the terms of the Los Altos School District’s Final Offer and Facilities Use Agreement, the district put the charter school on notice and demanded that it cease violations within 45 days.

In a letter sent Monday, the district requested that Bullis Charter School representatives attend the district’s Nov. 12 board meeting to evaluate whether the charter school’s violations “should disqualify it from receiving an offer of facilities for the 2014-2015 school year or result in other appropriate remedies.”

The letter listed the charter school’s violations, including:

• Violating enrollment limitations at both Blach Intermediate and Egan Junior High schools.

• Violating the grade-level restrictions (grades 4-8) at Blach.

• Using an allocated classroom as a chorus room, creating a distraction for Blach students using the adjacent library.

• Using the soccer fields outside the times outlined in the slated sharing schedule.

• Maintaining a Blach school start at 8:45 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m., creating a conflict with the Blach schedule.

“This is an untenable situation,” stated the letter, signed by Doug Smith, district board president. “Bullis Charter School has no legal basis to flout those conditions and its refusal to abide by them creates a lawless regime that is unsustainable under any facilities-sharing arrangement.”

The letter requests that the charter school cease the alleged violations immediately, threatens penalties for past violations and questions whether such actions should disqualify the charter school from receiving facilities for the 2014-2015 school year.

The possible punitive measures the district suggests include:

• Legal remedies through the court, including monetary and injunctive.

• Adjustment of facilities, furnishings and equipment offered to the charter school in response to the 2014-2015 request.

• Imposition of enforcement measures, including but not limited to a requirement that Bullis Charter School certify under penalty of perjury that it is complying with the Final Offer and Facilities Use Agreement.

• Other remedies appropriate under law included by the district.

Before enforcing available penalties, district officials want to give charter school representatives an opportunity to respond to their concerns.

“The district will use Bullis Charter School’s response to determine whether it will pursue available remedies to enforce the terms of its Final Offer and Facilities Use Agreeement,” the letter concluded.

“(The district) persists in inventing its own alternate reality,” wrote Ken Moore, chairman of the Bullis Charter School Board of Directors, in an email to the Town Crier. “There is no legal ‘cap’ on enrollment, there are not environmental ‘restrictions’ enforceable against Bullis Charter School and there is no judgment that says anything to the contrary.”

Moore said the allegations are currently being fought in court and that he expects the charter school to emerge victorious.

“They are losing their war against Los Altos residents who choose the charter school and now desperately threaten our school and families directly,” Moore said. “If taxpayers weren’t outraged at (the district) before, just read this latest letter.”

To read a full copy of the letter, visit losaltosonline.com.

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