Thursday, May 11, 2017

“Creative” Charter School Finance: Orange County School of Arts…In Duarte (San Gabriel Valley)?

“Creative” Charter School Finance: Orange County School of Arts…In Duarte (San Gabriel Valley)?:

“Creative” Charter School Finance: Orange County School of Arts…In Duarte (San Gabriel Valley)?

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By Elena de la Cuevas
The expansion of the Orange County School of the Arts (OSCA) to a sister site in the San Gabriel Valley has led to an complicated mix of charter and public monies. Rebuffed in San Diego, OCSA found a home for a satellite school in a small district in Duarte, California, a community northeast of Los Angeles.
Faced with declining enrollment, new Superintendent Allan Mucerino asserted that the best fix for this was to convert all elementary schools to K-8 and lease the only middle school, Northview, to OCSA. This new school, CS Arts, San Gabriel Valley, would occupy the middle school thus displacing an entire staff. The opening of CS Arts was pitched as a way to make Duarte a destination district as students from all over southern California would enroll in a 9-12 high school and hopefully have parents enroll K-8 students so they could prepare for charter acceptance (curiously, it was given the name of the valley it is in, San Gabriel, rather than being called CS Arts Duarte).
OCSA had tried to do this in San Diego but a teacher-parent alliance successfully averted this.
Initially the entire school board in Duarte liked Mucerino’s plan and it easily passed with all 5 board members voting yes. The money given by the state of California to OCSA for each pupil present per school day (Average Daily Attendance, or ADA) would be divided with Duarte Unified receiving 3% of the charter’s total ADA.
Soon it became apparent that superintendent had more than a high school in mind. He then proposed that 7th-8th graders be allowed to enroll in the charter, be taught by Duarte’s public teachers, and attend the charter’s conservatories after regular classes. The new charter did not have room for middle schoolers and could not accommodate them.
Mixing charter and public education money is not allowed by the state but Superintendent Mucerino rosily assured all who askedCreative” Charter School Finance: Orange County School of Arts…In Duarte (San Gabriel Valley)?

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