San Diego Office of Education to act on unification petition at March 12 meeting
February 26, 2014 (Alpine) – The San Diego Office of Education has formally recognized the Alpine Unification petition as complete, according to a press release issued by the Alpine High School Citizens Com
mittee (AHSCC) (See "Our Future" link at http://alpinehighschool.net ).
The Registrar Of Voters has certified that the over 4,000 required petition signatures are valid, as announced at the February 26, 2014 meeting of the AHSCC. This is a citizen's initiated unification petition to convert the K-8 Alpine Union School District to a K-12 Alpine Unified School District, which would then include a local Alpine area high school.
The SDCOE Board is expected to act on the now official unification petition at its March 12, 2014, Board Meeting. This action by the SDCOE will establish a 60 day window for two required public hearings regarding the Alpinecommunity citizens’ unification petition.
One hearing would be held within the AUSD, and the second held within the GUHSD, because each District must host a meeting within its own boundaries. The SDCOE Board will conduct and administer both of these public hearings.
“The Alpine community is hopeful that the Blossom Valley community will join in and support this effort,” said Bill Weaver, an advocate for the unification petition and a former candidate for the GU HSD board. Blossom Valley is not within the AUSD boundary; it is in the Cajon Valley Union School District for K-8. Blossom Valley students now attend the GUHSD for public high school, as do AUSD students.
Weaver states, “The GUHSD disregarded Blossom Valley to be included as an option area to attend the Proposition H (2004) and Proposition U (2008) funded and promised 12th new GUHSD high school. The 12th GUHSD high school was prioritized in the summary ballot statements of H and U, totaling almost $1 billion to improve and make safer high school education for all East County families.”
Land for the high school was purchased, architectural drawings were completed, and submitted to the CA Department of State Architecture (DSA) for approval. A GUHSD Board action sent the 12th high school project plans to the DSA. All fees were paid to the DSA, in advance by the GUHSD. The 12th HS project plans were withdrawn by the GUHSD from the DSA approval and review process by then-Superintendent Ralf Swenson without receiving prior GUHSD Board action permitting this withdrawal action, though a majority of the Board later ratified the action retroactively.
The SDCOE hearings are prerequisite to Alpine's official unification to include grades 9, 10, 11, and 12. The AHSCC has asked to commence discussions with the AUSD Board and the Superintendent concerning a unified approach to the two hearings that will be called by SDCOE.
AHSCC Chairman, Sal Casamassima said, "We look forward to working with the AUSD in achieving these objectives."