Letters to the Editor

Unfair charter school laws threaten CUSD finances and Carlsbad quality of life 

The Carlsbad Unified Parent and Community Budget Task Force, a grass-roots, parent-led organization formed to educate the Carlsbad community about the ongoing budget crisis facing Carlsbad Unified School District (CUSD), strongly believes that, because of the State’s charter school laws, which have an adverse financial affect on Basic Aid districts, the presence of a charter school within CUSD can negatively impact the high quality of K-12 education for which CUSD’s nine elementary, three middle and (soon) two high schools are widely known.

Lessening the quality of CUSD schools and threatening the corresponding academic achievements of its 11,000 students can have a detrimental effect on property values and the overall quality of life in Carlsbad.

We are not opposed to charter schools in principle or any charter in particular. But based on current State law, which we are lobbying Governor Brown to change, charters have a particularly negative financial effect on districts such as CUSD that are classified as Basic Aid districts, in which local property taxes equal or exceed a district’s revenue limit. In contrast, the State funds a Revenue Limit district on a per-pupil basis.

A charter school’s admissions can allow up to 50 percent of the student body to be from neighboring districts. It is not fiscally responsible for CUSD to pay for and educate these students. As a Basic Aid district, our monies should fund 100 percent of Carlsbad residents.

The County Office of Education is holding a public hearing March 18 re: an appeal of a denied petition for a charter in CUSD. My Task Force colleagues and I encourage Carlsbad taxpayers to get informed and involved at carlsbadunified.com.

Claudine Jones

Co-Chair, Carlsbad Unified Parent and Community Budget Task Force



Fate of the Buena Vista Creek Valley

Help determine what the fate of the Buena Vista Creek Valley will be. Come take a mini-tour of the Buena Vista Creek Ecological Reserve March 16 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the west end of Haymar near College and state Route 78 (turn at Mossy Nissan go to end of Haymar Road.) Located behind Kohl’s/Walmart shopping center, the land in and near the reclaimed quarry is in Carlsbad and zoned for less than 300 homes but the developer wants 656. Carlsbad elementary schools near the site are full — leaving parents to drive during rush hour to other schools. Unacceptable traffic impacts to College Boulevard. Is all this profiteering really necessary? Contact Mayor Matt Hall and the Carlsbad City Council at (760) 434-2820 or email council@carlsbadca.gov and ask them to scale it back to 506 units, or better yet buy the entire parcel, ranked No. 1 citywide by Carlsbad’s own handpicked Open Space Committee.

If you live in Oceanside contact your city council at council@ci.oceanside.ca.us (or call (760) 435-3065) and ask them why they are asking for nothing but cash in exchange for a project that seriously impacts Oceanside traffic and lengthens your response times — since your fire and paramedics are the closest they will be providing emergency services for this monstrosity.

Call (760) 720-5220 for more information on the mini-tour.

Kasey Cinciarelli,



Filed Under: Letters


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  1. Beth says:

    As a prior person posted this is starting at the state and trickling down. The State is looking for changes and we as a district have to accept that drastic changes need to be made on our children’s behalf. This is too bad it has gotten nasty for those who support and oppose Oxford. If the truth was allowed to be out there then I truly believe that we would be all on the same team. Which in a sense we are, we want the best for our children, if you truly believe you are getting the BEST for your children then stick to your convictions. My children I know are not getting the programs, no matter how many times someone says that, that Oxford offers at their elementary school. Maybe when they get to Aviara Middle or Valley they will but as of right now they are not. I wish they did. My child needs tutoring right now and I can not afford it and he doesn’t qualify for it by the schools standards. This is what I am fighting for my children who are sliding by, and I make just enough money to slide by and am not able to get him the help he needs. So something has to change, so stay the way we are or change with the times? I hope Oxford makes it so ALL the children will benefit.

