Comments to Chula Vista Elementary School District on a CVLCC Charter expansion

President Tremper, Ms. Bejarano, Ms. Bunker, Mr. Reyes, Mr. Tamayo and Dr. Escobedo. Good evening.

 My name is Roberto Rodriguez, I’m the president of the Sweetwater Education Association. The union that represent Sweetwater teachers. 

Normally I would not come before this Board, frankly I usually have my hands full with my own school board. However, this evening you are considering an item that impacts teachers and students of both districts and our shared Chula Vista community.

I will refrain from making the argument that private charter schools are a drain on an already underfunded public school system. And I won’t even point to the multiple studies that show that students of charter schools actually do worse on standardized tests than their public school counterparts.

Tonight I’m going to stick to the legal issue of Prop 39. 

My guess is that at this point you’ve been told that you MUST approve this, that you have no choice and that you are mandated to do so by Prop. 39.

The pertinent section of California Ed Code is 47614, enacted by prop 39 which states:

“Each school district shall make available, to each charter school operating in the school district, facilities sufficient for the charter school to accommodate all of the charter school's in-district students in conditions reasonably equivalent to those in which the students would be accommodated if they were attending other public schools of the district.”

What you probably have not been told is that the in the case of Sequoia Union HSD v. Aurora Charter High School (20003), the California Court of Appeals, stated that this section imposes an obligation on a school district “in which a charter school provides education to students who live in that district, and who, were they not attending the charter school, would be accommodated by schools in that district.”

Because you are an elementary school district, by definition the students that are attending the secondary grades at an expanded CVLCC would not be accommodated by schools in your district. If they were not attending the charter they would be attending Sweetwater schools. 

You have absolutely NO obligation therefore to build and provide facilities to the charter due to needs that result from their expansion into the secondary grades.

I would venture to guess that the parents of Silver Wing would much rather we stop spending scarce public school funds on charters and that you spend that $3.3 million on their school and on their children. That IS your obligation.