Posted by Craig P. Alexander on June 25, 2016
Meanwhile off the Presidential campaign trail, the California legislature continues to prove it is controlled by people who will not stand for any dissenting opinions even from religious colleges. Recently the State Senate passed SB 1146 (Lara – D) the so called Equity in Higher Education Act (at the time of this post, SB 1146 is pending in the Assembly). This bill vastly trims down exemptions from anti-discrimination laws for private religious colleges from, among other things, the LGBT agenda. In other words, a religious college cannot require students and employees to adhere to a code of conduct that is in conformity with its faith based belief system unless that school is only a seminary preparing students to be ministers. While this law is currently tied to Cal. Grant funds, the real issue is the heavy hand of government attempting to stamp out any dissenting opinions or beliefs. Constitutional protections like Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Assembly, etc.? Nope those are all subservient to the demands of liberal elite’s to agree with their viewpoints – which in this instance is the LGBT agenda and practices.
Andrew T. Walker of the National Review has an excellent article on this: California’s Culture War against Religious Liberty
Here is an excerpt:
“Tacked onto existing law, the proposed amendment to the state’s Equity in Higher Education Act attempts to stigmatize and coercively punish any religious belief system that might dare to offer a difference of opinion about sexuality and gender. The bill strong-arms religious schools into an untenable position: Either compromise their religious identity or risk losing access to grants and government-backed financial assistance like Cal Grants. How so? According to the legislation, any religious school that made admission decisions or laid out student-conduct expectations based on religious criteria that were at odds with the bill’s protected classes would risk losing access to state funds unless they affirmed the highly contestable categories of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” – categories at odds with views about marriage and sexuality in many religious traditions.”
I commend the rest of Mr. Walker’s article to your reading. Another very good and short read on the implications of SB 1146 is by John Gerardi of California Family Council (See Update).
There is an argument that Christian schools should not take Cal. Grants and other government monies. There are two problems with this argument. First if our tax dollars can go to schools that the government says it approves of its message but not those that do not, that is viewpoint discrimination by a government entity. Plus that is forced public funding of one viewpoint over another. Another problem with this argument is it is a ruse. Today it is the application of this law to schools that accept Cal. Grant and similar college funding programs. Tomorrow it will be to remove their tax exempt status for not conforming to the demanded viewpoint of the legislative majority (in other words the right to exist as a religious institution). And that logic can be applied without pause to churches. No room for dissent allowed and the U.S. and California Constitutional protections for Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Association will be rendered historical footnotes.
Of course, the legislature also goes out of its way to state that the bill does not seek to impair any student’s right to file a lawsuit against the college for discrimination.
Will these Christian colleges and the churches whose pulpits they fill engage the culture and stand against this publically? The colleges are expressing their opposition to the legislature now with the help of organizations like the California Family Council and Pacific Justice Institute. But if Senator Lara (the bill’s author) and his fellow travelers in Sacramento pass SB 1146 and the Governor signs it, will they file lawsuits and organize a referendum campaign to stop it? Will they engage the voters in a healthy debate over the role of religious belief and practice in public life, in education and the proper limits under the U.S. and California Constitutions on a government that tries to dictate belief systems? Or will they just engage real estate agents in Texas to find new locations for their campuses?
I pray it is the former and not a retreat to Texas.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: Andrew T. Walker, Azusa Pacific University, Biola University, Cal. Grants, California Family Council, Equity in Higher Educaton Act, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Religion, Fresno Pacific University, John Gerardi, LGBT, Loma Linda University, National Review, Pacific Justice Institute, SB 1146, Simpson University, Westmont College, William Jessup University, www.Texaswideopenforbusiness.com/ | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on May 9, 2016
Today (Monday, May 9, 2016) vote by mail ballots will be sent to voters in California. I will be voting for Senator Ted Cruz for President of the United States for the Republican primary of June 7th. I am also encouraging other Republicans to do the same. Why am I doing this when Sen. Cruz suspended his campaign? The reasons are several fold:
Senator Cruz (who will be listed first on our ballots) is still in my opinion the best candidate for President of the United States due to his long history of fighting for the U.S. Constitution and his willingness to take on the Washington, D.C. establishment on both sides of the isle. Ted Cruz is a proven and tested Constitutional leader. I recommend you go to: Senator Cruz’ web site to find out more.
