8/8/2014 6:00:00 AM School board denies charter school petition, again
BLYTHE, Calif. — Desert Oasis Charter School (DOCS) submitted a petition to Palo Verde Unified School District July 25 and the board, again, unanimously denied its petition. PVUSD denied a previous petition submission in December 2013.
BLYTHE, Calif. - Desert Oasis Charter School (DOCS) submitted a petition to Palo Verde Unified School District July 25 and the board, again, unanimously denied its petition. PVUSD denied a previous petition submission in December 2013. At that time PVUSD Superintendent Dr. Mike Davitt recommended to the board that the petition be denied because:
The petition presents an unsound educational program for the pupils.
The petitioners are demonstrably unlikely to successfully implement the program set forth in the petition.
The petition does not include the required number of signatures.
The petition does not contain required non-discrimination and enrollment affirmations.
The petition does not contain reasonably comprehensive descriptions of 16 required elements.
Tuesday night, Board President John Ulmer said DOCS had not addressed the 16 state-required elements and the lack of speakers and support during the July 25 hearing period.
"This is pretty sneaky," said DOCS lead petitioner Pam Bush. "You are not interested in the betterment of the kids. It's obvious with the K-8 change. I am absolutely appalled by your actions."
Bush referenced the board agreeing to move the agenda's action items to the beginning of the meeting, ahead of the public comments period.
"I'm not against charter schools, but the problems are apparent here," said board member Bob Jensen.
Bush told the entire board that she was told by Jensen that he, along with Board Clerk Sonny Hernandez would vote against the petition as long as Dr. Yul Whitney's name was on it. Whitney, former PVUSD superintendent and current employee, is a petitioner and advocate for DOCS, along with Bush.
"I'm in favor of charter schools within the district," said board member, Alice Dean. "I had hoped this was one of the situations and I still hope it is once they get all the issues worked out."
Bush contends that the district failed to point out exactly which requirements had not been met.
"We followed your recommendations and you still denied it," said Bush.
"It's about choice and charter schools have more flexibility to that idea," said DOCS co-petitioner Bob Grady. "The idea that the school district wants it to model after them is counterproductive."
Bush said that DOCS plans to submit the existing petition, as written, to Riverside County Office of Education for approval or denial this fall.