May 3, 2017
By Kelly Corrigan
Four years after citizens renewed a decades-long effort to transfer the Sagebrush area of La Cañada Flintridge into the La Cañada Unified School District, the area could be stripped from Glendale Unified’s jurisdiction following a decision Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization.
The committee voted to give preliminary approval to a petition to transfer the territory into La Cañada Unified’s boundaries during an hours-long meeting at the Los Angeles County Office of Education in Downey.
Tom Smith, a former Sagebrush resident now living in Chicago, started working with neighbors several years ago to transfer the territory.
“It’s something— our friends — our neighborhood — they’ve been fighting for this for 50 years, and to see us get this much of a step closer … I’m just thrilled for the neighborhood. It’s been a grassroots effort from the very beginning. That’s what’s been so personally rewarding to me, just seeing the neighbors rise up and band together for the community. Fortunately, I had a good team that rallied around me early.”
Following the committee’s approval to transfer the Sagebrush territory, the proposal must now undergo a California Environmental Quality Act study to determine the environmental impacts of the transfer, which could take place sometime next year.
If the environmental findings favor a transfer, the transfer would go to local voters to decide on.
If Glendale school officials decide to appeal the committee’s decision, they would not be able to appeal to the California State Board of Education until the environmental study is complete.
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It’s been four years since the UniteLCF! residents committee formed to request a “territory transfer” of the western most part of La Cañada Flintridge to be permanently part of the La Cañada Unified School District (LCUSD). This transfer has been the desire of a majority of “Sagebrush” residents since La Cañada Flintridge (LCF) became an incorporated City back in 1976. La Cañada-Sagebrush families no longer wish to attend our own neighborhood schools as “non-residents.” Approval of our Petition could stitch back together the entire City of LCF and enhance the community identity and civic engagement that we feel are critical components of any outstanding public education system.
We are pleased to announce that the members of the Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization will deliberate and render its preliminary approval or denial of our Petition on Wednesday, May 3rd. The meeting begins at 9:30AM at the Los Angeles County Office of Education, 9300 Imperial Highway in Downey. Members of the public are invited to attend and hear the presentations by the impacted school districts and the Petitioners, as each will make a 20-minute presentation.
An approval at this meeting would be preliminary. Before final approval is granted, an analysis of the environmental impacts of the transfer would need to be completed following the guidelines provided in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) which could take up to 6 months to complete.
The Sagebrush Territory Transfer deliberation by the Los Angeles County Committee on School Organization that was scheduled for March 8th has been postponed upon request from the Chief Petitioners. Tom Smith, Chair of UniteLCF! issued this statement “we have taken this step to facilitate the ongoing analysis of our transfer petition by the County Committee and the two school districts. We expect to appear before the County Committee at their next scheduled meeting, April 5, 2017.”
Public Hearing, October 26, 2016:
Petitioners Presentation Part 1 https://unitelcf.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/petitioners-10-26-16-presentation-part-1.pdf
Petitioners Presentation Part 2 https://unitelcf.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/petitioners-10-26-16-presentation-part-2.pdf
La Cañada Unified School District Presentation https://unitelcf.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/lcusd-sagebrush-10-26-16-prsnttn.pdf
Public Hearing, November 2, 2016:
Petitioners Presentation Part 1 https://unitelcf.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/petitioners-11-02-16-presentation-part-1.pdf
Petitioners Presentation Part 2 https://unitelcf.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/petitioners-11-02-16-presentation-part-2.pdf
La Cañada Unified School District Presentation https://unitelcf.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/lcusd-sagebrush-11-02-16-prsnttn.pdf
Glendale Unified School District Presentation https://unitelcf.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/11-02-16-glendale-usd-presentation.pdf
The meeting that was originally scheduled to take place at the Los Angeles County Office of Education on February 1st has been cancelled.
We have been advised that the County Committee on School District Organization will move their deliberation of the UniteLCF! territory transfer to a March date.
