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Hart District To Discuss Apollo Charter, Election Changes At Wednesday Meeting

The Hart district governing board will discuss adding a year to the terms of its governing board members by changing the election cycle for school officials, and a recent application for an Apollo Charter School, at its Wednesday meeting.

A staff recomendation is calling for the denial of Apollo charter school.

District officials would also like to move the elections for Hart district board members from odd-numbered years to even-numbered years, "to be consolidated with the California statewide general election in order to increase and enhance voter participation," according to district documents.


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Changing the election
District documents lay out the procedure for how the change would occur, if it were to be approved by board members:

"Upon approval of this resolution, it will be forwarded to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors explaining the rationale for the resolution and requesting formal approval of the change by the Board of Supervisors at a public meeting within 60 days after submission and after the resolution has been posted in accordance with law.

"If the consolidation of election is approved, the term of office of current Board members expiring in November 2013 will be extended to November 2014 and the term of Board members expiring in November 2015 will be extended to November 2016. 

Changing the election cycle could save the district anywhere from $100,000 to $180,000, according to information released by the district last week.

For Robert N. Jensen Jr., Joe Messina and Paul B. Strickland the end of their term would be moved from 2013 to 2014. For Gloria E. Mercado-Fortine and Steven M. , the end of their term would be moved from 2015 to 2016.

Apollo Charter School
Apollo will aim to enroll students from low income families that grew up with English as second language, but knowledge of the local community and outreach plans were the board’s biggest concerns after hearing the school’s proposal at the board’s Dec. 12 meeting. 

Gail Pinsker, Hart district spokeswoman, released the following statement about the Apollo Charter School decision, in an email Monday:

"Details are not being made available until the board has a chance to listen to the findings and discuss in public session.

The decision for this recommendation is based on thorough review of the Apollo petition.

The district had 60 days from submission of the application to render a decision; however, with the holiday break, an extension was agreed to by the Hart district and the petitioners."

Johnny Jin, cofounder of Apollo Charter School, has lived in Santa Clarita for two years, and will serve as the school’s executive director if it’s approved.

Click here for the original Apollo Charter School story.


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