In addition, Donald Trump has not earned my vote or support. His positions on issues (as much as can be understood of any position he may take) such as supporting transgender bathrooms and locker rooms, eminent domain abuse by having government take other people’s property then selling it to developers for them to build private property projects for their own profit and many other causes over the years are on the opposite side of what I believe in. Another example is he still loves Planned Parenthood. In addition, his tactics during the campaign including, but not limited to, going after people’s wives and children, alleging Ted Cruz’ father was in league with Lee Harvey Oswald in the assignation of JFK and other similar personal attacks have not convinced me The Donald has the temperament to be President. It is Mr. Trump’s job to sell me on supporting him and he has not do so.
Some have said a vote for anyone but Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton. I disagree. June 7th is a closed Republican Primary not the general election. No matter who any Republicans vote for in the primary that will have zero effect upon the Democrats nominating Hillary Clinton or any other person as their candidate for President. Also, in the general election in California we Republicans will be outnumbered by Democrats and others who will vote for the Democratic nominee so our votes for anyone in the general election will likely not matter in liberal California (and there is no way I will vote for the Democratic nominee).
Some might argue that if enough people vote in the primary for Ted Cruz rather than Donald Trump, Mr. Trump might not get the necessary 1237 delegates to achieve the Republican nomination on the first ballot resulting in a contested convention. Then someone like Ted Cruz could still obtain the nomination on the second, third or a later ballot. If this were to occur and Ted Cruz became the nominee my response would be that old Christian hymn / doxology:
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen!
That would be a result I would be very happy with. Now if Mr. Trump does obtain the 1237 delegates to lock up the nomination, then he should be the nominee even if I do not like the result. That does not mean I will vote for or support him in the general election for all of the reasons above. But he will have won the nomination by doing obtaining 1237 delegates and maybe he can convince me he is a better candidate than I have seen to date before the November 8th election.
If you wish to see my “Craig’s Pics” voter recommendations go to: Craig’s Pics. I also recommend going to Robyn Nordell’s site and review Robyn and other conservatives’ excellent voter guides.
The sign in my front yard for Ted Cruz in the picture above I just put up last night (Sunday, May 8, 2016).
For those that may disagree with my recommendation I ask one thing: Please state facts for your arguments, not emotion, guilt or insults.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald, November 8 General Election, Planned Parenthood, President of the United States, Republican Primary Election, Ted Cruz | 2 Comments »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on May 9, 2016
Recently the Dana Point Times published my Letter to the Editor. In it I stated my opposition to Measure H which I call the Empty Lots Initiative.
Below is a part of that Letter:
By Craig Alexander, Dana Point
I have lived in Dana Point since 1999. One of the first things I realized is property development is a hot button issue. Another thing I noted in 1999, which continues to today, are the numerous empty lots and sometimes rundown buildings in downtown Dana Point. Over the years, there have been several studies and many public meetings about how to create a better downtown Dana Point to attract visitors and make it a nice place for residents to enjoy a wonderful shopping and dining experience.
A few years ago, a prior city council led by now Assemblyman Bill Brough, spearheaded the city finalizing what is now called the Lantern District plans after dozens of public hearings at which all citizens of Dana Point were allowed to participate. The plan passed via city council votes, and the city has already spent over $18 million, plus millions of ratepayer dollars from the South Coast Water District, to implement the Lantern District improvements. Part of the Lantern District plan is to recoup part of those funds via development fees and increased property taxes.
