When members of the Napa Valley Educators Association (NVEA) heard word about a petition for a new 336-student charter in Napa County, they quickly organized with parents and classified staff to fight for their students, and against the unsound education plan the charter was proposing…and they won!
If the plan were to have moved forward, it would have reduced the enrollment of the Napa Valley Unified School District (NVUSD) by over 300 pupils. Approval of this school would have an undeniably negative impact for Napa Valley students, including cuts to staffing, services, and programs at the middle school level and beyond. This enrollment represents a 2% enrollment decrease for NVUSD, and an 8% enrollment decrease for NVUSD’s middle school programs. NVUSD is already down 300 students, and if the district lost another 300 students, there would be layoffs of a minimum of 14 additional educators beyond the current layoff expectations.
“Our students need more resources in our public schools, not fewer. The approval of this charter would have only exacerbated already existing issues within NVUSD.”
–NVEA President Gayle Young
By failing to tailor any of its educational programs to the pupils of NVUSD and instead simply copying and pasting from a charter petition in another district, the petitioner failed to meet the most basic threshold of the law. Additionally, the petition projected that 20% of their student body would be English learners (ELs) and the majority of the ELs would be long-term English learners (LTELs), yet they failed to articulate a plan to hire a dedicated English learner coordinator for the first two years.
For these reasons, and more, the local school board unanimously voted to deny the petition. However, the petitioners have appealed to the Napa County Office of Education, so that will be the next stop in this important fight for Napa Valley students!