Antioch School Board Meeting Rescheduled to Friday After Fire Marshal Shuts Down Meeting

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On Wednesday Night, the Antioch Unified School District was forced to postpone their school board meeting until Friday after a large crowd showed up at the meeting which created overcrowding and a fire hazard.

According to the District, the fire marshal told the district they had to postpone the meeting.

The school board was set to discuss possible budget cuts which would include a savings of $775,000 by reducing the staffing levels of classified staff which included Library Median Technician (4.5 positions), Instructional Assistant (2.6 positions), Instructional Assistant (4.75 positions), Career Center technician (2.50 positions) and a lead custodian (2.0 positions) which equals the elimination of 16.42 positions.

The school district could face more cuts later this year as funding is shifted out of the District and into Rocketship Charter School.

Rocketship, who was issued with a Notice of Violation at the February 27 meeting, packed the meeting with supporters who were there to support their school. If Rocketship does not correct the violations, it could face possible revocation.

On Wednesday, with the overflowing of the crowd out of the School Board Chambers and down the hallway into the parking lot, the fire marshal stated they would have to reduce the size of the crowd of postpone the meeting.

The school board was forced to re-notice the meeting and provide 72-hours to the public of the location change to Lone Tree Elementary School.

Superintendent Stephanie Anello read the following statement during the meeting:

“Because of the numbers and attendance here tonight and because I believe they are hear to speak about Rocketship, I would also like to say we received a request from Rocketship on March 15, the day we posted the agenda asking we move this to a larger location and provide a Spanish speaking translator.  I informed Rocketship that same day that students and parents would have an opportunity to address the board when it considers the charter schools response to the notice of violation which is due to be submitted April 1, 2019. The Board meeting to consider that response will occur sometime after April 1 and we will notify you prior to the date and time of that meeting. To accommodate Rocketship parents and families we will hold that meeting at Lone Tree Elementary and will consider a request for a translator. Unfortunately when we received the request on Friday March 15, we had already noticed the public per statue, we have two public hearings tonight and we are required to post those 10-days in advance so the public knows what the meeting is about and has an opportunity to attend. Once we have posted those, we cannot change the location of the meeting. So anyone who thinks this was intentional, it certainly was not. We had no idea that Rocketship was going to attend until last Friday when the agenda was posted.”

Trustee Ellie Householder stated they wanted to hear from everybody and this venue does not allow that. Meanwhile, Trustee Diane Gibson-Gray highlighted they have over 2-hours of testimony and it would not be fair.

“We just don’t have the capacity here,” stated Gibson-Gray.  “We are in violation of the fire codes.”

The board voted 5-0 to move the meeting to Friday night at 7:00 pm at Lone Tree Elementary.


7 COMMENTS

  1. Only in Antioch; probably choose a too small venue on purpose just so they can say it is a fire hazard and not deal with the problem. School District is the worst and they don’t keep students and teachers safe on a daily basis. Cluster F town for all homeowners; forced to leave and make your house a rental because of crap schools and lack of services but you pay high taxes out here for NOTHING except filthy transients when that money should go to schools. The City can afford their ridiculous logo change but can’t properly fund education? Wow! Losers, total losers. Sorry I didn’t vote for Wade Harper now. The new Mayor is a complete disappointment.

    • The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” U.S.CONST.AMEND. I

  2. How dare you place blame for AUSD’s terrible financial management and atrocious academic performance on Rocketship?! It’s very clear who you’re pandering to.

    ”The school district could face more cuts later this year as funding is shifted out of the District and into Rocketship Charter School.”

    Seriously?! I thought news was supposed to be factual? You just lost any shred of credibility you had with that statement. Maybe if Antioch Schools were performing as well as their charter counterpart, we wouldn’t need a charter school! I take it you don’t have kids though and just want to be decisive for no reason at all. By the way, charter school or not, we are pulling our kids out of AUSD and sending them to other districts and private schools because we care about their future and refuse to let AUSD continue to underserve them. Without drastic changes, they’re gonna lose that money regardless because we the parents have had enough!!

  3. Dear Editor,
    I take exception with the following comment in your article “The school district could face more cuts later this year as funding is shifted out of the District and into Rocketship Charter School.”

    Funding has been shifting out of the District for years. The school population is down by over 5000 students since my children attended the AUSD not long ago. Meanwhile the population of Antioch has grown by over 30%. These children did not disappear. Parents have been transferring their children to neighboring school districts and private schools for years. It is wrong to lay the blame at Rocketship on funding. Only a very small percentage of student flight from the AUSD are attending Rocketship Delta Prep. When the AUSD makes parents and students want to enroll in their schools again they will not have a funding problem.

  4. I just want to know how Rocket Ship managed to pay for all those tee shirts their supporters wore when the real school district can hardly afford a darn thing.

  5. Not only did they pay for the shirts but each and every meeting over a years time had dinner provided. They are a very organized dedicated group of people I am happy to know. I will support them over and over again. They produce exactly what they claim. Well educated children.

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