SCOE trustees nix ELITE charter petition – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

In a packed Fairfield meeting room, Solano County Office of Education trustees on Wednesday voted 4-3 to deny the petition submitted by ELITE Public Schools Countywide Charter School.

The governing board made its decision at 10:20 p.m., more than four hours after the meeting began inside the county agency’s Business Center Drive office building, after testimony by the board’s attorney, John Yeh, a partial clearing by a fire marshal of the Business Center Drive room midway through the meeting, remarks in support and opposition by some 60 speakers, more comments and questions from the seven-member board, followed by a roll-call vote that board President Elease Cheek called “a tough, tough decision that will set a precedent.”

Source: SCOE trustees nix ELITE charter petition

Solano board rejects Elite Charter School on 4-3 vote – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Solano County Board of Education trustees turned down Elite Charter School by a 4-3 vote Wednesday after supporters said the school would address an achievement gap for African-American and Latino students but opponents said public schools are dealing with the gap.

“It’s a hard call,” Trustee Peggy Cohen-Thompson said. “It’s a very hard call.”

She along with Trustees Mayrene Bates and Michell Coleman voted for Dana Dean’s motion to deny the Elite Charter School petition.

Bates spoke about attending all-black schools from kindergarten to college and protests about the separation of races.

She said she was concerned when hearing proposals to do more for one group than another.

Source: Solano board rejects Elite Charter School on 4-3 vote

SCOE trustees deny ELITE charter school petition – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

In a packed Fairfield meeting room, Solano County Office of Education trustees on Wednesday voted 4-3 to deny the petition submitted by ELITE Public Schools Countywide Charter School.

During the meeting that lasted more than four hours, which included more than 60 speakers, a small group of educators cheered after the result.

The closed vote, taken in the county agency’s Business Center Drive offices, a contentious Dec. 13 public hearing that saw some 50 speakers in support or opposition to the petition praised, assailed or merely questioned the document forged by Ramona Bishop, the former Vallejo City Unified superintendent who was fired from her post last March.

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Source: SCOE trustees deny ELITE charter school petition

SCOE trustees set to vote on ELITE charter – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

An action sure to draw a large crowd, the Solano County Office of Education governing board will vote Wednesday to grant or deny the proposed ELITE Public Schools Countywide Charter School petition submitted by Ramona Bishop, the former superintendent of Vallejo City Unified who was fired from her post last March.

With county staff urging trustees to deny the petition, the board’s decision will come about one month after a contentious December board meeting that saw several dozen speakers address trustees in support of and opposition to the petition, which would establish a charter school first in Vallejo, then other charters in Fairfield and Vacaville in the coming months and years.

Just how much sway the county staff recommendation will ultimately have remains an open question, but it will certainly be on the minds of opponents, who likely will drive home the point during their remarks to the seven-member board before the vote.

Source: SCOE trustees set to vote on ELITE charter

Solano County education staff recommends Elite Charter School denial – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Elite Charter School’s petition should be denied, the Solano County Office of Education staff recommends in citing potentially devastating budgets cuts for the Vallejo City School District.

The staff also states that programs Elite Charter proposes are already available.

The Board of Education meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Pena Adobe Room at 5100 Business Center Drive in Fairfield.

Ramona Bishop, former Vallejo City School District superintendent, is the petitioner for Elite.

Source: Solano County education staff recommends Elite Charter School denial

Central Labor Council opposes Elite Charter School petition – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

The Napa-Solano Central Labor Council opposes the Elite Charter School petition that Solano County Board of Education members take up Wednesday.

Executive Director Jon Riley said Monday that the labor council voted unanimously to oppose this “privately run regulated charter for many reasons” – including laws that do not ensure adequate transparency and financial oversight of tax-funded charter schools in California.

“Do we really want or need privatization of our education system?” Riley asked. “And do we want the decision to do so taken away from the individual school districts and their elected boards, who all have different needs, further eroding the say the voters have in how their taxes are spent?”

Source: Central Labor Council opposes Elite Charter School petition

SCOE trustees set to vote on ELITE charter – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

An action sure to draw a large crowd, the Solano County Office of Education governing board will vote Wednesday to grant or deny the proposed ELITE Public Schools Countywide Charter School petition submitted by Ramona Bishop, the former superintendent of Vallejo City Unified who was fired from her post last March.

With county staff urging trustees to deny the petition, the board’s decision will come about one month after a contentious December board meeting that saw several dozen speakers address trustees in support of and opposition to the petition, which would establish a charter school first in Vallejo, then other charters in Fairfield and Vacaville in the coming months and years.

