This editorial appeared in yesterday's PI.
Also, just to put some perspective on how this lawsuit came to pass, Ballard was not a popular school in the late 80's/early '90s. It ran almost full but was not a big first choice. In 1991, the then-Superintendent recommended the building be demolished and rebuilt but could not get a bond measure passed until 1995. In 1994, a student there was killed in a drive-by shooting. It would be interesting to know where Queen Anne and Magnolia students spread out to after Queen Anne High was closed in 1981 but, given that Ballard High wasn't full, I don't think they were all trying to get in there. Ballard was really in a bad state.
So Ballard was rebuilt and became a success story (with the biotech/maritime programs put in to make the school more attractive). The district success in reinventing Ballard did cause more parents in Queen Anne and Magnolia to try to send their students there and thus you got the oversubscription.
Also, in doing some research, I found some interesting capacity numbers (given to the PI by the District). This was for 1989:
Ballard 993 1054
Roosevelt 1238 1345
Hale 780 933
Garfield 1165 1173
In all the time I've done research, I've never seen these capacity figures so low. If Roosevelt's capacity was 1345, then they were really packing them in at 1600. My point is that Facilities figures are troubling given the variation in them from year-to-year, decade-to-decade for the same buildings.