Sagebrush discussions continue

CV Weekly, By Mary O’KEEFE

The Glendale Unified School District Board of Education heard on Tuesday from concerned residents and parents about the possible territory transfer of the far western area of La Cañada Flintridge from GUSD schools to La Cañada Unified School District.

The discussion of the transfer of the “Sagebrush” area has been in play for quite some time. The resolution requesting the transfer was presented by Unite La Cañada in June 2013 to the city of La Cañada Flintridge, which the city approved. The resolution was then presented to the LCUSD Governing Board, which also approved.

Since the beginning, those in favor of the transfer in La Cañada Flintridge have been organized and spoke as a united voice; Unite La Cañada is the grassroots effort behind the territory transfer.

GUSD administrators and school board members have discussed the transfer at several board meetings and have had community meetings at Mountain Avenue Elementary and Crescenta Valley High School; however, as an agreement between the districts appears to be in its final stages and a vote draws near, Crescenta Valley residents, including officials from the CV Chamber of Commerce and CV Town Council, are becoming more concerned about the transfer and how it will affect the children of Crescenta Valley.

At issue is the direct effect on  Mountain Avenue Elementary school, Rosemont Middle School and CVHS. The districts estimate there will be a loss of about 30 students per year, but the underlying issue is as much about the students as it is about the loss of revenue from the students in the seats, tax/bond revenue and the new financial structure of California schools.

Those living in the Sagebrush area – west of Rosebank Drive – are in the City of La Cañada but attend GUSD schools. A point made by La Cañada residents regarding this issue concerned students living a dual life, one where they are attending GUSD schools, yet are La Cañada residents and do not get the full benefit of either city’s opportunities. For example, if a girl lives in the Sagebrush area she cannot be considered for the Tournament of Roses court, even though La Cañada residents who attend LCHS area are allowed.

At Tuesday’s meeting, CVTC President Robbyn Battles shared an online survey that had been distributed in the area that would be affected by the transfer.

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