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County puts Acton-Agua Dulce district charters on hold

Education officials cite financial concerns

Posted: June 22, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 22, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Citing financial concerns, Los Angeles County education officials in recent weeks have put on hold approval of some charter schools previously OK’d by the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District.

In a letter dated May 30, officials from the Los Angeles County Office of Education said the office was ordering a stay of board actions approving resolutions related to five charter petitions — the Method Schools K-8 Charter Petition, Method Schools 9-12 Charter Petition, Renaissance Collegiate Academy Charter Petition, Renaissance Collegiate High School Charter Petition and the iLead Innovations Studios Charter Petition.

“We believe there is a high probability that these board actions may be inconsistent with the fiscal recovery of the district,” the letter reads. “Therefore, we are staying these board actions in order to provide sufficient time to complete a study and analysis of the district and the impact of the actions on district’s fiscal solvency.”

In another letter, dated June 12, county education officials noted two additional charter petitions — the SIA TECH Charter Petition and the Oxford Prep Charter Petition — were set to come before the board and said the Office of Education would “order a stay of board actions that approve” the two petitions.

“My understanding is that the reason LACOE wants the stay is because they want to see whether or nor our district can financially and properly operate the number of charter schools that we have,” Acton-Agua Dulce district board member Larry H. Layton said Saturday.

Part of the rationale for the moves, according to the May 30 letter, is that the district was assigned a “negative certification.”

“A negative certification is assigned to a local educational agency when it is determined that, based upon current projections, the local educational agency will not meet its financial obligations for fiscal year 2013–14 or 2014–15,” reads information on the California Department of Education website.

According to the Office of Education letter dated May 30, the county actually changed the district’s certification from “qualified,” which is assigned to local education agencies that may not meet their financial obligations for fiscal year 2013–14, 2014–15, or 2015–16, to “negative.”

As a result, the county office appointed a financial adviser to the district with the authority to “stay or rescind any action that is determined to be inconsistent with the ability of the school district to meet its obligations for the current or subsequent fiscal year,” according to the May 30 letter.

According to information released this month by the California Department of Education, Acton-Agua Dulce is one of seven districts statewide that have been assigned a negative certification.
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castaicjack: Posted: June 22, 2014 1:09 p.m.

Translated: Charter schools are under attack because they draw students away from public schools. Same thing with an Einstein school, ostensibly refused a permit because of so-called "safety issues" or because a law gets passed because Gibson wasn't "notified" a charter school happened to be in "his" Castaic school district. The latter has lost 200 hundred students, along with the money that goes with it, and the school district is pulling any strings they can to recover as many students as they can or prevent the loss of others. Additionally, in the latter case, they're trying to prop up the rationale for the Castaic High School at a time when any other school district in their right mind would be deciding which school to close. In the case of SCV, it's obvious the schools on their target list are the charter schools so the individual school districts can maintain their power hold on the students and the funding...

bobforte: Posted: June 22, 2014 8:26 p.m.

How about Acton-Aqua Dulce just put the schools in their district since they are approving them?

castaicjack: Posted: June 22, 2014 9:31 p.m.

How about parents and students having a choice instead of being dictated to by the local school districts?

gmcolvin: Posted: June 23, 2014 12:10 p.m.

They don't want the competition.

timothymyers02: Posted: June 23, 2014 12:13 p.m.


How about the parents of the teacup children that can't "thrive" in the public school stick a crowbar in their wallet and pay tuition to a private school or homeschool?

navy1987: Posted: June 23, 2014 3:06 p.m.


As taxpayers, I and people like castaicjack are already paying tuition to public schools. Shouldn't we have a choice which public school we want our teacup kids to attend? Just because you are satisfied with going along with whatever product the government provides you with.....some of us think there might be something a little better than what is provided now.

bartman: Posted: June 23, 2014 6:21 p.m.

Here is the perfect reason why small school districts are not economically feasible for communities any longer. Having 5 school districts in our little valley is exactly why this district needed to resort to being an oversight specialist. Other districts do it as bond issuance, but its the same issue, the community no longer supports the schools based on the way they are funded, by attendance.

As populations age and demographics shift, the districts must look to other ways to keep their inefficient system afloat. Figure it out people, we need a unified school district in this valley.

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