Thursday, April 11, 2013

LASD Delivers Final Offer

Note: This blog post is late- we delivered the final offer on April 1, 2013 as required by law. At that time, I delivered a letter to the community. This post includes that letter, as well as links to the various documents for the 2013-14 facilities process.

On April 1, 2013, LASD delivered the Final Offer of Facilities to BCS.  They have responded with their Notice of Intent to Occupy, along with their customary statement that says they deem the offer insufficient and they reserve the right to sue us.

This offer is an exceptionally strong offer, and it is actually more than what is required by law.  I can only hope that BCS will decide it isn't worth suing over this, and we can return our focus to the children we educate.

I state this in my letter, but I also want to point it out here:  the District staff has worked incredibly hard to prepare this offer.  There are countless hours devoted to measuring, counting, and calculating, as well as then working through all the logistical and programmatic impacts of this type of arrangement.  The District's Chief Business Officer, Randy Kenyon, has taken point on this, and done a fantastic job.  I also want to specifically call out Sandra McGonagle for her hard work.  As the principal at Blach, she and her staff have gone through a great deal to revise their program to accommodate BCS and welcome them into a new way of sharing facilities.  We are fortunate to have such superb folks advancing the work of the District.  To accomplish this while maintaining such an excellent program, and to continue to achieve State-level recognition for our efficient administration, well, it says a lot about our team.

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 Jan 1 letter from BCS.  It won't show it in preview mode, but it is possible to download the document locally and read it.

(letter to community sent on April 3, 2013)

Parents, Guardians, and Community Members

I'm pleased to say that the District has successfully completed and delivered the final facilities offer to BCS for the 2013-14 school year. This year's process incorporated an unprecedented level of community input, spanning more than a dozen public meetings over a 5 month period. In developing the Final Offer, the District has offered BCS generous access to shared space on the Blach campus, as well as maintaining their footprint on the Egan campus. The shared space, in particular, represents a significant change in the offers we have made to BCS. In addition to providing their 6-8 students with access to specialized teaching space, it also creates an opportunity for us to work together and share, thereby increasing trust between the groups.

The District also strives to be transparent in our operations, so I would like to acknowledge a mistake we made recently. Under the open meeting laws in California, we agendize all topics to be discussed in closed session, so that the community can stay apprised of those discussions. At Monday's Board meeting, we met with consultants to discuss real estate during closed session, as permitted under the Brown Act. However, in the press of preparing the Final Offer, we neglected to use the correct language to agendize this item. Due to this oversight, the Board is required to meet again and discuss this item anew, which will provide the public the opportunity to weigh in before the Board adjourns to closed session. We will do this by holding a special board meeting on April 15th at 6pm.

The process of delivering the Final Offer is a challenging one, and on behalf of the board I would like to extend our thanks to the district employees who have worked so hard to evaluate options, develop alternatives, and make adjustments to our program in order to make this all work. They have been professional throughout the process. We can all be grateful that we have such a fantastic team working on behalf of our students.

Have a wonderful spring break, and we will see you on your return.

Warm regards,

Doug Smith
President, LASD Board of Trustees