CONCORD -- The committee pushing to convert Clayton Valley High to a charter school does not want to take no for an answer.
After the Mt. Diablo school board unanimously agreed Tuesday to approve the charter only if numerous conditions are met by February, committee members said Wednesday they want the district to reconsider.
"We were extremely disappointed in a meeting that appeared to have a preordained outcome from the outset," the committee said in a written statement. "Despite overwhelming community, teacher and staff support -- as well as a charter petition that is based on tried, tested and true successful charter high schools in the state -- the school board effectively denied the petition by stating it was approving with conditions."
The committee called the conditions "subjective, unrealistic, and in some places illegal." Based on this interpretation, the group says trustees' decision is a de facto denial of the petition.
"They cannot legally impose the conditions they did without the charter's approval, which was not given," the committee said. "The charter is working on a more comprehensive and detailed response to the board's denial of the petition and will provide this to the district and public in the interests of full disclosure. In short, we will urge the district board to support a more succinct list of objective conditions upon which the charter school and the district can agree."
Although trustees said they understood the community's desire to improve the school, they expressed concerns about a lack of specific information regarding the planned curriculum, financial plan and other details. Trustee Cheryl Hansen said she would like to discuss the conditions more in a follow-up meeting, but the rest of the board did not agree.
The charter committee's attorney asked the board Tuesday to discuss the conditions further, saying some of them exceeded what the law requires.
"Right now," said trustee Linda Mayo, "it seems like we have a disagreement among the attorneys in the room."
Board President Gary Eberhart praised the energy of the charter supporters, saying it was enlightening to trustees.
"That kind of energy is what we want to see," he said, "because it's that kind of energy that can really make the difference between success and failure of a school."
If the district does not agree to discuss modifying the conditions, the charter committee has vowed to appeal to the county Board of Education and to the state board, if necessary.