Sagebrush Transfer Still a Waiting Game

La Cañada Outlook
July 18, 2014
By Mirjam Swanson

The Glendale Unified School District’s Board of Education tapped the brakes on the ongoing Sagebrush discussions Tuesday [7/15/14], delaying what might have been a monumental step in negotiations involving the proposed territory transfer of the neighborhood in westernmost La Cañada Flintridge.

An agenda item called for the board, at the recommendation of Superintendent Dick Sheehan, to authorize GUSD administration to finalize a territory transfer agreement before returning for final board approval at a future meeting.

But with the Los Angeles County Commission on School District Reorganization needing to review a plan at its Sept. 2 meeting in order for it to become effective for the 2015-16 school year, GUSD board members weren’t ready to finalize an agreement. They insisted on further negotiations over compensation and possibly more community outreach.

“There are downsides for Glendale Unified, mostly. We’re going to be losers. That’s why this is taking a long time,” GUSD board member Christine Walters said. “I’m sure La Cañada is sick of it because I’m sure from the La Cañada point of view, yes, most people in the area are very much in favor of it and, yes, we do represent those people.“From the Sagebrush point of view, it’s a very easy decision to make, but it’s very complicated and it will be very costly for Glendale Unified, regardless of how we approach this.”Former LCUSD Governing Board president Scott Tracy, who has served as a key negotiator in recent discussions, said he understood GUSD’s desire to proceed cautiously.

“The Glendale board has a very important decision to make. It’s a challenging decision for any school district, and there’s a lot of history here,” he said. “There seems to be a pathway to reach a joint agreement. … The pathway remains open but the step wasn’t taken today.”

LCF City Council members Donald Voss and Jonathan Curtis also attended the meeting.

The debate over which district students in the 385-acre section of LCF west of Rosebank Drive should attend dates back to the 1960s, when residents there initially petitioned to be included in what was then a new LCUSD. Since then, there have been three other citizens’ petitions — including the current one — as well as three failed legislative proposals.

To read the full story, click here.

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