Part of the Bay Area News Group

CVHS charter conversion to move forward

By Theresa Harrington
Friday, June 3rd, 2011 at 1:35 pm in Clayton, Concord, Education, Mt. Diablo school district, Theresa Harrington.

I just spoke to Clayton Valley HS teacher Pat Middendorf, who told me that more than 40 teachers have signed the charter conversion petition.

“We’re going to make sure that we have way more than we really need,” she said.

Organizers estimated they needed 37 signatures to achieve the 50 percent plus one of permanent teachers required to forward the petition to the district for approval. However, Middendorf said district officials could nullify some signatures, if they question whether some staff members are “permanent teachers.”

Organizing committee members have decided not to release the document to the public until they give it to the district, Middendorf said. Committee members are still discussing whether to present it to the board or to the superintendent, she said.

The next board meeting is June 14.

Middendorf also told me the committee doesn’t plan to issue a statement in response to the district’s most recent memo regarding the possible financial impact of a charter on the district, since district officials haven’t communicated directly with committee members. The committee stands by its assertion that overall, the charter would not financially hurt the district because many expenses associated with running the school would be transferred to the charter campus, she said.

Are you surprised that a majority of CVHS teachers appear to support the conversion?

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • Doctor J

    I am not surprised by the support of the teachers and believe strongly that the appointment of Sue Brothers, Lawrence’s educational partner for over ten years, sealed the fate of the teachers in voting for the charter. There has been a lack of trust in the district and in Lawrence.

  • g

    I’m not surprised that a majority have signed. But I am very disappointed that (it seems to me) so many of the rest are either insecure about their own self worth, or are lacking in their commitment to the school’s success.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Some may be worried that they could be forced out of the school.
    Although charter organizers have said all teachers currently working at the school would be invited to continue working at the charter, the new board would ultimately have the authority to dismiss teachers, according to their new contracts.
    Some teachers may not want to lose the job security they now have with the district.

  • MW

    I am saddened that the Charter High School group has not engaged the parents and the community other than to present what “could be”. Even having asked to see the charter it is kept under warps for a slect few outside of the teaching staff. If these people want to get parents and community behind this, they need to be much more above board and stop acting in secret. With the current process they are using, they could be easily compared to how the district itself acts. I can not and will not support something I know literally nothing about. And while I do understand that under the charter conversion approach the teachers have all the power, I do NOT agree that the information could not be either shared with the community or even input sought from them.

  • Long-time Board Watcher

    G and Theresa,
    Some teachers may sincerely not want the school to become a charter. They may believe that programmatic and other changes can happen without the conversion. No ulterior motives; just a difference of opinion. The assertion that those opposed to the conversation are insecure or uncommitted to the school’s success demeans those who certainly do care for the students but may be philosophically opposed to some or all the components that go into charter schools.

    The idea that charter schools are better at educating today’s students is continually being debated. Just last week the CC Times published an article (“U.S. should look abroad for education reform, study says”) about a new study, “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: An American Agenda for Education Reform,” commissioned by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a charter school proponent. The study found that charters do not perform better than public schools “when student background is taken into account.”

  • anon

    Or it could mean that in the midst of final exams, the end of the school year, a short week, and everything else going on, some of the teachers just haven’t had time yet to get over and sign the petition.

  • Jamie

    I for one am very pleased with the outcome. I will not have a student at CVCHS until it’s 2nd year of operation and will work with helping them in anyway possible. Pat and Neil Great job with pulling it together and you guys are heros to many students! The education these kids will get will be life changing for them and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! This is exactly what our community needed! Thank you all for showing us that you teachers are commited to our students and their furture.

  • Doctor J

    Long-Time BW: Charters are not a perfect solution, but do give more local control rather than a one size fits all solution, which is hardly a solution in a district as large as MDUSD.

  • g

    Long-time board watcher: I’m not generally found quoting scriptures, but I do believe “If thy right eye offends thee…”

    If it has to be done one student at a time, or one school at a time, this District needs to be saved from the mismanagement of a Board majority that has been given a long enough chance and millions enough dollars to do the job of managing education.

    Until recently, this district was rolling in dough and they wasted it!