Just how much sway the county staff recommendation will ultimately have remains an open question, but it will certainly be on the minds of opponents, who likely will drive home the point during their remarks to the seven-member board before the vote.

Source: SCOE trustees set to vote on ELITE charter

Vallejo school district opposes ELITE charter – The Reporter

By John Glidden

Vallejo school district officials are asking the Solano County Board of Education to deny the ELITE Public Charter School petition because the lead petitioner is “unlikely” to be successful in implementing the program.

That petitioner is former Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Ramona Bishop, who submitted the petition to the county last fall.

Bishop was the VCUSD Superintendent from 2011 until last March when she was fired, without cause, by Vallejo school district trustees.

In a scathing 11-page letter sent Dec. 22 to the county board, Vallejo officials argued the petition fails to meet the legal standard for the establishment of a countywide charter, and that the petition does not contain comprehensive descriptions of all the elements required of a petition under Education Code.

Source: Vallejo school district opposes ELITE charter

VPEF opens Teacher of the Year contest – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Know a gifted Vacaville teacher and want to honor him or her?

Officials at the Vacaville Public Education Foundation seek to recognize a primary and secondary teacher in Vacaville Unified or at the Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy.

They have started a “Community Choice” Teacher of the Year Award contest on social media. It allows Vacaville students and families to nominate and vote for their favorite Vacaville educator.

For those interested, go to www.facebook.com/VacavillePublicEducationFoundation, like the page, and post the teacher’s nomination.

The contest permits local residents to post a picture and story of their favorite teacher and to state why he or she was selected. The community then has the ability to like and share the post.

Source: VPEF opens Teacher of the Year contest

Five honored at annual Vacaville Youth Roundtable Awards ceremony – Daily Republic

By PIO, City of Vacaville

Five members of the Vacaville Youth Roundtable were honored for their commitment to the youth of the City at the annual Vacaville Youth Roundtable awards presentation.Natalie Mifflin of Buckingham Charter Magnet High School, Noah Galgan of Vacaville High School, Marileigh Ramp of Will C. Wood High School, REACH intern Sarah Lucas, and Andrea Kamman, Dean of Learning Support at Vacaville High School, were presented certificates of recognition from the City of Vacaville as well as Assembly member Jim Frazier, on behalf of the California Legislature.City Manager Jeremy Craig presented the City certificates, while Aeriel Silva of Assembly member Frazier’s office presented the Legislature’s certificates.

Source: Press Release: Five honored at annual Vacaville Youth Roundtable Awards ceremony

Deep divide over charter school petition – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A plan for independent charter schools in three Solano County cities drew dozens of supporters and opponents Wednesday to a sometimes emotionally-charged Solano County Office of Education trustees meeting in Fairfield.

The governing board made no up-or-down decision, but is expected to do so at its Jan. 10 meeting.

Nearly 50 of some 175 people who packed the Pena Adobe room in SCOE’s offices aired their reasons during a two-hour public hearing that came after Ramona Bishop, the former superintendent of Vallejo City Unified, offered a slide presentation that more or less summarized her 510-page petition to open an independent charter school, ELITE Public School, next year in Vallejo, with campuses added in Vacaville and Fairfield in 2019. (A copy of the petition is available for public review at the county office website, www.solanocoe.net.)

Source: Deep divide over charter school petition

SCOE Board hears Elite Charter School proposal praised, panned – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

More than 150 people in a standing-room-only meeting Wednesday heard supporters and opponents of the proposed Elite Charter School – and two Solano County Board of Education members say that the “opportunity gap” for African-American and Latino students must be addressed.

Board member Dana Dean said after 47 people spoke about the charter proposal that she was deeply troubled that every supporter is a person of color and every opponent is white.

That statement brought protests from several charter school opponents disputing Dean’s assessment of speakers.

Source: Solano board hears Elite Charter School proposal praised, panned

Solano County Office of Education board to hear independent charter school petition – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A public hearing about a new charter school petition to set up schools in three Solano County cities and the election of officers are on the Solano County Office of Education agenda when trustees meet tonight in Fairfield.

Leaders of Elite Public School submitted their petition to the county board on Oct. 27, and, by law, school districts must either approve or deny within 60 days of receiving it but can extend the deadline with a vote.

A copy of the petition is available for public review at the county office website, at www.solanocoe.net.

The drive to establish independent charter schools in Vacaville, Vallejo and Fairfield is spearheaded by the former Superintendent of Vallejo City Unified, Ramona Bishop, who was fired on a 3-2 governing board vote in March after serving six years. Her termination was made without cause.

Source: Solano County Office of Education board to hear independent charter school petition

‘White paper’ challenges plans for Elite Charter School – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Ambitious enrollment claims by backers of the proposed Elite Charter School come despite declines in the number of students attending Vallejo public schools when Ramona Bishop, lead petitioner for Elite, was superintendent there, opponents of the charter school contend.

