By Miriam Raftery
March 15, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – In response to an East County Magazine inquiry asking why Alpine was excluded from a list of upcoming hearings on the proposed Grossmont Union High School District's controversial redistricting plans, The County Committee on School District Organization has announced it will hold an additional hearing in Alpine on April 4 at 6 p.m. at Joan McQueen Middle School.
The County had previously scheduled four hearings in other locations, to get public input on the Grossmont Union High School District’s proposed shift to electing governing board trustees by districts.
For Alpine, the stakes are high. Alpine stands to lose its only advocate for an Alpine High School, Priscilla Schreiber, who would lose her seat under the plan approved by the GUHSD. Alpine would be represented by Jim Kelly, a vocal opponent of the Alpine High School, an issue currently in litigation that has also led to unification efforts in which Alpine parents are seeking to break away from the GUHSD.
For the full schedule of meetings slated across East County set by the County Office of Education, rules and details, click "read more" and scroll down.
The GUHSD board voted 4-1 to adopt a controversial map and seek a waiver of a public vote despite opposition from members of the public who spoke, some alleging gerrymandering to oust a dissenting board member and break up a vocal minority voting block, as ECM reported. The five hearings are set for March 17 in La Mesa, March 28 in El Cajon, April 4 in Alpine, April 5 in Jamul, and April 11 in Lakeside. The public can testify at the meetings and also submit written comments up until April 7. The County’s committee will vote to approve or disapprove the district’s request at its April 13 meeting.
ECM had contacted the County Office of Education to ask that an Alpine hearing be added, and encouraged our readers to also contact the district to make that request.
March 17, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Board Room
4750 Date Avenue
La Mesa, CA 91942
March 28, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
East County Regional Education Center
924 East Main Street
El Cajon, CA 92021
Monday, April 4
Joan McQueen Middle School, Library
2001 Tavern Road,
April 5, 2016. 6:00 p.m.
Jamul Intermediate School Library
14545 Lyons Valley Road
Jamul, CA 91935
April 11, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
Lakeside Union School District Admin. Center
12335 Woodside Avenue
Lakeside, CA 92040
Meeting rules and guidelines for submitting comments
The recording secretary will tape-record the entire meeting. Prior to the opening of the public hearing, participants will be asked to provide their names and addresses on an attendance sheet. The completion of the document is voluntary, and all persons may attend the meeting regardless of whether a person signs the sheet.
Persons wishing to address the County Board must complete a blue speaker registration card, indicating whether they wish to support or oppose the proposal. Alternatively, a pink information card may be used to submit comments and/or indicate support or opposition in writing.
The President of the County Board of Education, acting as the County Committee on School District Organization, shall announce the opening of the public hearing and ask all those present and desiring to speak for or against the proposal to turn in a completed speaker card to the secretary. Speaker cards will also be collected during the hearing.
1. The order of speakers will be as follows:
Spokesperson(s) for the Grossmont Union High School District
Individual speakers called from speaker cards in the order submitted
2. The designated spokesperson(s) for the school district shall have 10 minutes for an initial presentation.
3. Individual speakers shall have up to 3 minutes to present testimony. The Board President may reduce the time allotted to each speaker based upon the number of requests to speak.
Speakers shall direct all testimony to the County Committee. Individual speakers will be requested to limit remarks to new information regarding the proposal and will not be permitted to cede any of their allotted time to another speaker.
4. County Committee members may address questions through the President to any speaker.
5. When all persons desiring to speak on the proposal have been heard, the President shall declare the public hearing closed.
6. The County Committee on School District Organization will not take action on the proposal to establish by-trustee area elections or the trustee area plan at the public hearing. It is anticipated that the County Committee will approve or disapprove the proposal at its regular meeting on April 13, 2016.
Written information submitted for the County Committee's review must be provided to the CountyOffice of Education no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, to ensure distribution to committee members and the school district at least 24 hours prior to the April 13, 2016 meeting.
An East County reader sent us the following remarks in an e-mail: “I was at the county board meeting yesterday and they are definitely concerned with the lack of public input in the process so far. They mentioned your article and made it clear they will be questioning Grossmont about it at these hearings.”