Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A small step forward with BCS?

At the Aug 16 Board Meeting, we began considering a resolution that would represent a tiny thaw in relations with BCS. I've been pushing for this resolution, though i know that some may not share my enthusiasm.

The Background
LASD offers facilities to BCS based on our class loading on April 1 each year. Then in May, the state finalizes the budget, and we adjust our class loading. Historically, if our loading got better, we improved the offer to BCS. We weren't compelled to do so, but we have done it every year. The catch was that if the budget was bad news, there's no mechanism to adjust the BCS offer downward.

What Does The Resolution Do?
The resolution is actually pretty simple. It provides that the distinct "shall" adjust the BCS facilities offer in June, and that the BCS board "shall" accept such a revision. In practice, we're obligating the LASD board to do something that we have done every year for the past 7 years. The quid pro quo is that the BCS board is compelled to accept a decrease that they would never have considered previously.

Why should we do this?
This is admittedly not a huge shift. We agree to do something we've been doing every year for 7 years They agree that if something really unusual happens, they'd accept a change. The real win here is that we are considering an agreement that hasn't been compelled by a court. This is a small step forward, but a major shift in mindset.

But aren't they still suing us?
Yes, the existing litigation with BCS is still underway. The appeal will be heard this fall. Still, I believe that if we wait for the ideal moment to take a small step closer, we'll be standing far apart for a long, long time.

Will this resolution actually pass?
This resolution didn't come out of thin air. This is the product of a series of meetings with a subset of the BCS Board. While they weren't crazy about the proposal initially, the BCS board members I have discussed this with were willing to support it. Hopefully their full board will also agree.

From the LASD Board, I am hopeful that we're willing to pass it also. I believe the "costs" of this gesture are minimal, and the upside of making even small progress are worth it.

Win or lose, I'd like to thank the members of the BCS board who worked with us on preparing this proposal. Negotiating is a two-way street. Hopefully both sides of this negotiation will feel the results are worth passing in a formal vote.

Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts on this. It's a complex issue, and this would only be a first step. New ideas are always helpful.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.