Now, unhappy with a few development decisions by the City Council, some members of our community want to implement a ballot box zoning law called Measure H that would have the effect of halting development in the Lantern District. I call this the “Empty Lots Initiative,” because it would make development there so restrictive that no project could financially work, thus the empty lots would stay empty. An obvious result would be the city not receiving back many of the millions of dollars it spent under the Lantern District Plan from development fees and increased property tax revenue. This ballot box zoning measure is like taking a sledge hammer to a problem that needle nose pliers can fix. You might get the result you want but you will also destroy the object you are trying to fix.
If you do not like the City Council and their property development decisions, change the City Council. That is why we have elections every two years in November and term limits as well.
At the very least, before making such a drastic decision, I encourage my fellow Dana Point residents to go to the city’s website (http://www.danapoint.org/) and click on the link to the Town Center Initiative Impact Report. You will find valuable information in that report, which I recommend you seriously consider prior to casting your vote for or against Measure H.
Here is the link to the full Letter to the Editor (Vote No On H, the Empty Lots Initiative)
Posted in Dana Point, Uncategorized | Tagged: Assemblyman Bill Brough, Ballot box zoning, Dana Point Lantern District, Dana Point Times, Dana Point Town Center, Lantern District, Measure H, Town Center Initiative Impact Report | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on May 3, 2016
As a follow up to my post of last week (Anti-Choice Teachers Unions Want to Take Control of O.C. Board of Education), former State Senator Gloria Romero has penned another excellent op-ed piece in the O.C. Register. In Celebrating National Charter Schools Week Senator Romero not only noted that this week is a time to celebrate the tremendous success of public charter schools but the continued voracious opposition to public charter schools by unions and the local Boards of Trustees the unions pay to elect.
Here is part of her op-ed piece:
“Increasingly, parents understand that charter schools were precisely given the flexibility to be independent of the many constraints under California’s Education codes, allowing them to be more innovative while simultaneously being held accountable for improved student achievement. Several studies confirm that charter school students do better than their traditional school peers. Stanford’s Center for Research on Educational Outcomes found that charter schools do a better job teaching low-income students, minority students and English language learners than traditional schools. The Center for Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school and go to college.”
Yet despite public charter school successes unions and school boards fight parent’s desire to start and continue great public charter schools. No example of this is the fight by the parents of children at Palm Lane Elementary School, a currently traditional public school that has been failing for over a decade. The District’s response when the parents attempted to use the Parent Trigger law to convert the school to a public charter school? Sue them in court and spend an estimated million taxpayer dollars to stop the parents’ efforts. In effect spend over a million in taxpayer dollars to keep children in a failing school. Who are these deniers of parents’ rights to a quality education for their children? Trustees Jeff Cole, Ryan A. Ruelas, Bob Gardner, David Robert H.R. Heywood and Jackie Filbeck. (Board of Trustees) And lets not forget their enforcer Superintendent Dr. Linda Wagner. (Superintendent) If liberty, freedom, parents’ rights and quality education (not to mention fiscal responsibility) were grades these trustees and the superintendent needed to earn: they would receive an F grade.
And the ongoing battle of the parents of Palm Lane students: the Superior Court judge ruled against the District and in favor of the parents. See Parents and Children Win The Right to State a Public Charter School. District responded with an appeal that is still pending. Who is among those filing legal briefs in support of the school district to deny parental choice and a quality education for their children? You guessed it, the California Teachers Association.
I commend Senator Romero’s op-ed to your reading.
Posted in Anaheim City School District, Uncategorized | Tagged: Bob Gardner, David Heywood, David Robert H.R. Heywood, Dr. Linda Wagner, Former State Senator Gloria Romero, Jackie Filbeck, Jeff Cole, O.C. Register, Palm Lane Elementary School, Public Charter Schools, Ryan A. Ruelas | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on April 27, 2016
Everyone agrees that education for our children is a critical pathway for those children to grow into adults who are ready to earn a living and become responsible members of our society. Unfortunately labor unions including teachers unions have a different focus – to benefit their union bank accounts with your tax dollars more than the quality and success of students in those schools. Often to balance a school district’s books the union elected Board of Trustees will give raises to District employees and increase class sizes (with layoffs of younger teachers with less seniority). How does this help children in these schools? Not at all. In fact classroom overcrowding and teachers kept due to seniority instead of quality and student progress is detrimental to their education.
