To the Editor:
RE: Superintendent Sweeneyâ€™s Letter, April 22 edition:
Dr. Theodore R. Mitchell, President
California State Board of Education
1430 North N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Dr. Mitchell:
Fillmore Unified Superintendent Jeff Sweeney continues to assert what is in effect his only argument against the authorization of Piru Charter School: that no one wants it. His editorial, entitled "Charter Denial in Piru's Best Interest", which he first submitted to the Fillmore Gazette, now appears in the April 25th Sunday edition of the Ventura STAR newspaper. But his claim is based not upon some factual finding of the District, but instead on inflated claims and misleading assertions. What he fails to disclose is that what no one wants in Piru is the caricature of a charter school that his administration and employees have created and promoted. District employees, working with three parents, have repeatedly gone door to door in the community and approached parents on campus, telling them that Piru Charter School will charge tuition, that parents will be mandated to work at the school without pay to keep their children enrolled, and, most outrageous of all, that parents whose children enroll in PCS will be reported to Immigration and possibly deported.
Superintendent Sweeney states that parents have opposed the charter 'since September'. This is exactly opposite to the facts. In fact, in late September and early October, the PCS petitioners and parent supporters walked door-to-door delivering literature and sharing information about the Charter to practically every household in Piru and Rancho Sespe, and the response was almost uniformly very positive. Parents and residents embraced the ideas of local control, smaller class size, more help in the classroom, an enriched curriculum and the prospect of adding 7th and 8th grades that charter conversion would make possible. Every petitioner and the parents that walked those streets and knocked on those doors, Katharine Ponce, Maria Villa, Patti Alonzo, Karen Fontes and J'nell Campos, can attest to the very positive reaction we received.
It was not until a deliberate campaign of deception began, first with a Migrant Parent meeting organized by the District, where a Ventura County Office of Education official, Joe Mendoza, told parents the Migrant Program would end if Piru became a charter, that any parental opposition emerged. Obviously, the migrant parents at that meeting were very upset to hear this, and soon the community was blanketed with flyers, printed on Piru School copy machines by two of the four teachers on the staff openly opposed to the charter. These flyers were created with the cooperation of the District, because they contained portions of a letter by the School Board President that was not published in the Fillmore Gazette until the following day. This flyer asserted that all the plans of the Charter were suspect, and unlikely to happen, and insinuated that charter petitioners were misleading the community.
Meanwhile, during the month of October, Maria Gonzalez a District Migrant Program employee at Rancho Sespe, utilized children playing outside to organize a picket of an informational meeting on the charter organized and attended by all nine of the petitioners. As the Rancho Sespe Neighborhood Council President told us at the meeting, we were facing not just the usual challenge of apathy on the part of local residents to get involved, but also active opposition led by this District employee who lived at 'The Ranch', and who most people looked up to as the person to go to for advice on how to deal with the District, as she was very close with the District's Migrant Program Coordinator.
Just before the first hearing on the Piru Charter petition, held October 21st, the group 'Parents With Power' that Superintendent Sweeney mentions appeared. It was first evident when anti-charter employees at school began wearing t-shirts with this group's name on them to work right before and after the hearing, and continue to do so to this day. Based upon observation of this group's activities, its main leaders are the four Piru teachers opposing the charter, as well as three parents who have assisted them, and have been seen repeatedly all year, since October, visiting the classrooms of these teachers before, during and after school hours, and who have also been seen repeatedly entering and leaving the District Office headquarters in Fillmore.
The 'hundreds of parents' which Superintendent Sweeney refers to who appeared at the District and County petition hearings were in fact, overwhelmingly made up of district employees, mostly classified and administrative employees, with a sizeable contingent of teachers from schools located in Fillmore. He is right that this group again appeared at the ACCS hearing in April, and in fact of the 60 persons who rode the $2400 chartered bus from Fillmore, less than 15 were parents with no affiliation to district employees, and, strangely, many of these parents did not even speak at the hearing during public comment, but gave their time to employees to speak.
