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County Board of Education Hears Appeal of Clayton Valley Charter Petition

Hundreds packed the Pleasant Hill Middle School gymnasium, 70 addressed the board.

Hundreds of opponents and supporters of the Clayton Valley Charter Petition turned out to the Contra Costa County Board of Education's hearing on the appeal to the school district's denial Wednesday evening. 

Presentations were first made by teachers Pat Middendorf and Neil McChesney, who co-chair the Clayton Valley Charter Steering Committee, followed by Mount Diablo Unified School District's attorney Deb Cooksey and Chief Financial Officer Bryan Richards.

MDUSD denied the charter petition on Nov. 8 "on the grounds that petitioners are demonstrably unlikely to successfully implement the program set forth in the petition because the financial and operation plans are unrealistic," according to a PowerPoint slide presentation by Richards. 

Charter supporters, however, urged the five-member board to consider reversing the district's decision, which they say was made using inaccurate financial projections.

The board then listened to 70 two-minute speeches made by public officials, school officials, teachers and members of the community who both opposed and supported the charter petition.

The meeting, which began at 5:30 p.m. lasted four hours.

The board is expected to make a decision on the appeal on January 11, 2012.

lloyd crenna December 08, 2011 at 07:38 PM
In 1974 in San Francisco, a group of parents who had enrolled their children in a cooperative pre-school program, decided that the experience should be expanded through the 8th grade. My children, wife and I were active in the process. After lobbying the School District for over a year, they were granted a charter and a public school budget and building- Corbett Community School. They selected the curriculum and teachers/principal, and started out on what became a very successful public school experience for the children. The school was so successful that its waiting list became the second public charter school in SF and several more followed. The key was parent involvement in some aspect of the school activities ( which was required) resulting in a feeling of community and commitment by all.

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