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|League of Women Voters of California
Margot G. Harrigan
The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Los Altos/Mtn. View Area and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates.
1. What do you see are the challenges facing the school district for the next four years?
The biggest challenge will be our ability to maintain class size reduction and our excellent educational program hand in hand with declining funds from the state.
Secondly, with Phase One of our Master Facilities Plan nearly complete, the next challenge will be to plan and fund Phase Two for completion of construction of much needed new facilities.
Thirdly, the Board , working with staff, needs to put in place a plan to recruit teachers to move into administrative positions.
2. If a charter school is approved, what do you see as the issues and benefits for the district?
The most significant impact to the district of a charter school will be reduction in our district student population. The enrollment loss and the state funding (ADA money) associated with each child will have a mild to highly negative impact, depending on how many students actually leave our district to attend another school.
However, if the County is the chartering agency, LASD will NOT have responsilbity for fiscal or curricular oversight, negotiations of details regarding the charter school operation, or supporting and funding Special Ed children attending a charter school.
Longer term, I have several concerns, in particular: 1) how the distict will deal with families who change their minds after attending the charter school and want to return to an LASD school, 2) when the charter school children move on to Egan or Blach Jr High, there may be challenges in integrating a body of students that have not had the same curriculum; and 3) what the long term impact on LASD will be should the charter school not fulfill their stated goals and fail.
3. How should the Bullis School site be best utilized?
The Board voted in September to accept the recommendation of the "7-11 Committee", which is to lease the site in order to provide additional revenue to the district.
I feel strongly that when that site is finally leased, the contract must have maximum flexibility, that it not be a long term lease and that it must have provisions for the site to be used by the broader Los Altos Hills community for after school and weekend community and recreational activities.
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