Regarding the petitions that the District submitted claiming to be from Piru parents opposed to the charter, Piru parents who grew up and live in Piru and support the charter went through the list of names, and found that many were not from Piru residents or even from parents with children attending Piru School. Most curiously, they found the assertion that the signatures represented 'over 200 Piru students' who it was claimed would not attend the school was vastly overstated, due to double counting children and other errors. Valid signatures represented less than 100 parents.
Worst of all, what parent and community supporters have found is that these signatures have been obtained by a campaign of misinformation, outright lies, and even intimidation. We know of parents who are neighbors to some of the three parents spearheading this 'Parents With Power' group, and they claim these ringleaders have used bullying and scare tactics to convince people to sign the petition. There are others who state that the ringleader of the four anti-charter teachers has repeatedly harassed them at their home, trying to pressure them into signing petitions against the charter. Parents who signed Intent To Enroll forms for the charter back in October have also been harassed by this small contingent of anti-charter bullies. It is on the basis of such tactics that Jeff Sweeney asserts his claims of 'minimal community support'.
As a further point, it is shocking that Superintendent Sweeney asserts that the chartered bus, which cost approximately $2400, was paid for by parents, considering that over 40 of the 60 riders on that bus were District employees and their families.
Given the hostile environment towards the charter and the charter petitioners created by the District and its employees, it is amazing that the opposition to the charter is not greater, but the factual evidence shows that support for charters and, specifically, Piru Charter School runs deep. The District's own surveys, conducted last year, show that an overwhelming majority of parents throughout the District support the concept of a charter school operating within the District boundaries.
Jeff Sweeney ends his letter with a bizarre argument that giving parents choice about which school to attend somehow actually denies them choice! This contorted logic is coming from the Superintendent of a District which sent a letter out this year to every parent of elementary age children in the District informing them that despite the fact that all four elementary schools had fallen into Program Improvement, and despite the fact that Federal No Child Left Behind regulations require Districts accepting federal funds to allow parents of children in failing schools to choose to send them to a school that is not failing parents were told they would not be allowed to leave the District. It was the Districtâ€™s position that the only choice that parents had was to accept the school the District assigned them. In other words, they had no choice! This, Jeff Sweeney apparently calls 'parental empowerment'!
Superintendent Sweeney also ends by referring to 'the best interests of the Piru students', yet nowhere in his letter does he make the case that the District can better serve Piru students. He does not make this argument, because he cannot make this argument. His leadership during the last three years has done nothing to improve student learning in the communities of Piru or Fillmore.
Piru Charter School Petitioner
To the Editor:
Superintendent Sweeneyâ€™s Propaganda Machine
The superintendent of the Fillmore Unified School District Jeff Sweeney just doesnâ€™t get it. He is starting to believe his own propaganda. The ACCS on April 6 didnâ€™t vote in his favor but instead voted overwhelmingly against the superintendent and his campaign of misinformation and intimidation. At the ACCS hearing he kept waving his signed petitions in the air claiming the parents donâ€™t support PCS. He looked foolish and desperate. The ACCS listened to his rhetoric and then told him he needs â€śto leave his ego at the door.â€ť They voted 5-2 against him. The California Department of Education tried to make things clear for the shortsighted superintendent when they submitted this written statement:
The PCS petition includes all of the elements required under statute and regulation for the establishment of a charter school. The California Department of Education (CDE) finds that granting the PCS charter is sound educational practice for the following reasons: the petition describes an educational program likely to meet the needs of pupils within the community where the school will locate; petitioners are demonstrably likely to implement the program set forth in the petition; the petition includes the required affirmations and signatures; and the petition contains reasonably comprehensive descriptions of the 16 elements pursuant to EC Section 47605(b)(5).
I have news for superintendent Sweeney. His pathetic attempt to spread lies about Piru Charter School isnâ€™t working. The support for Piru Charter School continues to grow. We have spoken to hundreds of parents, community members, students and educators in Piru, Fillmore and throughout Ventura County and the State of California who support Piru Charter School and their plan to improve student learning. Senator George Runner of the 17th Senate District is supporting PCS along with many other knowledgeable and powerful political leaders in California.
