GUSD to Appeal Sagebrush Decision


The Glendale Unified School District voted Monday to appeal the decision for the transfer of  territory over to La Cañada Unified School District.

The Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization voted last week to accept a petition that would allow a section of western La Cañada Flintridge, otherwise known the Sagebrush territory, to be transferred from GUSD to LCUSD. It was the fourth time Unite La Canada Flintridge, a coalition of La Cañada residents who want all La Cañada students to attend school in LCUSD, filed for a transfer. 

In response, the Glendale Unified Board unanimously voted to file an appeal against the decision. According to the California Environmental Quality Act study, which was commissioned by the county committee in 2017 after it gave preliminary approval to the transfer, about 151 to 355 students could transfer out of GUSD’s Mountain Avenue Elementary School, Rosemont Middle School and Crescenta Valley High School.

The district could lose at least $2 million annually in state funding, according to the most recent estimates from Stephen Dickinson, chief business and financial officer at GUSD.

“Glendale Unified School District offers exceptional schools and a wide variety of programs that prepare every student for success in college, career, and life,” said Kristine Nam, GUSD spokeswoman..

Glendale Unified will be filing a lawsuit challenging the results of the CEQA  study, which concluded that the transfer would not cause significant impact to the environment. They will also be filing an appeal to the State Board of Education.

Nam said, GUSD can’t comment on what the lawsuit will entail at this time.

“We hope that the State Board of Education will agree with the LA County Office of Education staff recommendation and deny the transfer,” she said.

Glendale Unified officials have continually expressed their opposition to the transfer during these deliberations, stating that it could have a negative impact on schools and its finances. People opposed to the transfer have also questioned whether the motivation behind it is financial, as Sagebrush residents’ home values could increase if they’re in LCUSD territory.

However, those in favor of the transfer have maintained that all they want is for La Cañada residents to be able to attend La Cañada schools.

GUSD has until Nov. 1 to file a notice of appeal and the lawsuit.

“In the meantime, we remain committed to providing every child, regardless of their zip code, an exceptional education that prepares them for success in college, career, and life,” Nam said.