Back on May 8th, a story related to the unification efforts of the school district appeared on The Californian’s website. You can read the story here:
I meant to post an article related to this article when I first read it. For some reason I didn’t get to posting the article and forgot about it until yesterday, when I was reading comments under the Modified Single Track School Year Survey topic.
Basically, the article covered the fact that the Riverside County Committee on School District Organization voted on May 8th to recommend against unification to the California Department of Education. The committee’s recommendation was based on a study conducted by a private consultant.
However, the committee’s recommendation does not mean the unification effort is dead. Unification of the high school with the elementary and middle schools has been a top priority of the school board and it is something the community wants.
A small bit from the article:
One Menifee school board member who has spearheaded the drive to bring Paloma Valley into the Menifee district said he believes the state can be convinced the move is feasible and will not adversely affect the students in either district.
The numbers are close, said Fred Twyman, who also teaches at Paloma Valley High School.
State education laws dictate that high school students should make up at least 25 percent of the students in a unified district, and the report showed that Paloma High students would constitute just shy of 24 percent of the Menifee district's students, Twyman said.
As for the financial aspect, he said Menifee had agreed to compensate the Perris district for the loss of students that now go to the Perris district's Heritage High School. But, he said, the consultant discounted that agreement, arguing that it was premature.
Also, Twyman added, the consultant stated in an earlier meeting that his approach was conservative and that the state has disagreed with his findings in the last.
"This isn't dead," Twyman said. "I still feel OK about it, and I'll still go to the state (to
I like Twyman's optomism in this. But I am a bit confused by his comments regarding compensation to Perris for the loss of students that go to Heritage. Does this mean that students currently attending Heritage would be sent to Paloma when district boundaries are changed, or does it mean that Heritage is would also be included in the unification process?
And of course, a news story just wouldn't be a news story if it didn't have something discouraging to say:
Whatever happens, it will not happen quickly, said Rollin Edmunds, a director with the county Office of Education. Even with the committee's blessing, the state does its own analysis and can take up to seven years to rule on a proposed organizational change in a school district, Edmunds said.
I don’t know what the next step in the process is or when it takes place, but I certainly hope the Department of Education doesn't drag their feet on making decision. And I also hope they can be swayed to find in favor of unification.
There is a joint school board meeting between PUHSD and MUSD on June 19th at Bell Mountain Middle School.