  2. Carlsbad Parent says:

    In total agreement with the above post. Do your homework parents!!! California is ranked 49 out of 50 for the least amount of money given per child. California is bleeding! Why do you think the state is passing all these charter laws. Because times have changed we need to think “outside of box”. If not Carlsbad unified & many other districts will continue to fail our kids. If need be, OPA Carlsbad wil go to the state. The state already granted OPA Carlsbad $375,000 to open a school. Now why do you think the state did that!?? I challenge and encourage you to do the homework & research on that. Did you know that Jefferson, Valley, Calvera elementary & middle are in stage 2 of STATE product development for poor performance. What does stage 3 mean? Major state level involvement and wiping the slate clean at those schools. Poinsettia is in stage 1, which is unacceptable given the demographics of that area. There is not one school in carlsbad that offers all OPA offers. We are all fighting for our children! Our children are extensions of our souls. Again I encourage you to do your homework and research as a parent!
    Go OPA!

  3. Vicki says:

    Carlsbad Parent, if the state gave OPA $375,000 to open a school in Carlsbad as you say, why don’t they do that? Why take over a successful school and kick out all of the children at that school? With that kind of money they could purchase or lease a vacant building and actually give everyone a choice. I can’t find anything that supports your claim, but if it’s true, wouldn’t that be the best way to go? I have read about other charter schools opening in shopping malls and office buildings…that is really giving people a choice. Displacing over 400 students (many of them medically fragile) is NOT.

    • Angela W says:

      The thing about facts is that they can’t be hidden. As this entire story of Oxford and CUSD is unfolding, Carlsbad residents, myself included, are beginning to see the the district’s trickery and the board of trustees’ disregard for those of us who voted for them. Each of the board members have not done one second of investigating on any matter that has been brought to them. Each rely on the district’s “research” which have a negative outcome for this charter school. As I am immersing myself into this issue, my own findings have lead me to feel despair and disappointed of CUSD and our new Supp. Lovely. I hope that all facts will surface for all parents to make their own decision. As for me and my family, we support Oxford Prep in Carlsbad.

  4. CarlsbadMom says:

    A K-8 charter school in CUSD will take money away from the general fund for K-12 throughout CUSD. How is that fair?

    • NCountydad says:

      Because it is not the district’s money, it is the community’s.

      If the charter receives a proportionate amount of the community’s money for the proportionate share of providing a quality and cost-effective to a proportionate share of the community’s children… and this breaks a district’s monopoly and forces them into competition… how is this not preferred?

      I also find this a disingenuous argument.

      I have never heard anyone complaining that Encinitas USD, San Dieguito UHSD, or San Marcos USD are stealing children and/or property tax money from Carlsbad for the portions of Carlsbad that they serve.

      If this was truly the issue, why isn’t Carlsbad USD going after the San Elijo or La Costa area property taxes that are part of Carlsbad, but served by those districts?

  5. Karen Steimle says:

    Please clarify on how this new school would take money from the general funds when I am taking my kids from their current CUSD to enroll them into another school that will be in Carlsbad district? How can you determine the loss of revenue to the district when you don’t have a clue on the number of enrollment.

    How is it fair that as a parent, I am told by the district and the board of trustees that I HAVE to send my children to their schools and if I don’t like it just send them to private schools. Yes, this is fair. I pay taxes too, I just rather my portion of the tax goes to Oxford directly because I like how they can EDUCATE students with a lot less. If a family who are from low income neighborhood is not happy with their school, I supposed you will tell them they need to leave for private schools as well.

    • CarlsbadMom says:

      For example, if a student from Encinitas wanted to attend the charter school, CUSD would have to pay 100% to educate that child. CUSD funds should be used to only educate students within the school district. For every CUSD student that attends the Charter, CUSD will lose money from their operating budget.

      • NCountydad says:

        I have never heard the anti-OPA folks mention Encinitas or San Dieguito students. I have heard plenty about the “invasion” of Oceanside and Vista students. However, students from ADA districts have little-to-no fiscal impact compared to students from Basic Aid districts.

        So, are the anti-OPA folks really concerned with the fiscal stuff, or do they just not want “THOSE” students in their community? Or, do they think that they will get more reaction by the inference of “THOSE” students?

        After all, the district did make a big deal out of race/ethnicity in their denial.

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