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Charter School Board May Face Tough Slogging Ahead, Due to its Own Recent Decisions

Community Learning Centers Schools seems set to move the ACLC and Nea charter schools into this 3rd Street location. (Google Street View)

Community Learning Centers Schools seems set to move the ACLC and Nea charter schools into this 3rd Street location. (Google Street View)

Although it was probably not intended, two decisions last week by the governing board of Community Learning Center Schools, (CLCS) the non-profit that runs the Alameda Community Learning Center and Nea public charter schools, may be at odds with each other.

Last week, the CLCS board approved a proposed facilities lease agreement with the Alameda Unified School District that would see the non-profit sign a long-term lease – until 2025 – for the Woodstock school site on 3rd Street, to host ACLC and Nea charter schools.

According to the agreement, the combined enrollment of the two charters must include a significant representation of Alameda students: “At least 75% in 2014-15, 80% in 2015-16, and 85% in 2016-17 and years after that.”

Further, this ambiguous language, “The CLCS Charter Schools must maintain a combined enrollment not more than 100 students less than the schools’ combined enrollment for the 2014-15 school year as measured at P-1” seems intended to require the charters to maintain minimum enrollment levels, baselined against the forthcoming school year.

However, another decision at the same meeting, has current parents threatening to pull their children out of Nea.

The board voted to put two administrators on administrative leave, including the lead facilitator for Nea.

The move is apparently a precursor to terminating the employees. A communication from CLCS Board President Joan Uhler, distributed to parents on Sunday by Executive Director Patti Wilczek confirmed that the move was effectively a termination.

Outcry over that decision on an online forum for Nea parents suggests widespread support for the two employees placed on leave, who have been with Nea since its founding.

Parents have suggested everything from a student strike today, to an on-campus protest, to pulling their children out of Nea, to voice their objections.

A mass exodus of students, or, learners, in Nea parlance, could make it hard for CLCS to maintain the enrollment numbers it committed to in the facilities lease agreement.

That agreement, with its tortured language, apparently written by Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) employees, has not yet come before the AUSD school board for a vote.

The CLCS board will reportedly meet tomorrow night for a vote to formally terminate the two administrators placed on leave last week.

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