Sulphur Springs Governing Board to review charter school petition at Wednesday meeting


Members of the Sulphur Springs School District Governing Board will take action Wednesday to either grant or deny the Eagle Collegiate Academy Charter Petition submitted to the board at its Oct. 5 meeting.

If approved, Eagle Collegiate Academy would operate under the oversight of board from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2022.

According to the board’s meeting agenda and items, it appears as though the board will deny the charter petition due to a denial recommendation following review and analysis by legal counsel and district staff.

“Denial of petition recommended because staff is not satisfied that granting the petition is consistent with sound educational practice,” the board agenda item read.

According to the board recommendation the grounds for denial include a lack of required signatures, a lack of comprehensive description of charter petition elements and a demonstrated unlikelihood of the petitioners successfully implementing the petitioned program.

The denial recommendation sites that “the petitioners are demonstrably unlikely to successfully implement the program,” “the petition is not supported by sufficient valid signatures” and “the petition fails to set forth reasonably comprehensive descriptions of charter elements.”

The denial recommendation sites the petitioners’ “unfocused approach” to find and secure a location, “incomplete” and “insufficient” budget/financial plan and failure to described required elements in a charter petition.

In the board document, the denial recommendation also raises concerns about the number of parent and teacher signatures on the petition and the validity of the signatures listed.

In regards to charter elements, the document claims the petition has errors or concerns with all of the following: educational programs, measurable student outcomes and methods of measurement, governance structure, employee qualifications, health and safety procedures, racial and ethnic balance, admissions requirements, suspension and expulsion procedures, retirement benefits, dispute resolution and closure procedures.

“The Petition, as submitted, fails to provide a reasonably comprehensive description of several essential charter elements and indicates that Petitioners are demonstrably unlikely to successfully implement the program presented in the Petition,” the document read.

Community members reviewed the charter school petition at a public meeting Nov. 9, which was met with concerns from the president of Sulphur Springs District Teachers Association and the Superintendent of Saugus Union School District.

If the charter is denied at Wednesday’s meeting, the petitioners can appeal to the Los Angeles County Board of Education and then to the State Board of Education.

Additional Agenda Items

  • Election of board members to the positions of president, clerk, presiding officer and secretary
  • Nomination of representatives to serve on the Los Angeles County School Trustees Association, the Santa Clarita Valley Special Education Local Planning Area Board Liaison Committee and the Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization
  • Notice of district gifts totaling $6,689
  • Attendance waiver request for allowance of attendance following Aug. 25, 2016 campus lockdown at Canyon Springs Community Elementary School which prevented parents from dropping off children and decreased attendance
  • Review of Fair Oaks Ranch Community School Single Plan for Student Achievement
  • Notice of Winter Academy from Jan. 3-6, 2017 at Canyon Springs Community School form 8 a.m. to noon to provide intervention support for English Language Arts and mathematics to approximately 90 students

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