Glendale, La Cañada school districts to meet again on Sagebrush transfer

Glendale News-Press
By: Kelly Corrigan

La Cañada and Glendale school officials will meet later this month to discuss the proposal Glendale Unified officials delivered late last year laying out terms for transferring the Sagebrush area of La Cañada Flintridge into the La Cañada Unified School District.

The 385-acre area that has always been served by Glendale schools has long been debated by Glendale school officials and citizens of La Cañada who have sought to have the La Cañada territory be part of their city’s school district as well.

“We just want to know what’s going on with the deal on Sagebrush,” said Harry Leon, a member of the Crescenta Valley Town Council, when he addressed the Glendale Unified school board on Tuesday. “Still, it’s a cloud that lingers above us and we want to know what is going on.”

Public discussion by Glendale school officials took a hiatus after Glendale Unified delivered its proposal to La Cañada in November asking for La Cañada Unified to pay $6.8 million in debt connected to two Glendale school bonds over 23 years and $16 million over 12 years in expected reductions in state funding due to decreased enrollment.

The plan assumes a 3% increase in state per-pupil funding each year and asks for half of the compensation that Glendale officials calculate would have been paid by the state to serve the Sagebrush students — a total of about $32 million.

School officials said the lack of discussion over Sagebrush in recent weeks has been due to the holiday break with school resuming in January, and they’re working out when to next meet over the proposal, said Glendale Unified Supt. Dick Sheehan.

A meeting scheduled for Feb. 25 will have two school board members from each school district, as well as both superintendents and district finance employees meet to review the proposal.

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