A white paper titled “Grounds for Denial of the Elite Public Schools Charter Petition,” written by four people involved in public schools, also states that when Bishop was superintendent of the Vallejo City School District the dropout rates were much higher than any other school district in Solano County.

Marianne Kearney-Brown, among the people who prepared the paper, said she is not opposed in principle to charter schools and would support Elite if she believed it was warranted.

Source: ‘White paper’ challenges plans for Elite Charter School

Senior VCUSD officials support charter – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Vallejo school district Superintendent Adam Clark confirmed Monday that district employees are free to support “other endeavours” like the ELITE Public Charter School petition.

The Times-Herald posed the question to Clark after two senior Vallejo City Unified School District administrators have publicly shown support for a charter school proposal from Ramona Bishop.

Bishop was the VCUSD Superintendent from 2011 until she was fired, without cause, earlier this year by district trustees.

Edison Kelly, VCUSD’s director of alternative education, is listed as one of ELITE’s founding members, according to the petition. The others are Bishop and Bel Reyes.

Towards the end of the petition, the district’s Chief Partnerships & Community Engagement Officer Alana Shackelford signed her name in support of the charter.

Source: Senior VCUSD officials support charter

Local unions oppose charter school petition – Times Herald

By John Glidden

If approved by the Solano County Board of Education, the ELITE Public Charter School will harm local neighborhood schools, forcing them to make difficult budget cuts, the Napa-Solano County Central Labor Council says.

In an un-yet published letter to the editor, Steven Quinlan, a trustee on the labor council, said the group officially opposes the charter school plan brought forth by Ramona Bishop.

Bishop was the Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent from 2011 until earlier this year. She was fired without cause by a majority of the VCUSD Board of Education on March 15.

Bishop is seeking to open a charter school network throughout Solano County, with a campus opening in Vallejo next year and campuses slated for Fairfield and Vacaville a year after that.

Source: Local unions oppose charter school petition

County school board to review charter school petition – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The county’s board of education will have its first look Wednesday night at a charter school petition brought forward by a former Vallejo school district superintendent.

Ramona Bishop, who served as superintendent for the Vallejo City Unified School District from 2011 until March of this year, is leading the charge for a charter school network throughout Solano County.

Called ELITE Public Charter School, Bishop is hoping to open a campus in Vallejo for the 2018-19 school year, followed by the establishment of campuses in Fairfield and Vacaville for the 2019-20 school year.

Reached by phone recently, Bishop expressed confidence the county school board will find the petition in good order. She further stated the charter school team is filled with qualified educators who can provide a solid education to students.

Source: County school board to review charter school petition

Staff layoffs loom for Vacaville charter schools? – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

At least two of Vacaville Unified’s three dependent charter schools face enough serious red ink in the coming years that staff layoffs may be required to balance the books, district leaders said Thursday night.

As Jennifer Stahlheber, chief business officer for the 12,600-student district, neared the end of her first interim 2017-18 budget report, trustee Whit Whitman raised concerns about projected decreasing ending fund balances not only for the district in general but especially for Ernest Kimme Charter Academy, Buckingham Charter High and Fairmont Charter, an elementary school.

But seeing and hearing Stahlheber’s numbers during a presentation in the Educational Services Center, he expressed worries that the schools, which are overseen by the district, face negative ending fund balances in the coming years.

Source: Staff layoffs loom for Vacaville charter schools?

Buckingham VEX Robotics get in the zone on Saturday – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

In the last competition before the holiday, the Buckingham RoboKnights VEX four teams will compete against other schools for VEX’s “In the Zone.”

The event will take place Saturday at the Vanden High School gym, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Fairfield.

“Each team will use their capable engineering skills to gain a higher score than their opponents by stacking cones on goals, scoring mobile goals in zones, having the highest stacks, and parking robots” VEX coordinator Sean O’Bra said.

Source: Buckingham VEX Robotics get in the zone on Saturday

Supervisors recognize Vacaville student videographers for ‘Kindness’ – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Brooke Parker sees a lot of videos online, but she said many have negative messages or are about negative subjects.

So given a chance to make a video that was positive, the junior at Buckingham Charter High School and three of her schoolmates produced a video about the power of kindness.

“I just wanted to turn it into something positive because there are so many videos online today of people holding up signs when it’s negative, saying they are suicidal and everything, so we just wanted to turn it into something positive like ‘you got this,’ ‘you’re strong,’ you’re beautiful,’ ” Parker said.

Source: Supervisors recognize Vacaville student videographers for ‘Kindness’