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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
98°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 23
1888 - 8:15 a.m.: Newhall's luxurious Southern Hotel burns to the ground [story]


Commentary by Ken Pfalzgraf
| Monday, Aug 22, 2016

KenPfalzgraf2016For the better part of five years, I have been a regular – and often the only – attendee of the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District (AADUSD) board of trustees meetings. In the past three years, I’ve watched the district go from teetering at fiscal insolvency to operating with an ample surplus, funded by income from a vast network of charter schools developed using processes that have yet to be legally or legislatively validated – much less understood by the district’s constituents.

In addition to providing an alternative for educating students who were not being reached by standard methods, the charter school movement started as a means of developing innovations that would ultimately benefit public education. The ever-increasing popularity of charter schools has fueled a nasty division between public schools and charters over funding and test scores. Public schools lose funding when a student leaves for a charter. Some claim that charters “cream off” the best students, leaving the public schools with artificially deflated test scores and an inordinate share of the cost of instructing students with the highest needs.

Legislative intervention may be necessary to balance the fiscal well-being of public schools and the educational innovations being gained through the charters. But for now, the courts and the Legislature are focusing on the outer fringe of the charter school game, the prolific charter authorizers who are in it for the money.

First are “corporations and corporate interests — which are not about improving academic outcomes for students, but about maximizing revenues for the benefit of management’s personal wealth and/or to fund future growth” (see No. 1 below). Then there is the small, “cash strapped” school district struggling to maintain its market share of local students and looking to recoup lost funding by taking a cut off of the charters it sponsors elsewhere.

California Sen. Carol Liu recently requested to have three of California’s 997 school districts audited by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, stating: “There have been accusations that some districts are authorizing in order to generate revenue through ‘oversight fees.’ Several extreme examples of this include Acton Agua Dulce Unified which has only four (actually three) traditional schools but authorizes 14 various charter schools, most outside the district. One of the district charters, Assurance Learning Academies, is located almost 60 miles away in Los Angeles. That school has significant academic issues including 91 percent of students not meeting standards in math” (2).

What happens to the fiscal stability of AADUSD if a legislative change wipes out the recent charter-generated windfall or if the few employees, past or present, who actually understand how the plan works take their ball and head off to another game?

With a California state auditor headed to AADUSD to have a closer look (3), does anybody else think it might be time to turn the focus back on the local students and fiscal self-sustainability?

 

Ken Pfalzgraf is an Acton resident and a candidate for the AADUSD Board of Trustees.

 

(1) https://www.csba.org/Newsroom/CSBANewsletters/2014/June/InPrint/VantagePoint.aspx

(2) https://www.dropbox.com/s/u9ow70cboesic46/Liu%20documents%20audit.pdf?dl=0

(3) https://www.dropbox.com/s/wnmutmeczab1w57/Charter%20audit%20methodology.pdf?dl=0

 

 

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.

3 Comments

  1. Joe says:

    You neglected to mention that charter schools are public schools and offer parents an alternative to district run education.

    • Ken Pfalzgraf says:

      Certainly not wanting to get into a last word contest here but my piece makes several references to the educational innovations coming out of charter schools. I think the sheer number of students attending charters is a clear indicator of a demand for choice as no one is forcing anyone to attend a charter in lieu of a traditional public school. In fact, one of my children attends a charter school. Likewise, this is not about all charter schools or public schools being one thing or another. This is about 3, again 3, school districts out of 997 (that’s 3/10ths of 1 percent where I come from) being looked at for a suspect process. Problem for me is that one of the three, or 1/10th of 1 percent of all school districts in the state, is the district where I live and where I am a candidate for the board. In other words, what Lee Jenkinson said.

  2. Lee Jenkinson says:

    As always, a potentially good idea is abused by those in charge for personal gain. It sounds as if legislation to tighten up oversight and practices is overdue.

