Caliber Public Schools appeals VCUSD denial – Times-Herald
Once denied, Caliber Public Schools is still trying to open a high school in Vallejo to accompany its current K-8 campus in the city – Caliber: ChangeMakers Academy.
Earlier this week, a public hearing was held in front of the Solano County Office of Education for the Caliber High School petition. In December, the Vallejo City Unified School District (VCUSD) denied the petition based on tax impact.
The Caliber High School petition was originally submitted in September 2021.
Caliber argues that the District’s denial was improper, given that the VCUSD staff report “found no factual evidence to support a denial based on the District’s inability to absorb a fiscal impact. “, according to Jared Austin, the co-founder and executive director of Kairos Public Schools.
At Wednesday night’s public hearing, about 60 Caliber families and students attended in Suisun City. Many families said that if there was no Caliber High School, they would leave the neighborhood because they cared about quality options in the city. The vote is due to take place on April 13.
“It was very disappointing to see that families advocating for quality public schools were forced to sit at the back of the room, often on the floor, barely visible to the council and unable to hear the debates that took place. were taking place inside,” Austin said. the Times-Herald on Friday. “Families speaking only Spanish were unable to participate because comment cards were only available in English. This shows how willing this office and county council are to ignore their own students and families. .
“The Caliber High School model would improve graduation and college attendance rates for Vallejo students by aligning GA requirements with graduation requirements, staffing clinicians in mental health at a rate nearly four times that of the average district school,” Austin continued.
Attorney Richard Soto wrote an email to Solano County Board Chair Teresa Lavell expressing his frustration.
He specifically had a problem with the VCUSD during his slide presentation, which quoted assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell. Soto argues that the legislative intent of the rebuttable presumption of denial, and a charter petition appeal to the county school board based on such a finding, misrepresents the actual legislative language under it. and are not indicative of legislative intent. As such, Soto says they should disregard O’Donnell’s statements.
“In general, a legislator’s personal understanding of a bill does not indicate the collective intent of the legislature in enacting that bill. Carter c. California Department of Veteran’s Affairs (2006) 38 Cal.4th 914, 928-9,” Soto writes. “Furthermore, “the statements of an individual legislator, including the author of a bill, are generally not taken into account in the interpretation of a law, because the task of the court is to determine the intention of the Legislature as a whole in enacting legislation.”
Soto also writes, “A charter authority cannot deny a charter petition unless it makes written findings of fact, based on the charter petition, setting forth specific facts in support of one of the findings. listed for denial under Education Code Section 47605(c)(1)-(8). A charter authority is NOT required, or mandated, to make any of these findings unless it has facts to do so to deny the charter application.
Caliber emphasized that they consider themselves part of the district and anticipates that their high school would represent less than two percent of the district’s overall budget, demonstrating that the district is able to support Caliber families.
Austin also raised the fact that Calibre, having only suspended two students since its founding in 2016, also has a strong restorative justice and SEL program.
Caliber has no connection with ELITE, a charter school located at 100 Whitney Ave. in Vallejo. Ramona Bishop, the former Superintendent of VCUSD, is the President and CEO of Elite Public Schools.