January 15, 2014 Regular Board Meeting
NOTE: This web site is provided as a courtesy for those interested in following along with the happenings in our district, especially those that live in Corbett. This site and these board notes are not meant to replace official CSD board meeting minutes, which are usually online 3-4 months from each meeting.
The below dialogue and comments are notes taken directly from the audio of this meeting and they do include opinion as they are provided by those who attend these meetings regularly. Thank you to Karina Lande for sharing her notes, some of which are below.
PUBLIC HEARING ON CHARTER SCHOOL RENEWAL : Wednesday Jan 22nd 7:30pm (MPB Building – Stage side.) Select here to learn more about the vote to renew the Charter but not the lease agreement.
The Corbett Charter Director signs a lease in Rockwood for a new 53,000 square foot building being built to his specifications and to be ready by 2015.
One interesting discussion around the bond & building size etc. was when Victoria Purvine touches on some information she discovered and emailed the board about. I have requested a copy of that email from Robin and will share once I get it.
- Keep in mind the plan is to keep 1200 or more kids in CSD regardless if the charter stays or goes. There is no intention of reducing numbers.
- We currently have 1334 kids and there is a supposed “need” to add to that.
- These are the numbers we are planning for around the discussions for another bond & new building.
Notes from this portion of the meeting:
I had sent you all an email about some stuff regarding a possible reduction in our student population if there is a building built down in rockwood for the charter which is information I got from the rockwood community development center. If this is what is going to happen are we looking at the stuff we’re doing right now for the fact that we could be dropping our numbers, the numbers currently in the charter plus maybe some of them that are coming right now (transfers)? what happens if those 600 kids go down to rockwood? When we’re looking at this stuff are we considering that we might not have the 1200+ students at that time? I’m just wondering if that’s something we also need to look at, should we maybe be reigning it back in a little bit?
Your talking about the desirability of kids to come to Corbett & that’s one of the reasons I am for building a new high school because if you have a nice high school I think that helps.
I guess the real question is if somebody builds a school somewhere else that’s better than ours people might leave right? It doesn’t matter if it’s Corbett charter school or any other school if it’s proximal to us people might leave, which is all the more reason for us to be doing a great job. If all the people left our district would collapse.
Right, and my concern is that if we have to replace that many students and we over build then we do collapse.
I really have thought about this a lot (so he has known about this and did not share with the entire board that the charter may be planning a new school in town while using the Corbett name?!) and I don’t think it’s what’s going to happen. (Not being able to fill spots) the community “feel” is what they want. I don’t have any concerns about that at all. I’ve thought about it a lot, I’d be remiss not to, I’ve thought it through and I can’t see it happening.
If we go down the path of worse case scenario so now we’ve overbuilt and we have too much space now we’re not functional and the district stops being the district and it gets split up by the state. Which practically speaking has no impact on the taxpayers of Corbett. They would continue to pay the taxes that they’re paying on this, they are not going to have to pay on their new district until they pass more bonds.
My concern isn’t necessarily what the taxpayer is paying, it’s whether or not we build it for too many students and so we lose our district, instead of being a little more conservative and save out district. Instead of looking at a new 25,000 sq ft building and we lose half our population. I’m just concerned that we might be going a little too fast, that we might want to slow things down a little and look at some other options instead of just saying this is what we’re gonna do.
I don’t see where your idea we’re going to lose kids is, I mean it’s been nothing but growth. I can’t see us shrinking at all.
Todd is not concerned either. Although David is concerned if we build a smaller school in 5 years it could be too small even if it’s just in district kids.
I agree with Tori, we do need to worry about it. I don’t think we’re academic rock stars, people could choose rockwood.
What if we build and they don’t come because someone else has built some fantastic place elsewhere & they don’t have to drive very far right? These places already exist. There’s already competition, I am up for the competition.
But let’s say the wheels come off, we build it and they don’t come. The place falls apart, what’s the worse thing that can happen, the kids in this district are going to be part of a new district. If the wheels came of and we’re a part of a brand new district the kids who live proximal to this new facility are going to get to go to it and that’s who we’re building it for. The worse case scenario, the dragon comes and fries us all we still built the school for the kids who live here and they’re gonna get to go to it.
I think the fact that the Corbett charter school, using the Corbett name recognition makes this scenario a little different than “any other” competing school. If people can go to Corbett charter school without having to drive to Corbett I’d bet most will. So if Randy expects us to keep 700+ out of area kids and we build accordingly this could be a very real problem.
I know that many do not want the charter renewed, but keep in mind they are planning to keep just as many kids regardless. Now let’s add the contract itself into the equation, Randy has told me he considers the rental agreement to be separate from the actual charter agreement.
By law if the charter meets the state requirements you can not deny them. The intent I believe is to renew the contract but deny the rental agreement. This creates the ability of the Corbett charter school name to remain intact and they say (before this past meeting when Victoria brought to light a plan of Dunton) that “well he’d have nowhere to go”. That’s not the case. So we could overbuild, may not get enough kids to meet the budget and the district could go bankrupt and CSD collapses.
I have a copy of the contract, I am no lawyer, but I do not believe the charter & rental to be separate. There’s 1 paragraph regarding rental property and this is on page 36 of the one and only charter contract document. The next scenario is that we deny the rental portion and Bob Dunton sues us, the district goes bankrupt and collapses.
Remember that Bob Dunton was the Corbett school district superintendent at the time he created the charter school. The Corbett charter association negotiated the original deal and Bob Dunton was CSD superintendent. The Corbett charter school board of directors in 2010 were;
President – Randy Trani – our current superintendent ( then principal )
Charlie O’Neil – our current board chair ( On Charter and on district board )
Holly Dearixon – our current director of curriculum
Phil Pearson – current MS/HS principal ( then teacher )
Lori Luna – current CAPS/Springdale principal ( then teacher)
Nancy Gyerko – current CAPS employee ( then parent volunteer )
Can you see now why we appear to be stuck in a contract with no way out that doesn’t involve possible law suit? Why was there not a “no cause” clause added to this contract to give the community an out if they wanted it? Although this all happened quickly and quietly and under the guise of an emergent crisis, both Bob Dunton & Randy Trani have said they’d been discussing the idea of a charter school for five years prior! Bob & Randy may be a lot of things but stupid is not one of them. We all know our board majority and the administration block this community at every turn. Emails are not replied to, comments are ignored, public forums are refused.
Here’s how the Corbett Charter works:
Not your neighborhood school. In a traditional public school the board is directly responsible to the voters. Charter schools are different. It’s important to note the Corbett charter association is a corporation. It conducts business. It is not a democracy. It does it’s business in whatever way seems best according to it’s own lights.
Bob Dunton has also said “sometimes a crisis lets you do everything you have always wanted to do.”
Is it really so hard to believe that we are in the midst of yet another, (possibly planned), “crisis” situation that may inevitably lead to the collapse of Corbett School District creating the opportunity for the implementation of a full charter model? With Randy Trani, Bob Dunton, Charlie O’neil and the likes as kings not having to appease the parents or involve the Corbett community.
But remember they want us to pay for a nice new hi-tech building just before giving the people of Corbett the biggest blow off ever. These are of course just my thoughts based on what I know and have watched go down. I for one do not like where we are heading and we may already be forced into these scenarios.
* You can send your emails or come make a statement tomorrow night at the hearing. Board email addresses can be found here: http://corbett.k12.or.us/about/corbett-school-district-39-school-board/