By Jason KUROSU
The school districts of Glendale and La Cañada continue to debate the terms of transfer of the Sagebrush territory and have agreed to meet on Feb. 25 to discuss the proposal GUSD offered last November.
At a November board meeting, the GUSD Board of Education approved a proposal which would have LCUSD paying GUSD $23 million over a 12-year span as repayment for losses of students upon transfer to the La Cañada Unified School District.
La Cañada Unified officials balked at the figure, with Superintendent Wendy Sinnette saying in a statement at the time that the amount “far exceeds the capabilities of the LCUSD budget.” Talks between the two districts stalled until the plan to meet this month.
“There has been an ongoing positive dialogue with the La Cañada school district,” said GUSD board of education member Greg Krikorian. “The communication slowed down during the holiday season. We are hoping to bring clarity to any outstanding questions in regard to our proposal and any other questions by either side.”
The Feb. 25 meeting will have two board members from each school district, both district’s superintendents and financial district officials present. Among the board members scheduled to attend are Christine Walters and Armine Gharpetian from GUSD and Ellen Multari and David Sagal from LCUSD.
GUSD Board Vice President Christine Walters said, “The meetings are just an effort to make sure that they clearly understand the offer we made and the concerns we have with the possible transition. They are also helping us to better understand their board’s issues and concerns. These are still exploratory meetings as this is a complicated issue.”
GUSD board member Nayiri Nahabedian said GUSD would look to be “thoughtful, fair and balanced.”
La Cañada Unified officials said they could not comment on what they hoped would come from the meeting, but LCUSD Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said she “looked forward” to the discussion with GUSD.