"This is a significant victory, in my judgment, for a long-standing
position of the Glendale Unified School District, which is that the State
Board of Education ruled properly on this years ago," Jim Brown,
superintendent of Glendale schools, said Thursday.
Residents within the Sagebrush area, which is served by schools in La
Crescenta, have for years been fighting to have the 385-acre territory
transferred to the La Canada Unified School District.
Arguments have centered on the idea that La Canada children should be
able to attend school within their community.
A request to transfer the territory was approved at the county level
but later overturned by the State Board of Education. The case has since
been working its way through the courts.
"There are people that very strongly support it," said Meredith
Reynolds, president of the La Canada Board of Education.
Neither the La Canada district nor the board is taking a position on
the issue, she said.
"I would be happy to have the school district and the city boundaries
[conterminous], but I would not allow a transfer to happen that would
hurt our budgets, either," Reynolds said.
About 250 Glendale Unified students come from the Sagebrush area and
attend Mountain Avenue, Rosemont Middle and Crescenta Valley High
schools, said Vic Pallos, a spokesman for Glendale Unified.
Losing students would also mean losing state funding, which depends on
average daily in-seat attendance.
But Brown said more than money would be lost if territories were
transferred out of school districts without demonstrating a substantial
public interest for doing so.
"It would lead to a segregated school system," he said. "It would
create anarchy and chaos in school governance."
Reynolds said the Sagebrush issue probably hasn't come to an end.
"This is an issue that has been litigated and discussed for years, and
I'm sure that it will continue to be an issue," she said.