[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
54°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 16
1926 - Newhall Community Hospital, est. 1922, opens in larger, more modern hospital building at 6th & Spruce streets [story]


Commentary by Brian Walters
| Wednesday, Dec 3, 2014
Brian Walters

Brian Walters

In our social media-driven world where “correct” answers tend to be determined by popularity rather than actual accuracy, opinions and spin on fact have become intermingled with actual facts and truth to the point where someone’s virtual or mythical reality becomes that person’s own substitute for what is real.

But make no mistake: Truth – things as they actually are, were or are to be – is still what constitutes fact and is not determined by how many people vote for it. There are the facts, and there are the myths, with each side choosing to which they will hold.

Unfortunately, that has been the example in the wake of Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Chalfant’s preliminary ruling in the case of Newhall School District versus the Acton Agua Dulce Unified School District (AADUSD) and the Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, Arts and Sciences (AEA) – finding that both defendants failed to comply with state Education Code sections 47605 and 47605.1.

As has already been reported, the judge declared the Newhall School District the prevailing party, vacated AEA’s original charter, and gave the school 120 days to apply for approval of a new charter for the already operating elementary school. That is a fact.

As the AADUSD board prepares for a public hearing Thursday night on a new charter petition by AEA, it is worth a discussion about facts.

Litigation was a matter of final recourse. The Governing Board of the Newhall School District has placed its highest value on the lawful education of our community’s young people. The lawsuit was not born out of malevolence or ill will, but to avert lawlessness while ensuring sound educational opportunities are made available in a manner that pays heed to the laws designed to protect each community’s resident stakeholders.

It was unfortunate that the several attempts by local educational leaders to resolve this without litigation were ignored.

It has been disheartening to see the manner in which several leaders of the AADUSD and AEA have spun the court’s decision to make it appear all is well when, indeed, there are serious concerns.

In light of this, I believe it is necessary to address some of the myths and facts of case BS149061, which can be accessed here: www.newhallschooldistrict.net/images/stories/pdf/board/notice/notice_of_ruling.pdf.

 

Myth 1: AEA and AADUSD “won” the lawsuit.

Fact: The Newhall School District was declared the prevailing party, which also allows the Newhall district to seek attorney fees from AADUSD and AEA.

Myth 2: AADUSD’s “charter initiative” plan, under which AEA’s school was approved, is legal.

Fact: The court found this to be a revenue-generation scheme that is inconsistent with the intent of the California Charter Schools Act of 1992 (page 2, 26), and cannot be used as a reason to approve a new charter petition by AEA. The judge completely vacated the charter that AEA was granted by the AADUSD. The intent of the Charter Schools Act was to approve charter schools for the students of the chartering district, not for other districts, and certainly not to generate revenue. In regard to Senate Bill 1263, a bill that attempted to correct the abuse, Gov. Jerry Brown stated, “it appears that some school districts and charter schools have gone against the spirit of the law and that the exemption (about location) has become the rule.”

Myth 3: The Newhall School District opposes charter schools and denied AEA’s charter petition because it is against “school choice.”

Fact: Since the inception of the Charter Schools Act in 1992, we have received only one petition for a charter. It was from AEA, and it was denied after a comprehensive expert review of, and report on, the proposed plan due to a number of concerns by the Governing Board, among them multiple errors and a lack of vital detail in AEA’s fiscal plan and its ability to serve English language learners. The Newhall School District’s denial of the AEA elementary charter was only one of many denials by multiple school districts and had nothing to do with the merits of charter schools. AEA elementary charter petitions were denied by the Los Angeles Unified School District (the world’s largest charter approver), Ventura USD, Saugus Union SD, Moorpark USD and the Los Angeles County Office of Education. These denials were for substantive reasons that could not be overlooked and put aside for school choice.

Myth 4: Judge Chalfant approved AEA’s site at the former Pinecrest School.

Fact: The judge completely vacated the charter that AEA was granted by the AADUSD. This included the location. While the school is not being required to shut down at this time, a new petition must be submitted to AADUSD and a hearing must be held, allowing the Newhall School District to present its evidence about location. The AADUSD has been admonished not to approve a charter based on its strategy of raising district revenue through its charter schools initiative. When talking about the location issue, the judge invited the Newhall School District to present its case wherein it can contend “conspiratorial action” and “bad faith” on the part of AEA and AADUSD.

