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

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 20
1993 - Hart High grad Dee Dee Myers (1979) becomes first female White House press secretary [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.


  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...
Thursday, Jan 11, 2018
There may come a time in your life when you need mental health care. Your Medicare covers a wide variety of such services, in both hospital inpatient and outpatient settings.
Monday, Jan 1, 2018
Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin previews Year 4 of the city's five-year Strategic Plan in his monthly message for January 2018.
Sunday, Dec 10, 2017
Derelict since the 1994 earthquake, the Pioneer Oil Refinery in Newhall was the first productive oil refinery in the American West and is believed to be the oldest existing refinery in the world today. Unfunded restoration plans have come and gone. Now that the surrounding property is under development, will the promises be kept?
Friday, Dec 8, 2017
A National Memorial designation for St. Francis Dam will honor those who lost their lives in the nation’s worst engineering disaster and the role it played in ushering in a new era of oversight for dam construction.
Thursday, Dec 7, 2017
Eliminating net neutrality would allow Internet service providers such as Verizon, Comcast, Spectrum and AT&T to create a “slow lane” and a “fast lane” on the Internet, prioritizing certain companies over others and dictating what websites you’re able to visit and at what speed, or even blocking you entirely from visiting certain websites of your choice.
Monday, Dec 4, 2017
In his monthly message for December 2017, Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin encourages residents to shop and party locally during the holidays to keep the cash in our community.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1993 - Hart High grad Dee Dee Myers (1979) becomes first female White House press secretary [story]
On Monday, January 22, 2018, traffic on McBean Parkway, between Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard, will experience delays intermittently between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. due to filming involving a Cessna airplane that will land at Valencia Country Club. It is anticipated there will be fewer than five brief closures throughout the day and each will last for approximately two to five minutes.
Jan. 22: Filming in Valencia Prompts Street Closures
Attorneys Brian Koegle and David Poole of Santa Clarita Valley law firm Poole & Shaffery, LLP will provide insight on legal matters affecting California businesses at the Valley Industry Association's February luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on February 20 starting at 11:45 a.m.
Feb. 20: VIA Luncheon, 2018 Employment Law Update
Oak Hills Educational Foundation and Oak Hills PTA will be hosting their annual science fair at Oak Hills School in Valencia in the form of an exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Expo event on Jan. 23rd-26th.
Jan. 26: Oaks Hills STEM Expo
2017 was an exceptional year for the Santa Clarita Valley economy, and 2018 promises even more positive growth.
Live, Work, Play in SCV: All to Improve in 2018
Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation Mythbusters tackle a tough and persistent question: Is growing a community a good thing?
SCV EDC Mythbusters: Why Growth is Good
The nonprofit SCV Mayor’s Committee For Employment of Individuals with Disabilities will host its second annual Educate-Empower-Employ Recognition Luncheon at COC on Thursday, February 22.
Feb. 22: SCV Mayor’s Committee Annual Luncheon, Fundraiser
CalArts alumni will stage the second annual Co-Incidence Festival, an experimental music festival and residency hosted at Washington Street Gallery in Somerville, Massachusetts from Jan. 19-28.
Jan. 19-28: CalArtians Stage Co-Incidence Festival in Mass.
Joseph Wayne Monroy, a South Gate man charged with the murder of a Newhall man in January 2016, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Los Angeles Superior Court today, and was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
Monroy Sentenced to 21 Years for 2016 Newhall Murder
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has appointed Joseph Hedges to the position of Chief Operating Officer and Pamela Mizukami as Chief Deputy Director of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
Brown Expands High-Speed Rail Exec Team to Move Project Forward
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reports that influenza activity has declined over the last two weeks; however, activity is still widespread and higher than peak levels observed during recent seasons.
Flu Outbreak Eases in LA County, But Still Widepsread
The Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District has appointed Brittany Kruczynski as the new Director of Fiscal Services.
Kruczynski Named Hart District Fiscal Services Director
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies were out in force stepping up enforcement of pedestrian and bicycle safety laws and issued 69 citations to drivers Wednesday, but none to pedestrians.
SCV Deputies’ Pedestrian, Bike Safety Push Nets 69 Citations
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today issued a statement calling out Acting Director Mick Mulvaney of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for requesting a total of $0 for the agency's second-quarter budget.
State AG: ‘Trump Officials Treat Consumer Financial Protection as a Joke’
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold its next Regular Meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m.
