What will it take to be heard by GUSD? Is it time to look at our options? In my years on the CV Town Council, I have attended many events and meetings to support our local schools. Without a doubt, school pride runs deep in our foothill community. The town council has always taken a position to champion our local schools in the foothills and every student attending them. We take serious our duty to speak up for residents, parents and all students, from the kindergarteners starting their academic careers to the CV seniors who graduate from high school bound for new adventures.
However, over the past few years the interactions between the Crescenta Valley community and the Glendale Unified School District have shown a disconcerting trend. We have repeatedly expressed concern over the lack of communication among many other issues. Now is the time to face these problems head on or we will leave ourselves subject to the whims of a non-representative district administration, which is undergoing near constant upheaval that continues to represent our foothill community less and less.
One of many examples is Sagebrush. We were told that only LCUSD and GUSD would be at the negotiating table. However, La Cañada city officials agreed several weeks ago to chip in $5,000 for a Sacramento-based consultant to reinvigorate talks between La Cañada and Glendale school officials over a possible Sagebrush transfer — in exchange for a seat at the bargaining table. Why is GUSD always willing to let our community be at a disadvantage when it comes to this negotiation? Our community is not represented even though we will be the ones most affected if the transfer goes through.
Perhaps it’s time to consider our own territory transfer! As a community we have options. Of course, we can continue along in our current district and let GUSD do as they always do. Or, if we want to protect the quality of education for our children, protect our tax dollars and keep our standard of education and our sense of community strong, we need to consider other options. Our first option could be to align our Crescenta Valley community schools with another school district. The second option might be to break away from GUSD and form our own school district, the Crescenta Valley School District.
Merging with a smaller district or creating a new Crescenta Valley School District are viable options according to the Los Angeles County Office of Education. A smaller district will give us a real voice in the issues that impact our children’s education, ensure resources that are allocated for our children are actually used for our children and keep our sense of community strong. The average API for our schools within the CV High School boundaries is 917. If we were a separate school district, this would place us among the top 10 districts in L.A. County right along with South Pasadena, Arcadia, San Marino, La Cañada and Palos Verdes.
Our community continues to offset budget cuts, fundraise to pay for essential staff, like librarians, and mundane essentials like photocopy paper as well as numerous other classroom essentials. Our high school students raise money to pay for their own graduation ceremony just so they can have it at their own campus. Teachers are not receiving competitive pay while GUSD continues talks to sell off part of our district.
Over the years multiple school sites have been sold off; thankfully the residents stood firm and for now have stopped the sale of the pocket park on Ocean View Boulevard associated with Mountain Avenue Elementary. Soon the new aquatic center at Glendale High will be completed and now another Falcon team will not have home games in their own community. Our kids, their friends, parents and alumni along with our businesses deserve the benefits of keeping our Falcon spirit alive in our own community.
We are rapidly approaching a point where drastic action may be needed to preserve the best possible future for our children. The board has refused to listen to our concerns on multiple occasions. Our community was expressly against overcrowded schools. Yet the District decreed that the two outside programs would move forward. Our community concerns should be mitigated prior to any project or program being implemented that will cause a negative effect on our community.
GUSD, at times, has not been a good neighbor. We should be working together and yet too many times we are not. We are simply placated with smiles and a handshake while the District chooses its own path with little regard for our community. When will this end? Is it time for a change?
Our community already does so much to support our schools and now more than ever may be the most opportune time start weighing our options. You are invited to reach out to the Crescenta Valley Town Council with thoughts and ideas via our online survey www.thecvcouncil.com/beheardCV. Join the discussion and let us know what it will take to be heard and represented fairly by our school district.
CV Town Council