School officials say GUSD is asking too much for Sagebrush students.
La Cañada Valley Sun
By: Sara Cardine
October 29, 2014
The La Cañada Unified School District is no longer willing to discuss with Glendale school officials the financial aspects of negotiations regarding the transfer of Sagebrush territory into its boundaries, according to statements made at Tuesday night’s school board meeting.
Comments made by Supt. Wendy Sinnette and LCUSD Board President Ellen Multari were reflected in a letter Sinnette submitted to the Valley Sun Wednesday morning.
“It is very disappointing to have to make a statement at this time, because earlier this year, we were really close to reaching an agreement,” Multari said Tuesday.
Even though La Cañada school officials appear to be backing out of negotiations, Glendale school officials still plan on voting on their proposed terms for the transfer on Nov. 4, said Glendale Unified Supt. Dick Sheehan.
“We have the debate set up for Tuesday at our board meeting,” Sheehan said. “I see us continuing with that. We’ll still continue our process and present them with a proposal and wait on their response,” adding later, “I would have preferred them to wait for a proposal.”
The La Cañada district’s response follows an Oct. 21 meeting of the Glendale Unified School District, during which Glendale officials discussed seeking $6.8 million from LCUSD in compensation for taxes lost that Sagebrush homes would have paid toward Glendale school bonds.
Additionally, Glendale board members said their district could seek an annual $3,600 for every student lost to La Cañada Unified in the transfer, half of what GUSD receives from the state, for a period of 12 years.
Assuming 235 Sagebrush students transferred, LCUSD would have to pay a total of $10.15 million, according to that model, in addition to the bond compensation amount.
Combined, the amounts being floated by GUSD are estimated to total about $17 million.
“This dramatic increase in the price of the transfer has led LCUSD to the conclusion that it needs to step aside with regard to any future financial settlement discussions,” Sinnette stated in her letter, adding that $10 million far exceeds the capabilities of the district’s budget.
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