Posted by Concerned Parent, a resident of the Menlo Park: The Willows neighborhood, on Jul 25, 2009 at 12:48 pm
While this is not surprising, it is very understandable. At a time when budgets are being cut all over the place, the SUHSD's bad faith offer will be under a fair amount of scrutiny. Much as I hate to say it from a district budgetary perspective, the district, Pat Gemma, and Board of Trustees deserve to fully lose this. They have demonstrated dispicable behavior ranging from misrepresentation of facts to outright lying in an attempt to avoid any semblance of cooperation with the group from Everest or compliance with the law, all the while complaining about how charter law is unfair. As best as I can tell, this is the only way to assure accountability and while Mr. Gemma does his best to blame Summit/Everest, he needs to look in the mirror. I would look for the usual district moves to follow, lots of griping in the press and attempts to paint Summit/Everest as elitist and taking resources from other students. The one bit of good news from this story is, independent of the whole facility debate, it would be nice for the district to slapped on the wrist for playing different groups within the district against each other. I believe all parents want the best education for their children as well as some freedom to give input as to what that is.
Posted by another rwc parent, a resident of another community, on Jul 27, 2009 at 5:05 pm
Why is it so difficult for SUHSD to realize they just can't compete with Summit/Everest? Give it up, it's game over, and YOU LOSE. You've had plenty of opportunities to get your act together and create a positive educational experience, but you fail, and fail again. Step aside, you are done, you just don't realize it yet.
Posted by Concerned Parent, a resident of the Menlo Park: The Willows neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm
I'd recommend you look through the Almanac issues over the past year for more history but I'd summarize it as follows:
Summit is a charter school located within SUHSD. It has been around about 5 years and appears to be doing a decent job of educating high school children and as word got out, demand as measured by number of applicants, increased. The school model limits a graduating class to a size of around 100, so Everest was proposed as a new charter school to allow more students to attend a school of that type.
SUHSD denied Everest's charter saying there was no need for another charter school. The San Mateo County Board of Education also rejected Everest's charter. Everest appealed to the State Board of Education which unanimously approved the charter. Under Prop 39, the SUHSD is required to provide reasonably equivalent facilities for charter schools. Apparently the Everest leaders requested space on the Sequoia campus, but the district instead offered a not-yet-built campus on Green Street in East Palo Alto.
The crux of the matter, as best as I can tell, is an argument over what consitutes a Prop 39 compliant site. From what I have read, heard, and observed, and as a parent of multiple children within the district, I think the SUHSD has acted in bad faith at every opportunity, hence my comment that they deserve to lose this suit. On the other hand, it pains me in this financial environment, to see any school dollars lost, hence my frustration with and criticism of the SUHSD.