Myth 5: AEA has been cleared to establish a “permanent site” at the former Pinecrest School in Santa Clarita.

Fact: This is the very issue that is still being contested and has yet to be determined.

Myth 6: The Newhall School District is prohibited from appealing the judge’s ruling on the outcome of this case.

Fact: The Newhall School District intends to pursue this case until all issues are finally resolved. The judge viewed the next step as correcting the unlawful administrative mistakes that AADUSD made, but he has not yet ruled on the constitutional issues of school district jurisdiction that were raised in the Newhall School District’s complaint. Appeals and new lawsuits are not only allowable, but if the same course of action is insisted upon by AEA and AADUSD they are also probable. Imagine the city of Palmdale declaring that it was going to place a municipal service like police or a trash dump in the city of Santa Clarita. Would other local elected officials, who are charged by the people with making decisions about their respective jurisdictions, allow this to happen?

Myth 7: AEA is not able to find adequate facilities in AADUSD’s boundaries, so the Pinecrest site is legal.

Fact: This issue is in dispute, and the Newhall School District will provide evidence about adequate facilities within AADUSD’s boundaries for the hearing scheduled this week. AEA operated in AADUSD all last year at both Agua Dulce Elementary and an elementary school site that had been vacant for 10 years.

Myth 8: AEA and AADUSD did not need to provide proper notice to the Newhall School District about the original approval of the AEA charter.

Fact: The judge agreed that AEA’s original petition did not comply with the law, by failing to identify a specific location where it intended to operate a school outside of the AADUSD boundaries (page 15).

Myth 9: This matter is the result of a simple procedural error, and there was no violation of law.

Fact: Due process, which Judge Chalfant determined the Newhall School District and consequently its constituents had been denied, is no simple “oops, no biggie” issue. It is the foundation of our form of government and legal system and one of the great characteristics that separate us from dictatorships, tyrannies and other oppressive forms of government. It is the basis for ensuring that individuals and other entities receive the full benefit of the rights afforded to them. That is why the judge vacated the previous charter granted to AEA for an elementary school and gave direction to AADUSD to hold a bona fide hearing and proper process for addressing all concerns.

 

But don’t take just my word for it. We urge you to read the court’s findings, be informed, and decide for yourself.

The Newhall School District takes seriously the responsibility to provide educational opportunities consistent with legal and ethical obligations in a manner that is above reproach. It is my hope that, on whatever side of this issue you or I may fall, we will all choose to rise above spin and misinformation, separating fact from myth and civilly seeing this through to a lawful resolution that truly benefits the impacted communities.

 

Brian Walters is president of the Newhall School District Governing Board. His column reflects his own views.

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

7 Comments

  1. Be attentive to the blurry line that separates Opinion/Commentary from actual News.

  2. Be attentive to the blurry line that separates Opinion/Commentary from actual News.

  3. Very disappointed to be able to say I am a product of NSD. This guy wrote an entire article showing why we should side with him. The fact is simple our kids are happy and are learning. My 1st grader was teaching us Mandarin the other day. AEA has one of the top performing high schools in our valley, when it comes to producing scholars they are truly on point. We should welcome AEA into this community with open arms. NSD needs to redirect their attention to fixing the schools within the NSD boundaries that are performing poorly, instead of attacking a school that is performing to the needed standards.

