Photo By: Town Crier file photo
Officials from Bullis Charter School filed papers with the Santa Clara County Superior Court July 3, challenging the Los Altos School District’s 2012-2013 facilities offer.
Lawyers for the charter school argue that the district’s latest facilities offer fails to comply with the Sixth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeals judgment clarifying how the district should allot space for the charter school. Proposition 39 mandates that the district provide “reasonably equivalent” facilities for charter schools.
The district’s facilities offer for the 2012-2013 school year splits Bullis Charter School between two campuses, with the K-6 program located at Egan Junior High School and seventh- and eighth-graders at Blach Intermediate School. The district also added some acreage to the charter school’s portion of the Egan site.
In last year’s Court of Appeals ruling, the judge found that based on the charter school’s 2009-2010 K-6 projected enrollment of 345 students, its proper allotment should be 8.37 acres of Egan’s 18-acre site. The legal paperwork regarding next year’s facilities contends that the Egan site space for the now-projected enrollment of 439 students totals 7.45 acres – nearly 1 acre less than the ruling deemed sufficient for approximately 100 fewer students.
The charter school’s filing also argues that K-6 students are not given reasonable access to the limited additional facilities on the Egan site, and that those facilities are not configured in a logical or comparable manner.
Charter school officials and lawyers claim that the district undermeasures comparison group schools, distorting the Proposition 39 analysis.
Controversy continues regarding relocation of the charter school’s junior-highers to Blach. The paperwork calls the charter’s school’s facilities allocation at Blach “inadequate,” citing a lack of indoor nonteaching space, assignment of unusable space, limited space for a multitude of unrelated functions that cannot be housed together, the difficulty of students and staff having to travel between two sites and failure to allot space for a lunch servery, nurse’s room and administrative functions.
The filing, the first step in a reignited battle, will culminate in an Aug. 15 court date. Los Altos School District officials are scheduled to respond to Bullis Charter School’s claims and file their legal arguments by Tuesday.