Over the last three years the superintendent has not offered a viable educational plan to improve the education of the children in Piru or Fillmore. Nothing! No sooner did he open a new school (Mountain Vista) that it began to fail. In just two short years his new school fell into school improvement. And he calls himself an educator? He has no idea what he is doing. I have more bad news for superintendent Sweeney. I hope he is paying attention. The community is starting to wake up and see that the leadership in the Fillmore Unified School District is both incompetent and unethical. I heard he is looking for a new job. I just hope itâ€™s far away from Ventura County. Meanwhile, the future of Piru children should not be decided by what zip code they live in. They deserve better than to be shackled to his sinking school district. They deserve a school of choice and they are going to get one. Piru Charter School will open in August and offer the Piru and Fillmore communities a quality education based on innovation, integrity, and results. Thatâ€™s right superintendent Sweeney. Results Count!
Piru Charter School Petitioner
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To the Editor:
Piru Pioneer Response
In response to Christina's Wilson's article in Sunday April 18 the edition of the Ventura County Star, it seems to me that Christina Wilson just another teacher in the Fillmore Unified District trying to earn herself a promotion. Why else would a second grade teacher from Sespe Elementary write an article, "Saving a Neighborhood school"?
I'm glad she share's the same beliefs as the pro charter supporters who want to take back our school from the Fillmore Unified School District who we believe have failed us. She couldn't be more right be writing "The concept of a neighborhood public elementary school is as American as apple pie. Neighborhood schools provide our children neighborhood friends. A neighborhood school also provides a cultural similar to the culture in which our schools are located. In a neighborhood school, our children are generally closer to us-we can get to them more quickly in emergencies when we must. Finally we can attend meetings at school more easily if our house is near to the school.
If these are truly the beliefs of Christina Wilson and the other district members, then why have they coerced 260 anti charter parents from Fillmore & Piru to sign a petition stating they would not sent their kids to Piru Charter if it passes, instead of recommending to them to give the school a chance if it passes. Why Fillmore parents? Are they having problems finding parents to sign the petition in Piru? Why doesn't the district start a petition to see how many Fillmore Parents would be interested in sending their children to Piru Charter in order to receive a greater education that is a free public school for all. What parent wouldn't jump at the chance to send their children to a free better school? No one is driving away the children of Piru to attend other schools other than the district. How can Christina Wilson & other district members sleep at night knowing that in order to benefit their own needs and protect their jobs & pensions, they have gone to these families in Piru and Lied to them and spread myth's about what could happen to them if they support charter or send their kids to the neighborhood charter school.
What matters most to the district is the money they stand to lose if Piru goes charter, not the children. Assistant Superintendent Mike Bush is being quoted as saying the district would lose $7500.00 per student if the charter is approved. Why should this matter if the money that the district has been receiving for the Piru students, including migrant money, has only been spent on Piru School. No quote by Mr. Bush of good programs for children's education in Piru school or hand shakes by Mr. Bush and Mr. Sweeney that Piru School is getting new updated facilities. Is Mr. Bush admitting that the district needs our money to help fund projects elsewhere in the district. That explains the poor conditions of our school ground. It is truly sad that it took the Ventura County Board of Education to tell our district how bad of condition our school was, so that we could finally receive some badly needed repairs. Could Christina Wilson teach a kindergarten class with a playground that had been condemned for over 8 years, could she teach in a classroom that uses waste paper baskets to catch rain water from a leaky roof? Could she teach without a desk?
If the district were really concerned about the education of our Piru Children, they would advise them to give Piru charter a chance, instead of making promises that they would bus them to Fillmore if needed. Come on parents wake up before it's too late, snap out of that brain wash that has been imposed on you. Your child's education is at stake. What parent wouldn't want to give their kid the greatest gift they could possibly give, by giving them the chance at a greater education. Don't be satisfied with a school that is failing our children. What is the district promising these 260 parents besides long bus trips? Smaller class room sizes? More one on one? A greater education? Or are they only interested in them signing over their $7500.00?