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, Oct 10, 2017
It was 10 years ago this fall semester that we opened the Canyon Country Campus on Sierra Highway. We are celebrating a decade of academic excellence and community impact. What a difference a decade makes.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
The Trump budget proposes decreasing funding to the Department of the Interior by $1.5 billion. Trump is calling for more drilling in national parks and monuments. He plans to open BLM land to drilling and fracking.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
We are quickly approaching the culmination of the year-long celebration of our city’s 30th anniversary. It is truly a time to celebrate all the hard work, dedication, perseverance and passion that took our City from being a tiny portion of Los Angeles County to the thriving third largest city in the county.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
This month marks an exciting milestone for the premier arts and entertainment district in Santa Clarita.
Friday, Sep 29, 2017
Kaepernick has never spoken of personally experiencing any negative interactions with the police. Appearances are he had a pretty nice life provided by people with white skin while living in a country that presented him with obvious, mind-boggling opportunities.
Thursday, Sep 28, 2017
Despite its close proximity to the city of Barstow, Rainbow Basin remains virtually undiscovered. It is well worth a visit. Visitors to the area can find scenic opportunities for hiking, rock scrambling, camping, photography, sightseeing and horseback riding.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
TMU soccer player Brayden Campos is taking a crash course in goalkeeping. Two full games into his new gig, the freshman keeper is settling in just fine.
TMU Men’s Soccer: Campos Growing Into the Job
Early in Saturday’s second half, Sarah Stead chipped a short shot over the Jessup keeper’s head and into the goal, and Master’s hung on for a 1-0 win, its first shutout in two weeks.
TMU Women’s Soccer Team Blanks William Jessup 1-0
The Golden State Athletic Conference released its preseason coaches poll on Saturday morning, and The Master’s University men’s basketball team was projected to finish first.
TMU Men’s Basketball Tops GSAC Preseason Coaches Poll
In cross country, the No. 8-ranked TMU Mustang women finished third and the Mustang men finished fourth at the Warrior Invitational.
Mikesell Leads TMU Cross Country Through Rehearsal
Despite several bright spots in the home match, the Mustangs lost 3-1 by scores of 25-27, 25-21, 25-20 and 25-16.
Mustangs Volleyballers Corralled by Vanguard 3-1
In some sense, Thursday night’s match at Hope International in Fullerton summed up the Mustangs’ season to this point.
Hope International Bests Matadors Volleyball
A car crashed into the bedroom of a home on Wiley Canyon Road Saturday night, but no one was injured or arrested.
Car Makes Unwanted Visit to Newhall Home
A woman has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon in a stabbing incident in Stevenson Ranch Saturday night.
Woman Charged in Alleged Stabbing of Friend in Stevenson Ranch
1888 - 8:15 a.m.: Newhall's luxurious Southern Hotel burns to the ground [story]
Bobbi Jean and her husband Jim Bell, whose OutWest clothing store and popular TV concert series celebrated all things Western and equestrian and helped revitalize Old Town Newhall over the past decade, will soon ride east into the sunrise: They’re moving to New Mexico.
OutWest Owners Jim and Bobbi Jean Bell Ride East Into the Sunrise
1898 - Birth of Mary S. Ruiz, eldest child of Enrique & Rosaria Ruiz of San Francisquito Canyon; all died in 1928 dam disaster [cemetery census]
2007 - Buckweed fire chars 38,000 acres, destroys 21 homes in Canyon Country and Agua Dulce [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a sexual assault suspect was arrested Thursday night. Plus, some great weekend events. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, October 20, 2017
Forever Fit SCV, a Santa Clarita sports and personal fitness training company, will host a "Pumpkin Workout" at its Centre Pointe location on Saturday, October 28, starting at 9 a.m.
Oct. 25: Pumpkin Workout Benefits American Cancer Society
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is set for Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Oct. 25: Hart School District Governing Board Meeting
The LA County Public Defender has won the Silver Eagle Award for its Public Defender Jail Liaison Program during the 31st Annual Productivity and Quality Awards Ceremony on Oct. 18 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
LA County Public Defender Soars with Silver Eagle Award
