LEASE TO PRIVATE AND CHARTER SCHOOLS
After the first major round of school closures, in 2010, TUSD received credible offers from four different charter schools, to buy or lease closed school sites. Mark was the only person in TUSD’s leadership arguing that such offers should be considered, case-by-case. So all of those offers were ignored. In one case (La Paloma), the charter school built its own new facility and the school that it had wanted to use remained empty for years.
Several years later, as TUSD was predictably still having problems finding non-schools that wanted to take possession of schools, Mark’s position prevailed. TUSD currently leases several sites to small charter or private schools.
The governing board still tends to be hostile to lease or purchase offers from charter or private schools. For example, in 2015 the board rejected, on a 3-2 vote, a request by a small private school, which was already leasing a TUSD site, to add a small charter school. The expansion would have had negligible impact on TUSD and actually offered some program exchange benefits to University High School. It was also strongly supported by the neighborhood. Decisions such as these should be based for practical rather than for philosophical or political reasons.