Tuesday, July 24, 2012

BCS Litigation Update - District Response

Today LASD filed our response to the latest litigation by BCS.  In the documents, we assert two key things:

1) The 2012-13 Prop 39 offer is legally compliant. 
2)  We may actually have been too generous, to the detriment of LASD students--particularly given the semi-private nature of BCS.

All of the district's filings are posted on the district website.

Whenever I've heard someone say "we look forward to the opportunity to face these allegations in court," I've always snickered.  Are they really "looking forward" to it?  In our case, I can say that I *am* looking forward to this.  I strongly believe that our facilities offer is compliant, so in that regard, I believe that the judge will not grant BCS's request to close an LASD school.  Moreover, the discussion of BCS's status as a public or private school is one that has been happening in our community for most of the last 8 years.  I look forward to guidance from the court about what impact that can have on any facilities discussion we have with BCS.

I would like to specifically thank the community members who have helped so much with this effort.  Some have provided declarations that give glimpses into what should otherwise be private matters (like a child's disability).  Others have done built a tremendous body of research, which in turn helped inform our legal arguments.  Others have helped in less obvious, but very important ways.  All of you have helped make our public schools stronger as we help our students (all of them!) develop their own passion for learning.  We are all indebted to those who have stepped up on behalf of the students.

For those following closely, BCS will have an opportunity to file one more set of papers (essentially a rebuttal to our arguments) in early August, and then we have a court date with Judge Lucas on August 15.  I, for one, really am looking forward to the opportunity to get clarity from the courts.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

BCS 2012-13 Lawsuit

Over the past ~6 months, I've been pretty quiet on this blog.  As we worked through negotiations with BCS, I was trying very hard not to disrupt those negotiations, and to give the process the space it needed to work.  Sadly, as most of you know, those negotiations have proven unsuccessful.  BCS seems unwilling to accept the idea that the larger public needs to be involved in this process.  As an elected trustee, that simply isn't a position I can accept.

Yesterday BCS filed the court papers for their lawsuit contesting the 2012-13 facilities offer.  Ironically, they've made reference to "Groundhog Day"- the idea that the 2012-13 offer is the same as we've offered in the past, and asked the courts to rule that our offer is inadequate.  The only thing I see about this situation that references "Groundhog Day" is BCS's behavior.   It is BCS, not the District, who continues to drag this issue into court.  In this case, they've used the 2009-10 lawsuit as an umbrella to litigate the 2012-13 lawsuit.  It is very unfortunate for our community.  I can't reconcile the idea that BCS, formed because the District closed a high performing school, now seeks to close another high performing school to further their own goals at the expense of other students.

For obvious reasons, I'm not going to get into the District's legal position here.  Our court filings will make our position clear enough in due time.  Sufice it to say I'm deeply saddened by the current situation, but that I will not cast aside the needs of 4,500 LASD students to create a special preference for the 450 BCS students.

I have posted the BCS court filings here for those who are interested.

Motions and Proposed Oder
Notice of Motion and Motion to Compel
Motion to Compel
Proposed Order

A Eyering Decl.
D Spector Decl
A Gonzalez Decl
K Moore Decl
J Medlin Decl
W Heresey Decl