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.