The Parents with Power were offended because they were left out of the process to convert charter, and they have that right. But they should be blaming the district for this, not the petitioners. Has everyone forget that last year the Piru Elementary principal was demoted? I guarantee the district will never admit that it was because they found out the principle was talking to his staff about converting to charter. Why do you demote a principal, that along with his staff had helped to raise the school's test scores? When the parents protested the demotion at a district meeting, they chose this time not to listen to the parents of Piru. From that point on the charter meeting had to be held secretly so that there would be no more retaliations from the district. Would the parents with power had done things differently if their jobs were at stake. They should instead be thanking these petitioners for making such a sacrifice, in order to give their children a greater education and a better looking school. The pro parents were also left out of the process, but instead of holding a grudge, they are excited at their children's possible opportunity for a greater education in their own neighborhood school.
Furthermore, in response to Mr. Sweeney's remarks in April 15's edition of the Fillmore Gazette, which read "Piru School is a neighborhood school and the center of the town." That has not been the case since the 1960's, when our small school came under the control of Fillmore Unified District. We have no say so in what goes on in our school.
Mr. Sweeney definitely does not speak for the majority of parents in Piru when he's quoted as saying the parents of Piru don't want charter. There are far more parents in Piru than the 260 Fillmore, Piru parents he coerced into signing his petition. The decision to go charter doesn't just affect the present children of Piru School, it also affects the education of future generations to come. Call us the silent majority if you will. We don't wear funny looking t-shirts, and we definitely don't bully our opponent or cuss them out at soccer or little league games for their beliefs! We don't take our kids out of school to ride a bus all night to sit at a meeting where they probably don't understand what's going on. We keep our kids in school because their education is what matters most. We don't allow them to be used as pawns in a chess match. At a time when 60 plus teachers are facing layoffs, didn't the district loose money because these kids weren't in school. The district has had over 40 years to fulfill the promises that were made to parents of Piru in the 1960"s.
It's time that we have our school back!
The Silent Majority
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To the Editor:
Great Beauty pageant, thoughtless audience.
Last Saturday night my wife and I had the pleasure of attending the Miss Fillmore Beauty Pageant. Unfortunately we found ourselves sitting in front of a young couple and their very young infant.
The first hint we had of coming events was a very large baby stroller folded up blocking a very narrow isle â€“ a serious hazard in the event of an emergency and a difficult obstacle to negotiate for everyone using that walkway. Shortly after the show started the baby started fussing making it difficult to follow the activity on the stage. The parents added to the commotion trying to quiet the infant. Throughout this the mother managed to keep up with her text messaging.
About 45 minutes into the show I turned around and calmly suggested to the father that taking his child to the lobby until it settled down was the polite thing to do. The young manâ€™s sarcastic response made it clear he had no intention of entertaining that idea.
During intermission several other people commented on the disruptive infant. Itâ€™s unfortunate this inconsiderate couple lacked the maturity to recognize how their thoughtlessness impacted others. Perhaps next time the event staff can be on the lookout for potential problems of this nature.
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To the Editor:
MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES
Citizens of Fillmore, based on the California passage of Prop 215 in 1996, the Fillmore City Council has adopted a 45 day moratorium to study the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries within the city. This 45-day period will provide time for each of us to evaluate said issue and be better prepared to present our questions/comments during a planned public hearing. This is a major issue to the city. The following are some of my questions/comments: 1. What is so unique about marijuana that the use of numerous OTC and prescribed drugs wonâ€™t alleviate the pain? 2. What other prescribed drug can be purchased from a non-pharmacy? 3. What requirements/controls will be imposed during the growing, processing and distribution of the product? Who will enforce said requirements/controls, the FDA? 4. What side affects will result in the use of this drug? 5. What side affects will result in the use of this drug when used with other OTC and prescribed drugs? 6. Will the providers for dispensing of this drug be trained and certified by a medical board/agency? 7. What minimum dollar figure, from business license fees and sales and property tax revenues be required for them to receive substantial income? 8. How many dispensaries would be required to support the dollar figure in Item 7? 9. Where would these dispensaries be located (very small town)? 10. What security requirements will be required on the premises to assure that criminal activity is virtually non-existent? 11. With a number of other local cities having banned any dispensaries, what impact to Fillmore will there be if the decision to provide dispensaries passes. It would create a situation where a strong possibility of a large influx of users from surrounding areas would come to Fillmore to purchase this drug, causing the potential increase of criminal activities.