  4. Gee at least he is not biased.

  5. Kevin D. Korenthal says:

    This opinion piece contains far too many inaccuracies to even bother trying to correct.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019
Most doctors accept Medicare as full payment for their services. But some accept it only for certain services, and others don’t accept it at all. What does this mean for you?
Tuesday, Dec 18, 2018
Imagine going to the grocery store, picking up the items you need for the week, but not knowing how much anything costs until the store sends you a bill two weeks later.
Tuesday, Dec 4, 2018
It is hard to believe that 2018 is already coming to an end.
Monday, Dec 3, 2018
In her December message, Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste wishes residents a safe and enjoyable holiday season, and details some fun family events coming up.
Thursday, Nov 15, 2018
Most people with Medicare will pay the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B, which will be $135.50 next year, an increase of $1.50 over 2018. Your Part B premium is based on your income. People whose tax returns show income equal to or higher than $85,000 pay higher premiums. These income-adjusted premiums apply to about 5 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries.
Thursday, Oct 18, 2018
It makes good sense to review your coverage each year. Make sure your plan still is a good fit for you in terms of cost, coverage, and quality.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1926 - Newhall Community Hospital, est. 1922, opens in larger, more modern hospital building at 6th & Spruce streets [story]
Most doctors accept Medicare as full payment for their services. But some accept it only for certain services, and others don’t accept it at all. What does this mean for you?
Keep Your Medicare Costs Down
An oil painting demo by Lynne Fearman will be held on Monday, Feb. 18, at the meeting of the Santa Clarita Artists Association (SCAA).
Feb. 18: Oil Painting Demo by Lynne Fearman
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved $500,000 in funding to repair the 1.8-mile-long Canyon Trail at Placerita Canyon Natural Area and Nature Center, which sustained major damage following the Sand Canyon Fire in 2016.
Placerita Nature Center to Undergo Repairs from Sand Fire Damage
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is set for Wednesday, at the Administrative Center, 21380 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita 91350.
Jan. 16: Hart District Governing Board Regular Meeting
SCV Water's Public Outreach and Legislation Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 17: SCV Water Public Outreach, Legislation Committee Meeting
The California Enterprise Development Authority will hold a teleconference meeting Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
Jan. 17: California Enterprise Development Authority Teleconference Meeting
The Canyon Country Advisory Committee (CCAC) will hold its first meeting of 2019 on Wednesday from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Jan. 16: Canyon Country Advisory Committee Meeting
The Santa Clarita Community College District’s Board of Trustees will hold its next business meeting at College of the Canyons’ Valencia campus on Wednesday.
Jan. 16: COC Board of Trustees Business Meeting
A flash flood watch is in effect in the Santa Clarita Valley until Tuesday evening. The following is from the social media account of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station:
Flash Flood Watch in Effect, Bouquet Canyon Road Closed at San Francisquito
Forty-five amateur chefs are sweating it out in the kitchen, preparing to compete in the 7th Annual SCV Charity Chili Cook-off. People’s Choice and Judges Choice prizes will be awarded to the top three chili’s in each category.
March 21: Annual SCV Charity Chili Cook-Off
MESA, Ariz. – The University of Antelope Valley Pioneers (6-11; 4-1 Cal Pac) earned their fourth conference win on Saturday afternoon, handily defeating the Redhawks of Benedictine University at Mesa (13-7; 2-3 Cal Pac), 92-75, in intercollegiate California Pacific Conference men’s basketball action inside Heap Gymnasium.
Pioneers Cruise to 4th Conference Win
MESA, Ariz. – After a late rally, the University of Antelope Valley Pioneers (14-4; 4-1 Cal Pac) would go on to win in overtime on Saturday, defeating the Redhawks of Benedictine University at Mesa (5-9; 1-4 Cal Pac), 77-74, in intercollegiate California Pacific Conference women’s basketball action inside Heap Gymnasium.
Lady Pioneers Rally Past Benedictine University
Because of the recent rainfall, Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, is cautioning residents who are planning to visit Los Angeles County beaches to avoid swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers. Bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters at and around these outlets after a rainfall.
Beach Water Advisory Extended Until Thursday
Valencia-based Bioness, Inc., the leading provider of advanced, clinically supported medical devices for the treatment of chronic pain of peripheral nerve origin, has launched the first and only Patient Registry for peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) using its StimRouter Neuromodulation System.