Let me pause and say there are many great teachers in the public school system. It is not their actions that are the problem. It is their unions who want to hold onto power who are the problem.
Many parents choose to send their children to private schools or choose to homeschool their children to assure that they are doing everything they can to provide a quality education for their child. But there is another route parents can take: public charter schools. The success of public charter schools is beyond refutation. The fact is that public charter schools, with the freedom to not unionize their staffs and focus on children’s academic progress rather than just seniority in teacher evaluations, have resulted in long waiting lists for children to gain entrance into good public charter schools. What is the response to this by government employee unions? To block public charter school applications at every turn. First via the Board of Trustees at the local level. Then with a rubber stamp Orange County Board of Education that denied charter school application appeals routinely. That changed two years ago when Linda Lindholm joined Trustees Robert Hammond and Ken Williams to form a pro public charter school majority. Since then charter schools that formerly were routinely denied appeals have had their appeals granted and more charter schools opened to the benefit of children, parents, teachers who work there and ultimately all of us as these children graduate with a quality education.
This June 7th voters in Orange County will have an opportunity to re-elect Trustees Hammond and Williams to keep that pro-charter school majority in place. The teacher unions are running Tustin Councilmember Rebecca Gomez and Irvine School Board member Michael Parham against Hammond and Williams to replace the current majority with a board majority that will bring the OC Board back to the days when charter school application appeals are routinely denied no matter the quality and demand by parents for a viable alternative to sometimes failing public schools their children are enrolled in.
Former State Senator Gloria Romero has an excellent opinion article in the Orange County Register (Teachers unions trying to take back O.C. board). Follow the link to her article where she has set forth how this is a deceptive campaign by the unions to smear Trustee Hammond and Williams to place their handpicked Trustees on the board.
Here is a part of her article:
“The name “Teachers for Local Control” undoubtedly was poll tested and determined to be a resonant mantra with Orange County voters. What backers probably won’t reveal is that Teachers for Local Control is a chameleon group for the Santa Ana Educators Association, a local affiliate of the powerful Sacramento-based California Teachers Association, which has fought virtually every public education reform and law granting parental school choice in California.
In fact, the legal phone number for Teachers for Local Control provided to the California Secretary of State’s Office is the same number as for the Santa Ana teachers union office.
Teacher unions what to give parents less choice in the education of their children by opposing public charter schools. Trustees Hammond and Williams want to preserve choice and excellence in education. Voters will have an important choice regarding education in Orange County on June 7th.
Re-elect Robert Hammond and Dr. Ken Williams to the Orange County Board of Education.
For more about former Marine Robert Hammond go to: http://www.robertforocbe.com/
For more about Dr. Ken Williams go to: http://www.williamsforocbe.com/
For more about public charter schools in general go to: http://www.ccsaadvocates.org/ and Parents Advocate League.
Posted in Orange County Board of Education, Uncategorized | Tagged: California Teachers Association, CCSA Advocates, Michael Parham, Orange County Register, Parents Advocate League, Rebecca Gomez, Santa Ana Educators Association, State Senator Gloria Romero, Teachers for Local Control, Trustee Ken Williams, Trustee Linda Lindholm, Trustee Robert Hammond | 5 Comments »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on January 31, 2016
As noted in my earlier post Mark Your Calendars! the California Republican Assembly is holding a Candidate Forum for the 68th Assembly District.
All four announced candidates have committed to participating. They are ALEXIA DELIGIANNI-BRYDGES, Trustee with the Orange Unified School District, DEBORAH PAULY, former City Councilperson for the City of Villa Park, STEVEN S. CHOI, Mayor of the City of Irvine and HARRY SIDHU, former City Councilperson for the City of Anaheim.
The Forum will be held at the City of Orange, City Council Chambers located at 300 East Chapman Ave., Orange, CA 92866 starting at 7:00 p.m. The Forum will be recorded and all are invited to attend. This forum is being organized and presented as a community service by the California Republican Assembly.
The CRA will be conducting an endorsement convention that will include consideration of the 68th Assembly District in March. The seat is currently held by Assemblyman Don Wagner who is not seeking re-election due to term limits.
For more information about this forum contact CRA Executive Vice President Craig Alexander at email@example.com or CRA Vice President Dale Tyler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted in 68th Assembly District, Anaheim, Irvine, Lake Forest, Orange Unified School District, Tustin, Uncategorized, Villa Park | Tagged: Alexia Deligianni-Brydges, Assemblyman Don Wagner, California Republican Assembly, CRA, Deborah Pauly, Harry Sidhu, Steven Choi | 1 Comment »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on January 9, 2016
CANDIDATE FORUM – FREE AND OPEN TO ALL!
MEET THE FOUR REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES FOR ASSEMBLY RUNNING IN THE 68th ASSEMBLY DISTRICT
SPONSORED BY THE CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN ASSEMBLY
68th Assembly District includes all or part of the communities of Anaheim, Orange/Villa Park, North Tustin/Tustin, Irvine, and Lake Forest, including the former Marine Corps Air Station at El Toro. The seat is currently held by Assemblyman Don Wagner who is termed out this year.
The Candidate Forum will be held on Tuesday, February 2nd starting at 7:00 p.m. at Orange City Hall (the Council chambers) located at 300 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, CA. The event will be recorded and the media will be invited. This forum will be free and open to the public as a service to the community by the California Republican Assembly. For more information about CRA go to: http://cragop.org/
For further information, please contact CRA Executive Vice President, Craig Alexander at email@example.com or CRA Vice President, Dale Tyler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted in 69th Assembly District, Uncategorized | Tagged: Alexia Deligianni-Brydges, Anaheim, Assemblyman Don Wagner, Deborah Pauly, Harry Sidhu, Irvine, Lake Forest, North Tustin, OCGOP, Orange, Steven Choi, Tustin, Villa Park | 1 Comment »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on September 2, 2015
We in Orange County have seen several versions of the COIN Ordinance (Community Openness In Negotiations). COIN ordinances provide for more and earlier disclosure to the taxpayers during and in the run up to the final approval of a contract between the public entity employer and a government employee union. This allows the citizens to know and understand the costs of the “deal” they will have to pay for. It also gives them time to give their opinions to their own elected officials about the deal the officials negotiated on the voters behalf.
The City of Costa Mesa was the first to put a COIN ordinance in place. The County of Orange also put one in place only to have the employee’s union challenge it before a Labor Commissioner who ruled against the ordinance – that is currently on appeal by the County.
It was with some surprise that I saw that the Los Angele Times (no fan of conservative ideals and principles) called for the implementation of a COIN ordinance in the City of Los Angeles. Here is a link to the editorial: Los Angeles Could Use More COIN. As the LA Times editorial points out, the back room deal of 2007 was a financial disaster for the City and its taxpayers. It looks like a similar secret negotiation then quick City Council approval process is going on again. A COIN ordinance would likely allow for the taxpayers who are going to foot the bill for this deal to know what they are being obligated to pay for before their elected officials vote for the labor contract. In other words, so the voters and taxpayers of the City of Los Angeles could have time to communicate to their elected representatives what they think of the deal.
Lets put some numbers to all of this: According to www.TransparentCalifornia.com the 2013 median income of Los Angeles residents was $38,939.00. The average salary for City employees in 2013 (there were 35,919 full time and 46, 918 total employees in 2013) was $90,167 and when benefits (pension and health care costs) are added that rises to $101,675.00 not including future payments for retiree pensions and retiree health care costs. Los Angeles total employee compensation for 2013 was $3,866,476,670.00. Thats right: almost 4 billion dollars (and down from almost 5 billion dollars for 2011 and 2012). With 3,827,261 residents in the City of Los Angeles, that means the total employee compensation cost per resident is $1,010.00. Here is the link for the summary page for 2013 from Transparent California. By comparison the 2013 cost per resident in Orange County was $577.00. Orange County summary. The City of Orange: $597.00. City of Orange summary. And perhaps no surprise: Los Angeles County for 2013: $933.00. Los Angeles County summary.
So it would appear that in the City of Los Angeles city employees are paid more than twice the median salary of taxpayers of that city. Plus the public employees also receive all of the city paid health care and pension benefits now and in the future.
When will the citizens of Los Angeles get a COIN ordinance – likely never unless the voters of Los Angeles demand it by making big changes in their City Council and the Mayor’s office. This would mean that the generally left leaning voters of LA would need to ignore the labor union financed campaign ads for City Council and Mayor candidates. They would need to stop those nice labor union bosses with their labor friendly politicians cutting these deals behind closed doors. How? By electing City Council members and a Mayor who are not beholden to the unions for their political fortunes and futures.
Voters of the City (and County) of Los Angeles – the decision is in your hands.
Posted in Costa Mesa, Orange, Orange County | Tagged: City of Los Angeles, COIN Ordinance, Los Angeles County, Transparent California | 3 Comments »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on August 26, 2015
Yesterday was a banner day for Hypocrisy by the majority party in Sacramento.
As has been written in this blog by myself and others, Democrat Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez has been pushing for the State Auditor’s office to “audit the audit” by the City of Irvine into the mismanaged $200 million plus taxpayer dollars that were squandered by the prior City Council majority lead by then councilman Larry Agran. The City’s audit (spearheaded by City Council persons Christina Shea and Jeffery Lalloway) has already shown that millions of dollars have been wasted on no bid contracts with firms like Gafcon, Inc. – with whom Assemblywoman Gonzalez has close ties. Apparently Ms. Gonzalez, afraid that the audit will continue and find reveal more bad actions by Gafcon, Inc. (one of her political supporters), got the Joint Legislative Audit Committee to vote along partisan lines to order the State Auditors office to audit not the Great Park financial mismanagement by Larry Agran, but the audit itself. Here is the link to the article in the Orange County Register: State to Investigate Great Park Audit. This audit will occur despite the opposition of many Orange County elected officials lead by Assemblyman Don Wagner. The State Auditor’s office is to determine if the Irvine audit was “too political.” Lets see if the State Audit itself is “political” or not.
At the same meeting of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, the Democrat majority killed a request by Republican Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (with support by Republican State Senator Jean Fuller) to audit how state funds are being spent by Planned Parenthood in California. Please keep in mind Assemblywoman Melendez was not asking the committee to “defund” Planned Parenthood, just to audit them to make sure the taxpayer funds being given to PP were being spent as intended. Given the overwhelming evidence of Planned Parenthood selling baby parts / organs and now whole baby cadavers themselves (often apparently in violation of federal laws) via the videos being released by the Center for Medical Progress, there is more than good reason to audit Planned Parenthood to make sure taxpayer dollars are not being misspent. The vote was, again, completely along party lines to deny the request. Here is a link to the full article in the Flashreport (written by eye witness Katy Grimes): Partisan Lawmakers Kill State Audit of Planned Parenthood’s Public Funding.
Once again our State Legislature has proven to be partisan overall. An audit of the auditors trying to find out what happened to millions and millions of taxpayer dollars regarding the Great Park and no audit of Planned Parenthood in spite of overwhelming evidence of misconduct and perhaps even criminal conduct. O I forgot, both Gafcon and Planned Parenthood are Democratic party supporters!
Posted in Irvine | Tagged: Assemblyman Don Wagner, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, Center for Medical Progress, City Councilperson Christina Shea, FlashReport, Gafcon, Great Park Audit, Joint Legislative Audit Committee, Katy Grimes, Larry Agran, Mayor Pro Tem Jeffery Lalloway, Orange County Register, Planned Parenthood, State Senator Jean Fuller | 1 Comment »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on July 17, 2015
Yesterday (July 16, 2015), after a seven day trial, Superior Court Judge Andrew P. Banks issued his decision awarding the parents and children who wished to convert their failing public school Palm Lane Elementary into a public charter school under the Parent Empowerment Act (also known as the Parent Trigger Law). To read the Court’s ruling go to: CJC5thflr@occourts org_20150716_144242
In brief, the Judge found that the parents had complied with and substantially complied with all of the requirements of the law and that the Anaheim City School District and its Board of Trustees had neither complied with the letter nor the spirit of the law. Judge Banks ordered that the Board reverse its February 19, 2015 finding that the parents had not gathered enough signatures (he ruled they had) and their erroneous finding that Palm Lane Elementary was not a “subject school” that was eligible to be converted to a public charter school.
What does this mean? First assuming the School District does not appeal (or that the Appeals Court rebuffs any such appeal), in the fall of 2016 Palm Lane Elementary will re-open under Charter School management rather than under the failed management of the Anaheim City School District, its Board of Trustees and their union partners. I should note at this juncture that Palm Lane Elementary has been on a “failing school” list for over TEN years. If the District had not denied the parents’ petitions on February 19th, Palm Lane would have opened as a public charter school this fall. But due to the District’s delays, including filing a lawsuit against the lead parents, the children of Palm Lane Elementary must live with another year of poor performance and mismanagement. A year of their education they can never get back.
Space here does not allow me to go into details about the manner in which the District handled this affair (which is likely not over yet) but it is telling that Judge Banks stated in his ruling: “I find the rejection [of the petitions] to be procedurally unfair, unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious.” By rejection he was referring to the District’s February 19th decision. By this finding and statement the Judge was not just finding that the District was wrong but that their actions were anything but the “cooperative working with the parents” the Judge ruled the law required. In the Judge’s words: “Clearly, the Respondents [the District] did not meet their obligations of good faith cooperation with respect to this issue and as mandated by the Act. [the Parent Trigger Law].” [additions mine].
As one example the Judge noted that Dr. Linda Wagner, Anaheim City School District’s Superintendent, did not know even on the day she testified in Court who the lead Petitioners were (i.e. the Lead Parents who submitted the Petitions to convert Palm Lane to a public charter school). He also noted that the author of the Parent Trigger Law, former State Senator Gloria Romero, issued a letter to the District offering to assist the District in coordinating with the lead Parents who Sen. Romero was working with, and the District NEVER RESPONDED TO THAT LETTER. Since Dr. Wagner authorized the District’s attorney to file a lawsuit against those very parents (who they specifically named in the lawsuit) a couple of months prior to the trial, in my opinion either she was willfully ignorant or incredibly disingenuous.
It is said that elections have consequences. I hope this trial court ruling has election consequences to the Board of Trustees of the Anaheim City School District. The parents and children of that District deserve better!
Kudos to the legal team of Kirkland & Ellis who represented the parents and Gloria Romero’s organization in the lawsuits, to the California Policy Center, Inc., Arturo Garcia, the lead parents and their supporters and a lot of others I do not have space here to list who also supported the parents. Mega Kudos to Senator Gloria Romero for her unwavering support of the parents both in being the Parent Trigger Law author but even after leaving the legislature, helping the very people she wrote the law for!
Note: I call the charter school a “public charter school” because a charter school is still a public school, just one that is not dominated by public employee unions.
Posted in Anaheim City School District | Tagged: Arturo Garcia, California Policy Center, Judge Andrew Banks, Kirkland & Ellis, Linda Wagner, Palm Lane Elementary School, Parent Empowerment Act, Parent Trigger Law, Public Charter Schools, Senator Gloria Romero | 5 Comments »