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To the Editor:
RE: Mary Ford on Piru Charter
The only thing Mary Ford knows about Piru is what Susan Jolley tells her. The demoted Principal and Susan Jolley are not "Piru School Heroes".
Our Piru School Principal, Mrs. Ramos, teachers, staff and the students get the credit. Piru School has always had a great team of teachers, who used to always be able to work together. Two and a half years at Piru School does not make an expert on our school.
Piru School offers a top education in a beautiful country setting. All you have to do is attend school daily, be on time, and be ready to learn.
Our Piru parents and Rancho Sespe parents were threatened and lied to about the "Charter" school. Yes, Mary as you said, "A public brain washing" was attempted, the parents united against the attempt. They attended a Fillmore school meeting and the Ventura County Board meeting where they spoke against this Charter. In March, the parents did a fundraiser and hired a bus to go to Sacramento to the Commissioners (Pro-Charter) panel and spoke their concerns about the Charter proposal and why they are against it.
Mary, we Piru people also do not take kindly in your remark about "Our School" being in disrepair, our school is beautiful.
Mary, I also noticed all the times you took a stab at Fillmore District employees while writing about the Charter. Are you sure the topic was really the Charter???
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To the Editor:
This past Friday there was a march in Piru protesting against the Piru charter conversion in our community. It was very disturbing and unhealthy to witness this coming back from the local ball game. I could see that there were some children as well, what do they know about this I asked myself.
Later I had the opportunity to ask why is this necessary or believe what they are doing today is right. What they shared with me left me feeling bad and sad of what they really think and believe. While adding some hate and anger of reasons why they believe this was just not right, although this was the type of information that was given to them. I could see that they were uncomfortable but they chose that path.
Since the protest you see more and more signs up that is so disturbing. As I pass through my local streets I canâ€™t help but feel now who is separating this community and promoting hate with an unhealthy environment for the young and old.
Has anyone forgotten that Piru is a close knit community that has more love or has religion in their way of life? Prayer and our mass is very important to so many people in Piru. In this community people are always there for one another in any way possible to do good deeds. There is more love and caring hearts here than hate. What keeps me healthy and strong is by saying, " Forgive them for they not know what they do and bless them."
Long time Piru resident
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To the Editor:
Piru School is the only school in this unincorporated country town. Generations of Piru families have gotten a good education there. When there are threats to the town, such as fires and floods, the Red Cross has designated our school campus as a disaster area. Piru School is the glue to this town. Relatives, teachers, and students picnic here and family games are enjoyed. Now, a demoted principal, a group of teachers, and parents want to take over our school. Most of this group are out of towners. This same group goes public at community events, parades, and family softball games to offer bottles of water and a paper to sign saying that you are in favor of this charter. They slander our beautiful country campus and classrooms stating Piru School is in a terrible state and unsafe. Well it works for us. Why do they want it so bad? Why are they now trying to get in good with the community when this whole charter caper was done behind the community's back? The community of Piru says NO to this charter caper. Petitioners are only concerned about packing their pockets, not about our children. Mary Ford and a onetime mayor from Fillmore are for it. Piru can beat that; Donna Chessani, long time Piru resident and present Grand Marshall for the community of Piru opposes this conversion. With the large number of Piru School parents and community members of Piru and Rancho Sespe along with Unified Employees, Piru staff, and teachers opposing this incomplete charter you'd wonder if it will be a Political decision or will the final decision be the voice of the parents. Parents who will not send their children to this charter. The petitioners state children from Santa Clarita and Thousand Oaks will come to Piru. A pro-parent is also bragging about her $75,000 annual pay she's been offered if this charter goes through. This would be a tragedy to our students if this charter is approved. OMG!