Valencia-based Bioness Intros First Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Registry
The DECA Chapter from Valencia High School recently competed in the 2019 Southern California Career Development Conference.
Vikings Earn Top 3 at So Cal Career Conference
NORTHRIDGE - After leading CSUN Men's Basketball to a pair of road wins to start conference play, sophomore Terrell Gomez has received Big West Player of the Week accolades, the league office announced on Monday.
Matadors Sophomore Earns Big West Player of the Week
This year, Le Chène French Cuisine will be hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner on Valentine's Day, Thursday, Feb. 14 at 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 14: Le Chène’s Valentine’s Day Murder Mystery Dinner
Evacuation centers are now open for the Woolsey Fire burn areas.
Evacuation Centers Now Open for Woolsey Fire Burn Areas
Unified Command has identified properties in the Woolsey fire burn area that may be subject to a high volume of mud and debris flow. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel will be out to give residents at the identified properties advance evacuation notice. Mandatory evacuations began at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday.
Mandatory Evacuations Underway for Portions of Woolsey Fire Burn Area
The SCV Water Board of Directors confirmed Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s appointment of former Assembly member Dante Acosta to its Board of Directors at its special Board meeting, Monday, Jan. 7.
Acosta Confirmed to SCV Water Board
The city of Santa Clarita Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.
Jan. 15: Santa Clarita Planning Commission Regular Meeting
Caltrans urges motorists to be prepared and use caution when driving this winter. Taking action and being proactive can help reduce the risk of injury and even death on the highways during the upcoming storm. Operators of vehicles must use their best judgment in all types of weather.
Caltrans Offers Winter Driving Safety Tips
1875 - Henry Mayo Newhall buys western half of the Santa Clarita Valley for $2 an acre [story]
A 22-year-old Palmdale man died on Bouquet Canyon Road early Monday morning in a solo crash believed to be caused by excessive speed, according to the California Highway Patrol's Newhall Area office.
Palmdale Man Dies in Solo Crash on Bouquet Canyon Road
All half, the ball had been flying out of Darryl McDowell-White's hands and diving into the bottom of the net.
Men’s Hoops: McDowell-White, Johnson Lead Master’s over Westmont
Surging to an early lead and showcasing a dominating defense that has been the squad's hallmark over the past 10 games, the No. 21-ranked Mustangs led wire-to-wire in a 58-48 win over No. 15 Westmont.
Women’s Hoops: Stingy Mustang Defense Keys Win Over No. 15 Westmont
Newhall School District officials are hosting a series of parent information nights this week about the district's Dual Language Immersion Program for English- and Spanish-speaking students.
Jan. 14, 16: Newhall School District Info Nights on English-Spanish Dual Immersion
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended the registration period for Los Angeles County residents affected by the recent wildfires to apply for disaster assistance to Jan. 31.
FEMA Extends Wildfire Aid Application Deadline to Jan. 31
The Cougars had four players score in double figures and shot a combined 48.2 percent from the field, but could not hold off the Ventura Pirates in an 86-81 loss on Friday in the Cougar Cage.
Men’s Hoops: Cougars Fall 86-81 to Visiting Pirates
College of the Canyons will offer a Google IT Support Professional Certificate course in March, at no cost to anyone.
COC Offers Free Online Course for Google IT Support Certificate
To better assist high school seniors with the transition to collegiate life, College of the Canyons will offer information nights on Jan. 15 and 16 at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center and at Canyon High School on Thursday, Jan. 17.
Jan. 15-17: COC Sets Info Nights at Pac, Canyon High School
Officers from the California Highway Patrol Newhall Area station have closed northbound Interstate 5 at Parker Road in Castaic due to snow in the Grapevine and Tejon Pass.
Grapevine Snow Prompts CHP to Close I-5 Northbound at Parker Road
Magnified by a 2016 case in which doctors removed an infant from life support over the parents’ objections, a fight over California’s longstanding standard on brain death sharpened Monday at the Ninth Circuit.
California Brain-Death Standard Debated at 9th Circuit
A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign has been established to help the nonprofit Santa Clarita Artists Association replace equipment damaged or destroyed in a storage locker fire on Jan. 7.
GoFundMe Campaign Set Up to Aid Santa Clarita Artists Association
The city of Santa Clarita has updated the list of productions shooting in the city and the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Jan. 14-20, 2
‘Goliath,’ Anjelica Video, ‘F.U. Guys’ Feature Now Filming in SCV