Please check back here for updates, or sign up for our mailing list to receive updates from our petition committee, click here.
Thank you so much to all the community members who attended the public hearings on the Sagebrush territory transfer. Our committee was very pleased with the turnout, the quality and scope of the many speakers who spoke in support for our petition. Articles appeared in the local papers today and we continue to hear from supporters, asking how they can help. Our La Cañada-Sagebrush community is quite grateful for the many hours our committee members, volunteers and supporters have given in order to reach this milestone in our campaign. While not everyone could attend the hearings, we will continue to invite everyone to do what they can to help in our cause.
The Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization is an independent, 11-member elected body that studies and makes decisions such as transferring territory between school districts. The Committee Members have now heard from both school districts, UniteLCF!, the City of La Cañada Flintridge and about 100 members of the public.
Over the next 120 days county staff will be collecting more public comments, researching the issues brought forward, and assembling a complete packet of information for each of the County Committee members to prepare for their deliberation meeting, which could be as early as February 1, 2017.
Your letter, or email, can be sent to both the following contacts at the Los Angeles County Office of Education. Also, if you would like UniteLCF! to have a copy for our records, please cc: firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s helpful to put your position at the top or subject line: Subject: SUPPORT for Sagebrush Territory Transfer
Keith D. Crafton
Director, Business Advisory Services
Secretary, County Committee
Allison Deegan, Ed.D.
Regionalized Business Services Coordinator
Los Angeles County Office of Education
9300 Imperial Highway
Downey, CA 90242
Members of the Public are also welcome to attend the monthly meetings of the County Committee and give testimony in person. More at: http://www.lacoe.edu/BusinessServices/BusinessAdvisoryServices/CountyCommittee/DocumentsPage.aspx
Crescenta Valley Weekly
By: Charly Shelton
October 27, 2016
Last night saw the first of two public forums on the Sagebrush transfer debate. About 200 people attend the La Cañada Unified School District public forum at the District offices, which gave members of the public a chance to voice their opinions on the issue, both in favor and opposed to the transfer.
This public forum was the most recent step in the ongoing battle over the area west of Rosebank Drive in La Cañada to Pickens Canyon, known as the Sagebrush territory. Representing the pro-transfer side is UniteLCF, a coalition of current and former residents of La Cañada who want Sagebrush to fall under the jurisdiction of LCUSD instead of Glendale Unified School District, which it currently does, in an effort to unify the city. The anti-transfer side is represented by GUSD families and friends who don’t want to lose students to another district because it will impact GUSD through “lost ADA funding that could result in teacher layoffs and a reduction in financial resources used to provide students with technology, expanded programs and extra-curricular activities,” wrote GUSD Superintendent Winfred Roberson in an email to GUSD parents.
UniteLCF started a petition to begin the transfer process, gathering 724 signatures that wre verified by the L.A. County Registrar’s Office. The petition was submitted to the Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization at the Los Angeles County Office of Education. It began proceedings on the matter in September and ordered that two public forums be held, one in each district, to gather input from residents on their feelings towards the proposed transfer.
At the meeting, those for and against the transfer were easily identified. Those in favor of the transfer wore stickers that read, “Support the Transfer – One City, One School District,” and others who wore buttons that read, “Keep GUSD Whole.”
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Glendale News Press
By Kelly Corrigan
October 28, 2016
During a public hearing Wednesday evening that lasted more than three hours and completely filled the La Cañada Unified School District boardroom with stakeholders, 27 people spoke in favor of transferring La Cañada’s Sagebrush territory out of Glendale Unified’s jurisdiction and into LCUSD.
Residents on both sides of transferring the 385-acre area were allowed 90 seconds to state their case to the Los Angeles County Office of Education Committee on School District Organization.
Many of the supporters of the transfer who addressed the committee were Sagebrush residents. Of the 11 people who spoke against the transfer, five were either Glendale school board members or employees; three were current or former Crescenta Valley Town Council members and the remaining three were parents of GUSD students.
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