Jan. 23: City Council Regular Meeting
Amazon announced its list of top 20 finalists for their new headquarters Thursday, and the Los Angeles area -- including the Santa Clarita Valley -- was named among them.
LA, Including SCV’s Newhall Ranch, In the Running for Amazon’s HQ2
1967 - Original airing of Star Trek "Arena" Episode: Kirk battles the Gorn commander (Saugus resident Bobby Clark) at Vasquez Rocks [watch]
In an exciting conclusion of events, approximately 40 inmates who participated in the Education Based Incarceration program received either a high school diploma or certificate of completion for vocational training.
Largest Class of Inmates in Education Based Incarceration Program Graduates
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency (SCV Water) has selected its inaugural leadership to preside over the launch of the newly formed water provider.
SCV Water Selects Inaugural Leadership
Well V-205, located near McBean Parkway and Valencia Blvd., was voluntarily removed from service in April 2012 when perchlorate was detected in low concentrations, below the Detection Level for Reporting (DLR).
Perchlorate at Out-of-Service Well Reaches Actionable Level
The Santa Clarita City Council will consider purchasing the 4,598-square-foot building Roger Dunn Golf Shop building in Newhall when the council meets next week.
City Eyeing Purchase of Roger Dunn Building
Here are the Santa Clarita arts-related events for Jan. 20 and Jan. 25:
Jan. 20, 25: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
Following in the footsteps of her grandfather, dad, mom and several other family members, Erin Oxhorn-Gilpin always wanted to be a teacher.
CSUN Alumna Nabs Teacher of the Year
Legendary Band, "The Chieftains," will celebrate their 55th Anniversary with a performance at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (SCPAC), Saturday, Feb. 24, at 8:00 p.m.
Feb. 24: The Chieftains 55th Anniversary Tour
SEATTLE - Amazon reviewed 238 proposals from across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to host HQ2, the company’s second headquarters in North America.
Los Angeles on Short List of Amazon’s HQ2
The Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District Board of Directors will hold its Regular Meeting Friday at 11:30 a.m.
Jan. 19: SCV Sanitation District Regular Meeting
Kevin Young has been selected as the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) 2018 Katie Jacobson Writer-in-Residence. Young will conduct workshops with CalArts students in the MFA Creative Writing Program and present public readings, which will be held at CalArts on Feb. 15 at 7:00 p.m. and at REDCAT in Downtown Los Angeles on Feb. 16 at 8:30 p.m.
The New Yorker’s Poetry Editor Selected as CalArts 2018 Writer-in-Residence
LOS ANGELES – The County Interim Health Officer is issuing a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures. Wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Affected areas include:
Cold Weather Alert Issued for SCV
Here is the Valencia Crime Information and Public Safety report for the week of Jan. 1:
Crime Blotter: Shoplifting, Burglary, Grand Theft Auto in Valencia
Here is the Saugus (Zone 4) Public Safety and Crime Prevention Information for the week of Jan. 8:
Crime Blotter: Burglary, Grand Theft Auto in Saugus
Here is the Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) Public Safety and Crime Information Report for the week of Jan. 8:
Crime Blotter: Attempted Robbery, Grand Theft Auto, Burglary in Stevenson Ranch
Here is the Newhall (Zone 6) Public Safety and Crime Prevention Information for the week of Jan. 8:
Crime Blotter: Commercial Burglary, Vehicle Burglary, Grand Theft in Newhall
1899 - Martin & Richard Wood buy J.H. Tolfree's Saugus Eating House, rename it Saugus Cafe [story]
The dismantling of a multi-state drug trafficking organization that used the U.S. Postal Service to mail packages of crystal methamphetamine and marijuana from California to traffickers in Pennsylvania since at least April 2016 - and the arrests of five leaders who spearheaded the corrupt organization, including two from the Santa Clarita Valley - were announced Wednesday by Montgomery County (Penn.) District Attorney Kevin R. Steele.
2 from SCV Netted in Major East Coast Drug Bust
With The Master's University's 2018 baseball season about to begin, TMU Sports Information Director Mason Nesbitt offers a preview.
TMU Previews Mustangs’ 2018 Baseball Season
Several CalArtians are among the Chicago-based United States Artists' annual fellowship class of 45 artists and collaboratives who will each receive an unrestricted $50,000 grant for their respective art practices.
CalArtians Among United States Artists’ New Fellowship Class