SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for the ‘St. Hope Charter Schools’ Category

One more year on facilities use

One of our community members reports a small but important change to the Sac Charter facilities use agreement passed last night at the school board meeting.

The agreement was amended to expand the district’s intent regarding future use of the St. Hope/Sacramento Charter High School campus from just the co-location of other educational programs on the site to PURSUING OTHER USES FOR THE SITE BEGINNING NEXT YEAR INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO CO-LOCATION.

This is potentially key because it opens everything up: co-location of other educational programs (which many observers feel is the politically-expedient yet ultimately unworkable path), but also relocating programs to more appropriately-sized campuses.

Board president Bell and VP Kennedy both spoke of the need and commitment to fully engage and include the community living within the boundaries of the old Sacramento High School as essential to making any sound decision as to the use of the campus going forward (next year).

Last night the entire board voted to put everything on the table. Whether the board keeps the Superintendent’s feet to the fire is so critical here as is how the entire community responds…will they insist on true engagement and asserting their voices and interests?

Up to this point and for the past seven years, the bulk of the work has been shouldered by a small group of determined and vigilant parents who never gave up on the notion that the comprehensive high school campus at 34th street belongs to Sacramento City Unified and not St. Hope.

Thank you to Lori Jablonski

I’m not your stepping stone…

A story in today’s Sacramento Bee highlights the city council race for District 5. It’s an informative article that features the rise of SCUSD trustee, Patrick Kennedy, who was elected in 2008. He ran unopposed.

Kennedy’s opponent in the race is Jay Schenirer, a former SCUSD trustee.

The underlying nuance in the article fails to mention that Kennedy’s position on the school board appears only to have served him as a political stepping stone for a higher ambition.

Conversely, Schenirer’s history on the school board (and the decisions he made regarding Sacramento Charter High School) may serve as a stumbling block.

If Kennedy’s seat on the board is vacated because he is elected to a higher office, his replacement needs to be singly devoted to helping our district solve problems and find solutions to the current devastating budget crisis. Instead of spending time raising money for a city council candidacy, he or she needs to be building consensus and focusing on the issues affecting our schools.

Written by scusdobserver

April 26, 2010 at 7:22 am

A list of resignations

Below is a very partial list of individuals, connected to Kevin Johnson, who have resigned from their posts or been dismissed over the course of the current year.

June, 2008 – Kevin Johnson resigns as CEO of St. Hope and is elected Mayor of Sacramento in November 2009

February, 2009 – Sarah Z’Berg, Johnson’s administrative assistant, resigns (after only a few months) to take a job at the Capitol. Johnson’s special assistant, Chris Young, resigns to take a job in Obama administration

March, 2009 – Bernard Bowler, St. Hope Board member, resigns
Lori Mills, St. Hope Board member, resigns
Sam Oki, St. Hope Board member, refuses comment on resignations/investigation involving St. Hope and eventually resigns

April, 2009 – Robert Trigg, St. Hope Board member, resigns

May, 2009 – Rick Maya, executive director of St. Hope, resigns

June, 2009 – Inspector General Gerald Walpin is dismissed

August, 2009 – Kim Curry-Evans, Director of 40 Acres Art gallery, resigns
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Written by scusdobserver

November 21, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Has anybody seen the facilities use agreement?

A tonight’s school board meeting, Item 9.1 is to include a presentation and discussion of the facilities use agreement that SCUSD has with St. Hope Public Schools.

On the agenda, Item 9.1 is clearly labelled as an action item. Local education activists who have contacted board members and administration have been told that the item is for discussion only. So which is it? Or is it more likely that the agreement was scheduled for confirmation until activists raised the questions that so urgently need to be asked?

The Observer hates to sound cyncial but the above scenario has played out in the past with regard to the former Sacramento High School facility.

The updated SCUSD website does not have current/available copies of the actual text of the agreements. The public was promised these agreements at the end of July after their placement on the June 4th agenda.

How can SCUSD justify leasing a comprehensive high school facility to a charter program that is operating well-below enrollment capacity? Given the recent school closings can SCUSD afford the underutilization of the historic Sacramento High School campus?

Should SCUSD reauthorize again a facility use agreement in a location which does not seem to achieve the diverse student population called for in district policy and the charter agreement?

In the interest of keeping this posting short, we’ll temporarily sidestep the questions regarding St. Hope’s money problems, its co-location of an elementary school and an adult education center on the campus, and a myriad of other questions that beg for answers…

…questions that our board members need to be asking before they start ratifying anything. Maybe they’ll ponder these queries while they’re hanging out with Kevin Johnson and Dinger at today’s photo opportunity with Arne Duncan and Jack O’Connell.
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Written by scusdobserver

September 3, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Why St. Hope is so important?

Today’s Sacramento Bee editorial page features an opinion about Sacramento Charter High School and PS7’s astounding academic performance gains.

Some of the positions stated in the editorial have merit but one glaring omission makes the entire read irrelevant: the students that these charter schools reject for behavior and academic problems get shipped out to Hiram Johnson and other SCUSD public schools — the district has no special charter rules to impose on these students and the district is mandated by law to educate everyone. St. Hope is not bound by the same rules.

The handpicking and “old guard possessiveness” that the editorial decries of St. Hope leadership doesn’t just stop at the administrative level and it’s inexcusable that the Bee’s writers miss that point.
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Written by scusdobserver

June 3, 2009 at 12:27 pm

A stinking, rotten mess

Ah, the squirming begins yet again. Kevin Johnson’s spokesperson, Steve Maviglio will try to convince us that Rick Maya’s allusion to obstruction of justice charges are just a simple technology goof. Gerald Walpin, the Inspector General, is a rogue character and the SCUSD administration says everything is in order, nothing to see here folks…but the wallpaper is peeling and underneath lies a stinking, rotten mess.

New charges could undermine St. HOPE settlement

Sacramento City Unified School District officials said they will continue to monitor the St. HOPE Public Schools situation but noted that most of the concerns cited in Maya’s letter involve the charter schools’ relationship with St. HOPE Academy, which is a private nonprofit not under their control.

The district authorizes the charters that allow St. HOPE to run Sacramento Charter High School and PS7 Elementary School. The charter schools pay rent to the school district for two campuses.

“Our main point is looking at the fiscal solvency,” said district Interim Superintendent Susan Miller. “They’ve met their timelines, so we don’t believe that will be a problem.”


At tonight’s board meeting
presumably Deputy Superintendent Tom Barentson will present St. Hope charter school’s quarterly report and a discussion about facilities will ensue among SCUSD board members.
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Written by scusdobserver

May 21, 2009 at 2:16 pm

St. Hope in meltdown mode?

Updated 1:19 p.m
Inspector General urges grand jury probe

READ: Special Report to Congress from the Office of the Inspector General concerning St. Hope’s misuse of federal funds.

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The Sacramento Bee, through the Freedom of Information Act, has obtained former St. Hope CEO Rick Maya’s resignation letter from the charter school’s board of directors. Submitted last month, Maya’s letter (along with three other board members’ resignations) reveals further criminal activity on the part of Sacramento’s mayor and his henchmen.

New allegations of obstruction of justice, serious fiscal insolvency, violation of the Brown Act, secretive back-room dealings and abuse of authority surface with Mr. Maya’s letter.

The SCUSD Board of Trustees must immediately demand some answers to the questions Maya’s letter raises. What is the vulnerable district’s legal culpability in the fiasco that is St. Hope? The time is long past due to sever ties to this failed experiment which is so obviously in meltdown mode.
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Written by scusdobserver

May 20, 2009 at 3:05 pm