Glendale Unified Superintendent Winfred Roberson Jr. is placing robocalls and sending emails to GUSD families, very concerning to Sagebrush families and to UniteLCF!, the residents group campaigning for a territory transfer proposal since early 2013. “The statements by this Superintendent are reminiscent of the scare tactics and misinformation used in prior Petition efforts. Inciting fears and causing undue anxiety is exactly what we have been trying so hard to avoid” says Tom Smith, chair of the committee.
The territory transfer petition is supported by a significant majority of the nearly 1000 households in the inhabited northwestern section of the City of La Cañada Flintridge. Among the inflammatory messages sent by the Superintendent are statements such as: “we are somewhat mystified by this petition,” and students would be “forced to change schools” as well as suggesting the transfer “will have a devastating impact on our remaining students” and “could result in teacher layoffs.” UniteLCF! rejects each of these claims outright.
The Superintendent is new to his school district, but the GUSD Board members should know better. If any of the GUSD Board members are truly “mystified” over our Petition, we suspect they have not given this matter their full attention and that, if true, would bet a dark stain on their service on the Board. The UniteLCF! committee has worked for years in the most cooperative way possible to bring about a school district territory transfer that has been sought since the 1960s. The territory transfer petition now being proposed addresses all issues brought forth during extensive community outreach efforts, meetings with stakeholders, surveys, consultants, community forums and dozens of meetings and exchanges with all the GUSD Board members, past and present, including:
- Absolutely no property or facilities will transfer between GUSD and LCUSD. The petition fully carves out the GUSD-owned lot on Ocean View Blvd.
- 2022/23 is our proposed timeframe for the permanent Transfer. The petitioners will propose a delayed formal implementation to allow both districts time to plan, and to minimize disruption to the two most impacted elementary schools—Mountain Avenue and Palm Crest.
- No current GUSD students – nor their siblings – will be required to transfer to LCUSD. The petitioners will propose that anyone attending GUSD on the effective transfer date can continue to do so, as can their siblings.
- GUSD has committed to maintaining Mountain Avenue Elementary as a neighborhood school, and has demonstrated its capacity to do so.
- Because Sagebrush is so small, 1-2% of GUSD by most metrics, the transfer would have a negligible impact on GUSD overall.
Mr. Roberson ought to be aware that over 100 Sagebrush students have already left GUSD and are now attending LCUSD schools, and there has been no impact to the District according to their own staff reports. In addition, Mountain Avenue Elementary, Rosemont middle schools and Crescenta Valley High Schools are thriving (if not over-thriving) with students and each have well-established academic programs, extracurricular activities and active PTA and parent support groups.
UniteLCF! and the Sagebrush community continues to urge that the upcoming public hearings on October 26 and November 2 be open forums, with rational discussions and community input based on facts, not fears. Intimidation and misinformation should have no part of this process.