What a mess. How else can you describe the terrible situation with the boards of Bullis Charter School and the Los Altos School District?
Both have drawn proverbial lines in the sand. The district board claims that charter school officials must sign a Facilities Use Agreement (FUA) before students and teachers can use newly built facilities at Blach Intermediate School. The charter school board says it won’t sign an agreement that contains provisions with which it does not agree.
As of this Monday writing, the resulting impasse leaves charter school personnel unable to access facilities for the start of the school year – a week from today. Teachers are, in effect, locked out.
The ongoing debate has divided our school communities for too long. In the short term, it’s urgent for these children and teachers to access their classrooms. But it’s also important that the community step in to resolve the problems once and for all.
With all due respect to the individual members, the school boards are not getting the job done by themselves. When there’s little or no direct communication and a seeming refusal to sit down together to hash it out, they continue to be part of the problem, not the solution.
Further, both boards’ hardline stances have convinced their constituencies that the complete fault lies with the other guy.
What’s really needed are caring community members, without an ax to grind, getting involved to fight for the rights of all students in Los Altos.
We all have an interest in this – our schools are the bedrock of our quality of life here and a key to the continued high property values we enjoy.
We need to make it loud and clear we want both boards to get together immediately and work it out. At least two major sticking points need to be addressed: the number of students allowed at the Blach and Egan campuses; and the grade levels allowed at each site. It seems obvious that some clear-headed input is needed from outside the board rooms.
To reach a solution, board members first must at least try to see the issue from the point of view of the other side. It’s not all on “us” or “them.” It’s on all our shoulders to push for solutions. Now. We can’t afford to wait any longer.