Anonymous Piru Parent
Power to the Parents
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To the Editor:
The Piru Charter petition is not a â€śgift.â€ť It represents a theft by nine non-resident, non-elected teachers of Piruâ€™s 130 year old community school. The residents of Piru have told the petitioners they do not want the petitionersâ€™ charter school and will not attend it. The petitioners who initially told the community that they wrote the charter to bring local control back to the community, now tell the community that they donâ€™t need Piru children. The petitioners say they will bring in students from Santa Clarita, Santa Paula, and beyond. In the petitionersâ€™ convoluted logic they believe that they will give Piru parents choice by closing Piru Elementary School, the only school in town, to open their Piru Charter School. They have explained to parents that their choice is to have Piru children bused into Fillmore or to send them to the petitionersâ€™ school that will occupy the Piru Elementary School site which they intend to steal from the parents. True choice would be given if the petitioners had followed the intent of the Charter law and written a start up charter petition that would open a new school on another site to compete with existing schools through innovation, not a repackaging of current programs.
The community does not trust the petitioners. The petitioners have deceived, misinformed, failed to inform, and lied to the community. A review of the facts: No meaningful inclusion of all major stakeholders was attempted during the writing of the Piru Charter School petition. Once the petition was filed with the FUSD, the petitioners lied to parents telling them that Piru School was going to be closed by the District and that parents needed to sign an â€śIntent to Enrollâ€ť form to save their space in Piru Charter School. This lie was compounded with the addition that the Piru School would be closed and then sold to the surrounding nursery. (The irony is that it is the petitioners who want to close Piru Elementary School.) The petitioner never offered a copy of their charter to any community member and never made it accessible through translation to the Spanish literate who are more than 60% of the Piru/Rancho Sespe community. They say this wasnâ€™t their responsibility to inform the community. With the petitionâ€™s budget being of questionable soundness the petitioners continue to make unbudgeted promises to the community, e.g., a band program, computers to check out, teaching assistants in every classroom. Petitioners are now promising jobs to their supporters.
Unable to gain support from the Piru Community, petitioners are reaching out by misrepresenting facts to politicians who they hope will help them steal Piruâ€™s school. They have Senator George Runner writing letters to the State Board of Education. The senator has not been in contact with a representative body of Piru but has only heard the deception that the petitioners hope to pass as truth. Petitioner wrote articles for the Gazette in support of their petition under the byline of Gazette Staff Writer [a default byline used online only-Editor]. Most letters in support submitted with their petition to the County Board of Education and the State Board of Education came not from Piru community members but from people outside of FUSD. In fact many letters came from petitionersâ€™ friends and relatives who do not live within the boundaries of FUSD.
The Petitionersâ€™ supporters have attempted to intimidate community members and parents who in opposition to PCS. Supporters are now lying to the community saying that the State has approved the PCS petition and that parents should sign an â€śintent to attendâ€ť form. These forms will more than likely be used by petitioners at State to trump up perception of support. Petitioners cry conspiracy to try to explain their lack of support for their charter. What they have fail to acknowledge is that opposition to their charter comes from a collation of parents, community members, and school staff who have united to stop the theft of their school by teachers and people who live outside of the FUSD boundaries.
Apparently, the petitioners believe that if they misdirect, misinform, and deny their lies enough times people will believe them. Donâ€™t be fooled, the community of Piru hasnâ€™t forgotten the truth. This petition is simply a school high jacking.
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To the Editor:
The petition for PCS was filed in late September 2009 which took many Piru staff members, Piru parents, and community members by surprise. This was the first time more than 99% of the people in â€śPiru/Fillmore School Communityâ€ť had become aware of a charter school being proposed in their community. PCS failed to ask for community input as to what or how they would like a charter to focus on or simply if the community of Piru would even consider a charter school.
