Information on School Location
We have not yet finalized a location for the school and thus are not yet able to provide a final address. We are diligently continuing our search for a school site and pursuing a strong lead near San Tomas Aquino and Campbell Ave. This facility has the capability to accommodate our school for many years as well as provide access to nearby playgrounds. We are in negotiation and will know a final status by the end of February. Because of our facility issues, our enrollment is on hold indefinitely but our status may change rapidly based on the results of our negotiation. Please sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest updates.
While many properties within the Moreland School District are either "for lease" or "for sale", unfortunately, all of these properties are located in retail/commercial only zones. This restriction will not allow Wei Yu to convert the property into a permitted use for schools, especially given that many other tenants of that same retail property have clauses that do not allow concurrent occupation of public educational facilities. Due to charter law, Wei Yu is unable to locate outside of the Moreland School District boundaries so our search is absolutely limited to properties that serve the Moreland School District.
We want to thank the Taiwanese American Presbyterian Church for their tremendous support. However, due to the length of the lease and the high cost and disruption to bring the buildings to code, both teams agreed not to pursue development of the parking lot.
What Wei Yu is Doing to Secure a Facility
One of the most challenging tasks of charter schools is finding a suitable site, especially in California where real estate is expensive and strict building codes limit the number of appropriately zoned buildings. Unlike the local school district which owns properties, start-up charters without extensive capital, such as Wei Yu, have the option of pursuing Prop 39 Facilities Request or self-site through a private organization. We are currently prioritizing the following two options:
1. Self-siting Through Private Organization
Approximately 40% of charter schools in California rent from private organizations. However, in West San Jose, commercial real estate is incredibly expensive and buildings with correct zoning and permits for public school elementary school operation is in low supply yet high demand. Fortunately, Wei Yu has identified a couple of available private sites with the correct zoning. However, a major challenge is the length of time required to obtain permits and the sheer amount of capital required to develop the sites to meet elementary school regulations. We welcome any input from our supporters who have knowledge of school building permits, land-use, and other city planning and architectural requirements.
We are continuing our efforts due locate a suitable facility within the Moreland School District boundaries that has the required permits for school operation and meets all building codes for public school occupation.
While we previously had a signed lease with the Taiwanese American Presbyterian Church, due to the length of the lease coupled with the high cost of development ($7 million+), our team has chosen not to pursue this avenue.
2. Partnering with the Moreland School District to Lease an Available District Site
While Wei Yu submitted a Prop 39 Facilities Request to the Moreland School District at the end of October with more than the minimum number of required signatures for a Prop 39 facilities request, our Prop 39 Facilities request was unfortunately denied. Thank you to our supporters who signed our form. Currently, Moreland has several properties leased to private schools, preschools, and another public charter school. The Moreland School District may have additional unutilized space or land on one of their existing properties that could be rented out to the general public. Wei Yu would rent the facility like any other public or private entity seeking an appropriate school site.
Information on Prop 39
What is Prop 39?
Prop 39 is a voter passed initiative that allows charter schools to request a facility through the local school district as long as the charter school can demonstrate a minimum number of enrolled students live in the district AND pay the school district a pro rata share charge or an increased oversight fee. The intent of Proposition 39 ("Prop. 39") is to ensure "that public school facilities should be shared fairly among all public school pupils, including those in charter schools." (Education Code Section 47614.) Prop 39 requires negotiation between the charter school and the local school district based on a timeline determined by Prop 39 regulations. The Prop 39 Application is due Nov 1 to the school district and the school district must respond by Dec 1. Local school districts and charter schools frequently disagree on the projected enrollment based on the signatures collected, resulting in either a denial in the application or an offering of a much smaller space than requested. Further negotiations on the offer and space may take up to March 2017 for final decisions.
Who can sign?
Parents in the Moreland School District with children who will be in Kindergarten or 1st grade next Fall (children must be 5 or 6 years old on or before September 1, 2017) and are meaningfully interested in enrolling in Wei Yu.
What does “meaningfully interested” mean?
Meaningfully interested means that you have some intent to enroll your child(ren) at Wei Yu, but it does not formally enroll students or obligate you to enroll your child when open enrollment begins in December 2016. The District cannot dis-enroll your child from his/her District school for signing the form, or take any other punitive action.
For more information on Prop 39, please visit http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cs/as/proposition39.asp