Ridgecrest Charter School and SSUSD reach agreement

The Sierra Sands Unified School District’s Board of Education held a special meeting Jan. 31 to consider an agreement with the Ridgecrest Charter School. After several earlier attempts to reach an agreement were unsuccessful, this one succeeded.

“The two parties have reached agreement for an alternative to providing facilities to the charter school under Proposition 39,” read a joint press release issued Feb. 3. “Under the terms of the agreement, the district will make an annual payment to Ridgecrest Charter School to support its facilities needs. In return, RCS agrees to waive any and all rights to request or use district facilities under Proposition 39 for a period of five school years.”

“I am very pleased with the work that brought this agreement together,” said RCS Board President Elsa Hennings. “The goal of our negotiations was to insure that the best interests of the students in the district and charter school were met. I believe we were successful in this effort.”

“I am very pleased that Sierra Sands and RCS were able to work together to come to an agreement that is in the best interest of all of the students in our community,” said SSUSD Superintendent Joanna Rummer. “I truly appreciate the collaborative spirit and commitment to students as a priority as a foundation upon which this agreement was reached.”

Under Proposition 39, a charter school may make a timely request for use of district facilities, which are allocated based upon the charter school’s in-district average daily attendance.

Alternatively, the district and the charter school may mutually agree to an alternative.

With the approval of SSUSD’s Board of Education, the district will pay $80,500 annually to RCS for a period of five years beginning with the 2014-15 school year and ending with the 2018-19 school year in lieu of allocation of district facilities for use by RCS. In return RCS agrees to waive any and all rights to request to use district facilities under Proposition 39 for five school years.

The cost of this agreement is estimated to be $80,500 per year for five years, for a total of $402,500.

For the full text of the agreement, see ssusdschools.org. Under the “board” page, see “board packets” and Jan. 31 special meeting.

Story First Published: 2014-02-05