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a heat alert as high temperatures have been forecast for the Los Angeles Basin on Monday, October 23 through Tuesday, October 24.
Heat Alert for SCV, L.A. County on Monday, Tuesday
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has received three major gifts toward the creation of the museum in Los Angeles, bringing fundraising to more than $300M, nearly 80 percent of its $388M campaign goal.
Motion Picture Museum Nears $388M Campaign Goal
Caltrans added nearly 1,200 lane miles of pavement repair and 66 bridges to its growing list of projects to be delivered sooner than planned, thanks to the imminent influx of revenue from the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (SB 1), the transportation funding and reform package passed in April.
Nearly $3.4 Billion in Transportation Projects to Be Accelerated
The city of Santa Clarita and SCV Veterans Memorial, Inc. invite the public to attend a special ceremony unveiling the new Fallen Warriors Monument at Veterans Historical Plaza in Newhall on Wednesday, November 8 starting at 10 a.m.
Nov. 8: City Unveils Fallen Warriors Monument in Newhall
Crime Prevention deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station along with Los Angeles County Probation Department officers conducted probation compliance searches Friday throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
SCV Deputies Check Probationers, Aid in Domestic Violence Call
Here is the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's public safety report for Canyon Country (West), aka Zone 7, for October 2 through October 8, 2017
Crime Blotter: Robbery, Grand Theft in Canyon Country West
A suspect has been arrested in the investigation of an alleged sexual assault, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station officials.
Suspect Arrested in Alleged Sexual Assault
Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States and a concern the California Highway Patrol addresses with its "Start Smart" program.
CHP Helps New Drivers with ‘Start Smart’ Classes
The California High-Speed Rail Authority punted one of the most important decisions during its monthly meeting Thursday, stoking concerns the entity is not moving quickly enough on the $64 billion project.
California’s Bullet Train Board Delays Award of Key Contract
An extensive investigation by the county of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs in conjunction with the office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has resulted in a lawsuit announced today by the Attorney General against retailer Curacao.
AG Sues Retailer Curacao for Allegedly Preying on Consumers
1873 - Santa Barbara lawyers Charles Fernald and J.T. Richards purchase Rancho San Francisco for $33,000 (75 cents an acre) in a sheriff's sale [story]
CHESTERFIELD, MO — NewGround, a St. Louis-based experiential design-build firm, recently teamed up with Logix Federal Credit Union to work on a large scale facility project, a new corporate headquarters building for the full-service credit union in the Burbank, California area.
Valencia Will Soon be Home to Logix Federal Credit Union Headquarters
The CSUN women's volleyball team (10-9, 4-3 Big West) opens the second half of the Big West season this week as the Matadors head up the coast this week for road tests at No. 23 Cal Poly (17-2, 7-0 Big West) and UC Santa Barbara (4-15, 3-4 Big West). CSUN, coming off a tough five-set loss to Hawai'i at home, is 3-4 in seven road matches this season but has won two of three Big West road contests.
Matadors Volleyball Testing Their Skills on the Road
No. 5 College of the Canyons defeated L.A. Mission College 3-0 on Wednesday to earn its eighth consecutive match and fifth straight sweep. Set scores were 25-15, 25-11, and 25-20.
Cougars Volleyball Earns Fifth Straight Sweep
CSUN Women's Soccer (7-4-5, 3-1-1 BWC) looks to move up in the Big West standings this week as it hosts UC Irvine on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
Matadors Get Ready for Big West Matchups
Behind Julio Rubio's goal in the 11th minute CSUN defeated UC Riverside 1-0 in Big West Conference men's soccer action Wednesday night.
Matadors’ Lone Goal Enough to Hold Off UC Riverside
Northridge, CA – CSUN Athletics officially opened its new satellite athletic training facility on Thursday at an event featuring Athletic Director Dr. Brandon Martin, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Steven Grech, student-athletes, coaches, staff and campus partners.
Matadors Student-Athletes Welcome New Training Facility
Want unique gifts and a shopping experience unlike any other?
Nov. 18-19: City’s Annual Two-Day Fine Craft Show
City officials gathered Wednesday for the Grand Opening of "Three Oaks," the first 100 percent affordable family development in Santa Clarita.
Affordable Housing Comes to Santa Clarita