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SCVNews.com | Saugus Board Again Rejects Einstein’s Charter Bid | 04-24-2013
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alberteinsteinacademylogoSaugus Union School District board members voted 3-1 Tuesday to reject a fourth charter school petition from the Einstein Academy for the Letters, Arts and Sciences for a kindergarten to sixth-grade school.

Board member Stephen Winkler voted in favor of the petition.

District staffers, who recommended a rejection to the board, cited the fact that the school’s most recent petition was, by the admission of AELAS Foundation Executive Director Jeffrey Shapiro, very similar to previous petitions, according to district officials.

“Shapiro’s cover letter to this petition admits that the current petition had limited modifications, making it virtually the same petition that was denied Oct. 16, according to a statement released by the district.

However, the school did not send any representatives this time around because they knew they never had a fair shot this time, Shapiro said.

“We have long known that (Saugus Union officials) are not going to approve the elementary charter,” said Shapiro, who was out of state Tuesday for a new charter school the foundation recently received approval for in Ohio.

”We know that there are effectively no circumstances under which they would (approve),” he said. “However, it is a required part of the process. With this in mind, we opt not to be present at the vote and participate in a process conducted in bad faith.”

 

Einstein Academy’s plans to appeal

Shapiro mentioned plans to appeal the decision to the Los Angeles County Office of Education, or LACOE, if Saugus Union officials rejected his fourth appeal.

Einstein Academy officials recently received approvals from boards in San Diego and Ventura counties, as well as in Ohio.

The foundation also operates a seventh- to 12th-grade charter school in the William S. Hart Union High School District.

LACOE officials were handed a staff recommendation to reject Einstein Academy’s petition on two separate occasions. Both times, academy officials received permission to withdraw their petition before a decision was made.

“The petition was fully vetted both by our staff and by independent counsel who is experienced in charter law and will be looking at both the financial and the programs of the petition,” said board President Judy Umeck, who also said the district has spent more than $150,000 on charter petitions.

“We need outside expertise to formulate an objective opinion — unfortunately that comes at a high cost,” Umeck said in a recent interview. “The outside expertise is in regard to charter law.”

Because AELAS appealed to a local district, in this case, Saugus Union, it has the option to again appeal to LACOE, and then if that board then rejects Einstein’s appeal, Einstein officials can appeal to the state. Had AELAS appealed directly to the county, there would be no recourse.

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6 Comments

  1. Arif Halaby says:

    What is the reason that the Charter is not approved? It seems if a few modifications are needed that they would be communicated to the Einstein staff staff. Sounds like there must be some other motive for not approving.

  2. Marcie Simpson says:

    It’s too bad that the Saugus school district is responding this way to a Charter school. As a parent with children in SC school, I know the schools are overcrowded and we need another choice. I’m in support of the Einstein school and look forward to the school opening int he future.

  3. TBF says:

    [Hypocrisy]

    The District’s hypocrisy is shown when it faults Einstein with the special education demographic when the Santa Clarita Districts’s special ed demographic API scores low & many of the schools are in “program improvement” with the Federal government.

    Ask parents with special needs kids how the District treats them & if they feel that they are offered a Free & Appropriate Education (FAPE, Education law). Often, the answer will be no. IEP meetings (meetings to discuss FAPE for special ed student) are often contentious & Districts often intimidate parents. Look up wrightslaw.com & google “special education” to see all the abuses & complaints against Districts.

    [Government & Corporation Corruption]

    The public must look closely at the facts & not be swayed by biased media. Look and listen to independent media such as KCRW & LinkTV. The American Public must advocate for the rights of the citizen.

    The main reason for contention between the Districts & the Special ed child is lack of appropriate education funding. The cause of the lack of funding is because of the economic downturn. The economic downturn was caused by the major corporate conglomerates funding politicians’ campaigns & lobbying to pass laws in support of the corporate conglomerates.

    The banking industry was deregulated allowing hedge fund managers to speculate with the average persons’ investments & causing the Internet bubble & the housing crisis.

    Laws protecting the environment were loosened, whereby corporations are freer to pollute the environment. Pollution causes poisoning of our children, which thereby is greatly responsible for the exploding special needs of our children.

    The bastion of Democracy (the media) was dealt a blow with the passing of the Telecom Act whereby by the corporations gobbled up the free press & effectively silenced the voices of opposition.

    Do you wonder why television programming & news have become lacking in independent thinking, “decency,” & intelligent programming? It is better for the corporations to “dumb down” the public & mold us into becoming mere “consumers” easily manipulated by slick marketing, advertising & public relations.

    America is resembling more an oligarchy (rule by few, the corporate conglomerates) & more of a Totalitarian society.

    [Call to Independence]

    We must inform ourselves & think independently. If not, this society will become (if not already) Totalitarian where only the few rule in power & the rest are mere serfs.

    George Orwellian’s society of 1984 is here today.

  4. TBF says:

    I forgot to add something very important regarding the hypocrisy of the School District:

    [Hypocrisy]
    The District’s hypocrisy is shown when it faults Einstein with the special education demographic when the Santa Clarita Districts’s special ed demographic API scores low & many of the schools are in “program improvement” with the Federal government.

    Saugus Union District is now “resegregating” the Special needs students by moving Special Day Schools to Emblem Elementary. This will artificially pump up the API scores of the District’s other schools and is a Civil Rights Segregation issue.

  5. TBF says:

    I forgot to add something very important regarding the hypocrisy of the School District:

    [Hypocrisy]
    The District’s hypocrisy is shown when it faults Einstein with the special education demographic when the Santa Clarita Districts’s special ed demographic API scores low & many of the schools are in “program improvement” with the Federal government.

    Saugus Union District is now “resegregating” the Special needs students by moving Special Day Schools to Emblem Elementary. This will artificially pump up the API scores of the District’s other schools and is a Civil Rights Segregation issue.

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