Los Altos School District trustees voted 4-1 Monday night to make a preliminary offer under Proposition 39 of the camp school at Egan Junior High School to Bullis Charter School for the 2004-05 academic year. The vote came after almost two and a half hours of discussion; Jay Thomas cast the sole vote against the motion.
All trustees spoke in favor of continuing negotiations with the charter group. "The ball is now in their court, and I am sure that they will be serving it back to us," said board president Victor Reid.
The board has until April 1 to present a formal offer to the charter board, and the charter board has until May 1 to accept or reject the offer - giving the two boards several weeks in which to continue negotiations.
Private talks between subcommittees of both groups have been inching toward the charter group's withdrawing its request for facilities under Proposition 39 and leasing the former Bullis-Purissima site outside the bounds of the act. Within the act, the charter group does not have to pay to use district space for its school.
An earlier capacity and condition analysis by Randy Kenyon, assistant superintendent for business services, had found Egan camp school and Covington - but not the former Bullis-Purissima site - "reasonably equivalent" facilities for the charter school.
District trustees cited fears of litigation if they were to fulfill the charter group's Proposition 39 request with an offer of the Bullis site. The district was threatened with a lawsuit Friday by a group that the Bullis Charter School board says is not affiliated with it. (See story on Page 20.)
Trustees said they were against co-locating the charter school at Covington School because it would be too disruptive.
Covington parents and teachers have repeatedly told the board that the school's discrete communities, which include mainstreamed special education students and students reassigned when Covington reopened and Bullis-Purissima closed, have only recently melded.