2010-03-25 / Letters

Put Bridges in the University campus

Wisely, Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) has decided that Horizon Hills is off the table as a home for Bridges Charter School. Still, the question remains, where should Bridges be located? Taking all factors into account, the answer is clear; Bridges Charter School belongs at University.

According to Dep. Superintendent Barstaad’s Jan. 6 school board presentation, Glenwood has seven available classrooms, while the district concedes Bridges needs at least 13. CVUSD currently administrates at least 14 empty classrooms at University. Bridges has agreed to rent those empty classrooms.

Yet CVUSD is still considering placing Bridges at Park Oaks or Glenwood. The question becomes: How will CVUSD redraw district boundaries? To redraw, they must fit Bridges at either campus without installing costly bungalows. Is the district willing to risk potential litigation from angry parents who’ll be removed from their neighborhood schools? Why spend resources shuffling students from school to school? Why force families to leave their neighborhood schools?

Please consider potential lawsuits. When Glenwood or Park Oaks parents sue CVUSD to keep their children in their local schools, does the money to defend the district come from the general fund or the bond fund? If it’s the general fund, is it fair that the district spends the equivalent of one, two or even three teachers’ salaries to litigate against parents who don’t want to be displaced from their neighborhood school? Alternately, if the bond fund pays for legal action, why should taxpayers be forced to foot the bill for questionable decisions and risk-taking, especially when a cheaper alternative is already available?

Superintendent Contini may be retiring this year, but the financial obligations he asks the CVUSD board to assume will impact our children for years to come. Why bus students or make them navigate busy streets unnecessarily? Why incur transportation and legal costs unnecessarily? Why sacrifice more teachers’ jobs?

Considering all the options, the answer is crystal clear.

We need to leave CVUSD students where they are and put Bridges in University’s vacant classrooms.
Robyn Pool
Thousand Oaks

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