CONCORD -- The group of teachers and community members trying to convert Clayton Valley High to a charter school says it has satisfied the Mt. Diablo school board's conditions of approval -- even after contending the standards are unreasonable and in some cases illegal.

"We did it," said Clayton Mayor David Shuey, a committee member. "The steering committee, along with tons of help from all areas of the community, has submitted all 56 conditions to MDUSD for review."

The group hopes trustees will agree that it has met district requirements -- which included such things as outlining staffing needs, the grading system, a master schedule and more -- and give the charter a green light Oct. 25, instead of waiting until February as planned.

This would allow the charter committee to begin searching for an executive director and applying for grants in time to open in the fall.

Trustee Cheryl Hansen, who tried unsuccessfully to get the rest of the board to approve the charter without conditions Oct. 11, said she plans to attend a meeting Tuesday between the charter committee and district staff, so she can see discussions between both sides.

"I think I'll be there," she said Friday, "because I'm the one who's been asking, 'What's going on?' "

Hansen said she wants to either remove some conditions or approve the charter completely Oct. 25.

"How do we know if the conditions have been met, that the rules won't change?" Hansen said. "There's sort of this level of distrust right now that people aren't acting in good faith."


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Trustee Linda Mayo said she may be willing to give final approval to the charter before February, if staff members recommend that the board do so.

Shuey has accused district officials of game playing and contempt for charter supporters, instead of a willingness to work toward a mutually agreeable charter.

District officials say the charter could force the board to cut $2.4 million from its 2012-13 budget, because of decreased revenues generated by the school's student attendance.

But trustees cannot legally deny the charter based on how it may financially affect the district.

Neil McChesney, one of the teachers leading the petition effort, said the committee decided to try to meet the conditions -- which he characterized as "arbitrary and subjective" -- because it might have had to go to court to prove some were illegal.

"It was a crazy task," McChesney said. "We were working tirelessly, outside of our school hours. I haven't breathed a sigh of relief yet, because there's still a lot for them to review."

This week, Hansen and trustee Lynne Dennler voted to rescind the board's previous approval with conditions, while trustees Mayo and Sherry Whitmarsh voted to keep the conditions intact.

Board President Gary Eberhart was absent.

ONLINE
  • More information about the Clayton Valley High School charter petition is available by visiting http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us. Click on Oct. 11, item 13.2.
  • For additional details, read the On Assignment blog at www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment.