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Einstein Academy charter hearing set today

School tries third time to convince Saugus Union to grant charter

Posted: September 19, 2012 5:00 a.m.
Updated: September 19, 2012 5:00 a.m.

A special hearing is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. today for the Saugus Union School District board to consider the Einstein Academy’s third application to operate an elementary school.

The question, said Superintendent Joan Lucid, is: “‘Does the petition meet the 16 prescriptions?’ And the law is very descriptive.”

Einstein officials have previously submitted two other applications with Saugus Union. The first charter attempt was pulled before Los Angeles County could consider the appeal of a Saugus Union denial. The second attempt was denied due to a concern over the application’s budget projections.

Einstein elementary school charter applications were also rejected by the Newhall School District and the Los Angeles Unified School District.

“We believe that we have thoroughly addressed their concerns,” said Jeffrey Shapiro, executive director of the Einstein Academy’s foundation.

Einstein has successfully operated a seventh-through-11th-grade middle and high school, which will expand to 12th grade next year.

“(With) our track record — both with our existing school and the petition — we should be granted a charter,” Shapiro said.

State law establishes the criteria for a charter petition, Lucid said.

The school board is obligated to supply a response within 60 days of the petition’s submission date, which was Aug. 27, according to Shapiro.

“The petitioner will make a presentation, and then we’ll have an opportunity to ask questions, and then the community will have an opportunity,” said school board member Judy Umeck, explaining the meeting’s procedure, which is scheduled to take approximately a half-hour.

“We have a responsibility to over 10,000 students,” Umeck said, “and we need to make sure any program that comes into our district can stand on its own merits.”

The meeting is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. at the board’s hearing room, 24930 Ave. Stanford in Valencia.




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