From: Dave Cortright <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Joseph Di Salvo <email@example.com>; Michael Chang <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Anna Song <email@example.com>; Grace Mah <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Julia Hover-Smoot <email@example.com>; Leon Beauchman <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Craig Mann <email@example.com>; Carmen Aminzadeh <Carmen_Aminzadeh@sccoe.org>; Charles Weis <Charles_Weis@sccoe.org>; Cary Dritz <Cary_Dritz@sccoe.org>; Lucretia Peebles <Lucretia_Peebles@sccoe.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2012 6:11 PM
Subject: I'm disappointed, but still hopeful; please answer this question for me
You committed to holding an open forum in Los Altos. But you postponed, and then worried about getting it absolutely perfect, and ultimately nothing came of it. As far as I know, there is currently no clear timeline or commitment to actually follow through on this promise. This is also disappointing.
In lieu of a community forum, you created a FAQ answering many of the common questions the members of the LASD community have regarding you and your oversight of Bullis Charter School. But then in the final version, you stripped out or whitewashed all of the most common questions out (regarding the geographic preference and what you can do about racial and ethnic imbalance) and left us with a FAQ that still doesn't answer the frequently asked questions. You guessed it: disappointing.
But I'm not giving up on you all yet. So I hope you will indulge me by answering a very important question that has come up this week.
In their court filing last week, LASD asserts that BCS is not due any Prop 39 facilities as they are operating as a semi-private school. They say:
BCS is the wealthiest of the District's communities and is the only one that operates on a self-selecting, exclusionary basis. Unlike BCS, the District must educate all in-District students, including the special needs students, English language learning, and minority populations that BCS has excluded though admission preferences. By reserving admission for the most advantaged, and by shunning the comparatively disadvantaged, BCS raises massive private funds, which it combines with the public facilities it receives from the District to provide BCS students more in combined private/public resources than that which other District students get. BCS also avoids, by virtue of its exclusionary ways, the burdens of educating those with greater or special needs.
This semi-private school arrangement misuses the charter school law. The text of Prop. 39 shows it was not intended to generate exclusionary semi-private schools but was instead intended simply to ensure that the conditions under which charter school students are educated are reasonably equivalent to the conditions those students would receive had they enrolled in another public school in the district...
Given this, my question to you:
Does SCCOE agree with this assessment of BCS' operation by LASD, in whole or in part? I ask that you please be detailed in your justification either way.
PS I hope you have a restful summer break. I look forward to working with you and your new superintendent soon.