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Guest opinion: District likely to lose on charter school site fight

Original post made on Apr 9, 2009

On April 1, trustees of the Sequoia Union High School District approved a final offer of facilities for Everest Public High School and in doing so acted in opposition to the best interests of all the students and families they are elected to serve.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 12:00 AM

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Posted by Critic of SUHSD
a resident of Woodside High School
on Apr 9, 2009 at 9:04 am

I think that Dr. Gemma and the trustees are going to get spanked by the court on this for two reasons.

First, it's hard to see how the district's final offer of the EPA site is going to be considered comparable to a student's experience at the district's other schools. The daily drive that Everest students will have to take to M-A during their school day just to access facilites - that's very different from commuting to school (which IS comparable) - is cause enough for a judge to reject the district's offer.

Second, the district staff and trustees have admitted the EPA site isn't in compliance with Prop 39. At their meetings, district officials always refer to the Green Street site as a "starter campus" and that they'll provide a fully compliant campus in the future. Wow. The charter's lawyer are going to have a field day with those admissions.

But the thing that I don't understand is that if the charter's proposal is far less expensive than the district's final offer, it's disturbing to see the district spending this kind of money on lawyers.

We see such an absence of "governance" these days. Our board of trustees should be willing to ask the difficult questions of staff. Do any of them have the integrity to ask Dr. Lianides why he knowingly used misleading demographic data in his memo to the trustees and why he didn't provide a cost comparison of the charter's proposal with the district's final offer proposal? You would think the trustees would want to see that.

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