The petitioners failed to educate the public about charter schools . The parents and community of Piru were entirely left out of the planning process. The petitioners sought parental and community support only AFTER the petition was submitted creating an atmosphere of distrust. This distrust was fueled when the pro-charter group told parents that Piru Elementary was closing and the parents needed to sign up for charter to keep the school open. As the parents and community became aware of the dishonest tactics, an anti- Piru Charter movement began to organize. A parent group, Parents with Power, was formed. The parents gathered signatures opposed to the Charter and educated the Piru community. One of the parent leaders translated the petition from English to Spanish. It was felt by PCS that the translation was the responsibility of Fillmore Unified. PCS and their supporter continue to spread disinformation and havenâ€™t taken any personal responsibility for the distrust and backlash they created amongst the Piru parents.
The Advisory Committee on Charter Schools, ACCS, is stacked to support and approve charters. The members are appointed by the Governor. They often work at or for charter schools. In this case, six of the seven voting members worked for or have been involved in the charter school movement. So needless to say the outcome was predetermined and hardly considered to be a surprise,5-2. The fact that the petition did receive two no votes will send a red flag to the State Board. Usually, the vote at ACCS is unanimous. Letâ€™s hope the State Board is a little objective and will reject this petition.
If the petition passes, how can it be viewed as a victory for independence or a just cause? When the process was flawed from itsâ€™ inception, the idea that 11 people can railroad the communities of Piru and Rancho Sespe to accepting a school that was neither their wish nor desire goes against any and every idea of a Democracy and is in line with an autocratic style of rule. What Would the Founding Fathers Think?
Having completed my thesis on charter schools, I am not opposed to charter schools. I am opposed to this one because of itsâ€™ flawed process and simply it is not the right thing to do. The idea to force a charter school on the communities of Piru and Rancho Sespe does not appeal to my sense of just and fair play.
2/3 Grade Teacher
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To the Editor:
I am very disturbed that our only school for the children of Piru is under the recommendation of the Advisory commission of Charter Schools. A group of commissioners that support charter schools and that have probably never stepped foot in Piru. This crusade for a charter is being led by leaders that have little regard for our community and the importance we place on our only public school choice. It seems they are more concerned with job security and higher salaries. Our CHILDREN come first, you have no right to take away our only public school, you have no right to force a charter on us that the community does not want. We are not simple Indians and you do not know what is best for our children. Whatever happened to a charter that requires parental and community support, is it because we are a bunch of Mexicans that you percieve of lacking the intellectual capacity to chart the destiny of our children's education? How dare you take away our choice, How dare you tell me my child is not entitled to a district school because you know what is best for us. We want the same education that everyone else in the State of California is entitled to. Our choice of school was and is Piru Elementary, not PCS!
Estoy muy preocupado, porque la unica escuela publica de nuestros ninos en Piru esta bajo la recomendacion de la Comision Asesora de Escuelas Charter. Y de un grupo de comisionados que estan a favor de Escuelas Charter y que seguramente nunca han puesto un pie en Piru. Esta campana a favor de Escuelas Charter esta liderada por personas que no respetan nuestra comunidad y de la importancia de tener nuestra unica escuela publica como opcion. Se nota que su unica preocupacion es asegurar sus trabajos y sueldos muy altos. NUESTROS NINOS ESTAN PRIMERO, ustedes no tienen derecho de imponernos una escuela Charter y algo que la comunidad no quiere.No somos simplemente Indios y ustedes no saben que es lo mejor para nuestros hijos .Todo lo que tenga que ver con una escuela Charter requiewre de el apoyo de padres de familia y de la comunidad , o es porque somos un monton de mexicanos que segun ustedes nos perciben como faltos de capacidad intelectual como para cunducir el destino de la educacion de nuestros hijos. Como se atreven a quitarnos nuestra unica opcion , como se atreven a decirme que mis hijos no tienen el derecho a una escuela del Distrito poque segun ustedes saben que es lo mejor para nuestros hijos. Queremos la misma Educacion a la que todos y cada uno de nosotros tenemos derecho en el Estado de California nuestra opcion fue y es la Escuela Elemental de Piru no la Escuela Charter.
Name withheld by request