Saturday, October 13, 2012

District Response and Counter-Complaint

Today was Walk-about Saturday, a chance to visit our campuses, talk to parents, and see all of the excitement that is a part of LASD.  It is truly one of those days when I feel very fortunate to represent our community by serving on the Board of Trustees.

Of course a lot of folks asked about the lawsuit with BCS.  On Friday, October 12th, the District responded to the BCS complaint for the 2012-13 facilities offer.  That document isn't particularly exciting, unless you have the BCS complaint sitting alongside and like deciphering the legal reasons the BCS complaint is invalid.  The discussion in court will be a lot more interesting.

Here's the District response to the complaint

Much more interesting is the LASD cross-complaint.  In this action, LASD puts before the court the questions that have circled our community for a number of years.  Among those questions, we have asked the court:

  • Do BCS practices which exclude special needs students, English language learners, and socio-economic disadvantaged students impact their status as a public school?
  • Do their extensive private resources factor into the comparison?
  • If they are not a public school, do we still need to provide them the same level of facilities?
  • When determining "reasonably equivalent", can the District legally exclude the impact of private donations such as the LAEF fundraising?
  • Can we really believe their claims of overcrowding when they continue to admit students from outside the District?
  • How can BCS claim to the community that their school is "wonderful and warm" and then tell the court that it is a "youth prison"?
I am very anxious to see these issues tried in court.  For too many years, our community has wrestled with these questions yet not brought them into the court system.  It is time to seek guidance from the courts.  It is time for BCS to answer hard questions about serving our community.

Finally, I feel compelled to mention that Ray Cardozo of Reed Smith has done a fantastic job of distilling all of the community input into a clear, concise legal argument.  Like many in our community, I have been log frustrated by some of the BCS practices.  Ray and his team have put these issues into a legal framework, and raised themas important Constitutional questions.  I am pleased to be working with him, and he is representing our students very well.  As a Trustee, I am appreciative of the thanks and good wishes form the community, but really, the hard work is being done by Ray, Paul, John, Dino, and others on the legal team.  Thanks to all of them.

Read the District's cross-complaint here.