Sunday, January 6, 2013

2013-14 Process: BCS Response to Counter-Projections

2013-14 Facilities Process

We continue down the path on the 2013-14 facilities offer process as laid out by Prop 39.  Readers may recall that BCS submitted their facilities request on November 1st, 2012, projecting substantial growth in their student body.  LASD added a special board meeting on November 5th, and invited BCS to come present information about their projections.  BCS Board Member Peter Evans, along with BCS parent Fred Gallagher (husband of BCS Board Member Anne Marie Gallagher) came to that meeting and shared their thoughts with the community and the LASD Board.  During that meeting, the LASD Board asked for additional information from BCS.  BCS isn't under a legal obligation to provide any additional information, but it is in their best interests to do so. 

One might ask why BCS would provide this additional information.  After all, the Prop 39 process spells out exactly what they have to provide to LASD.  The answer actually is revealed in the enxt step of the process.  After BCS provides their estimate, LASD provided our counter-projections to the BCS has provided.  Projections are, by their nature, estimates.  Different groups of people, using different information, may arrive at different estimates.  In requesting additional information from BCS, we were attempting to understand more thoroughly why BCS felt their estimates are correct.  BCS declined to provide that information, so LASD provided counter-projections without the benefit of any of that data.  (We went into detail about this in our Dec 1, 2012 letter to BCS).

BCS has now provided their response to the LASD counter-projection.  I plan to spend time reading this in detail this week.  A quick read of the first few pages tells me that we haven't gotten to where we want to be yet.  The District is seeking additional information- effectively asking "why should we believe this".  IN their letter, BCS takes LASD to task for asking for additional information.  It is certainly their right not to provide additional data, but if they do, they have to understand that we will make decisions based on our analysis of the data- which may not always coincide with their analysis.  The courts have already ruled that this is proper.  (Judge Lucas asked the BCS lawyer something to the effect of "if they can't act on their counter-projections, what is the point of them being able to provide those counter-projections?")

So, we'll take a look at their reply and continue down the path.  The LASD Board will meet on January 14 to disucss a narrowed range of options for the BCS location for next year.  In December, I sent a letter to Ken Moore, inviting them to come present again at this meeting if they would like to do so.  I haven't heard from BCS indicating a desire to participate, but that is up to them.  Nevertheless, I look forward to hearing back from staff about how those options might play out, and what the impact of those options would be on LASD students.  I remain committed to providing reasonably equivalent facilities to BCS, as we have always done.  I will balance that, though, with the possible impact to our own students.
Nov 1
BCS submits request for facilities, incl. enrollment forecast and preferred location.
Dec 1
LASD provides counter-projection to enrollment
Jan 1
BCS responds to counter-projection
Feb 1
LASD provides preliminary facilities offer (draft)

Mar 1
BCS responds to draft offer

April 1
LASD provides final facilities offer

July 1
LASD adjusts classroom space based on final district budget for upcoming school year
(Note:  This is a negotiated step, not part of the Prop 39 process)

Note:  I'm note sure why, but Google Docs has trouble dealing with the latest response letter from BCS.  It won't show it in preview mode, but it is possible to download the document locally and read it.