    Suddenly, the fact that there is less money and more ESL and we have one crisis after another. If I ran my life the way they have run this District, I’d be on welfare. I’d have a big fancy house and a big fancy car, but I’d be in deep doo-doo just like this District.

    This Board is not taking care of the kids or the business of educating. It is taking care of staying in business for the business’ sake, and its own benefit.

    Gary ran on a platform of “getting rid of the old majority”, but the voters (many of whom just vote to vote) failed to realize that he had already been there for 15 years, and had been in the “majority” plenty, and had sat at the helm while smart kids got dumbed down, and struggling kids got left behind.

    When it comes time to find a new Superintendent; I ask who, with any knowledge of what was needed in a district of this size, would hire and pay “top dollar” for someone from a district one fourth the size and with no better record than our own? I’ll answer my own question: Either someone who thought he could better “manage” a person with less experience and less background credential, or someone who was looking for someone else he could blame when the District went up in smoke! Or, the third possibility; someone who simply didn’t have a clue!

    I’m disappointed in teachers who fear change, and who still “believe that programmatic and other changes can happen without the conversion.”

    Charters may be the only Saving Grace left.

  • Wait a Minute

    Very well said G.

    I congratulate the teachers of CVHS for seizing control over their own destiny and starting the process of firing unethical and clueless people like Gary Eberhart and Steven Lawrence from the mismanaging of their school and soon-to-be former district.

    So now Lawrence becomes the first so-called leader (Superintendent) in Northern California to have a school conversion charter out. That will sure look good on his record.
    My hats off to him and Eberhart for precipitating this!

  • MDUSD Board Watcher

    I say well done to the CVHS faculty. They are the first group out of any involved with the MDUSD to actually show leadership and caring about the education of children.

    I hope others follow their lead.

    To the board I say the gig is up. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.

  • Flippin’ Tired

    I hope the charter goes through. But if they expect to steal money from the rest of the students in this district, they can plan on a fight. My children will not be shortchanged because some people want to take their marbles and go home, instead of working on a solution together. Selfishness does not get rewarded.

  • MDUSD Board Watcher

    Flippin Tired,

    Hey Paul. You sure change your stripes around here alot. Just the other day you were railing against the charter and now you “hope the charter goes through”.

    But then you go on to make a baseless accusation about it taking money away from the rest of the district. Do you really mean taking money away from a diseased and bloated dent center?

    Oh did you catch the MDUSD parody video on youtube? I think one of your quotes was in there. See, you’re still relevant.

  • anon

    I hope the rest of the district is prepared to voice their opinion about the charter and about what cuts should be made throughout the district to pay for the charter. Of course Pat Middendorf doesn’t want to deal with the district’s statement regarding the financial consequences. Trying to explain why the rest of the district should suffer so that clayton valley can go charter is a tough discussion to have. If no one shows up to speak in opposition to the charter, I hope the board approves it. It would serve the community right for thinking they can just ignore the issue.

    Where can the community view the charter plan? Why all the secrecy?

  • anonamom

    Flippin Tired is not Paul and neither am I. CVHS has a reputation and it is not a positive one. Why is it that 60% of Charters fail, look at Oakland? If this Charter HAS to accept all students, ESL, Special Ed, then maybe it would be a fair and equitable school. There is much, much more to this and we all know it. Instead of continuing to blame the BOE why not look at the school itself, let us not forget all the CVHS athlete’s that broke the law, rules and the parents and AD who covered it all up. This same AD is running this campaign. She is hard working, BUT her coverups are very telling. I for one am going to see how this all pans out but right now my vote is a big NO on this charter and I will express this and my reasons to the BOE.

    I know many people at CVHS and staff and they all have concerns, some are just afraid to not be on board.

  • Doctor J

    @Flippin Paul, Yesterday was the deadline to apply for new SIG funds from CDE. You can bet your bottom dollar that MDUSD applied for enough funds to keep Dent afloat. Hopefully Theresa can get a copy of the SIG grant application and the quarterly expense reports. http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/sw/t1/sig09.asp I guess the greatest lesson you learned was your last statement: “Selfishness does not get rewarded.”

  • Mt Diablo Jester

    Hi everyone,

    I’m the guy that made the the MDUSD Parody video. I originally made it as a joke/parody for some friends. The views really have started taking off.

    In case you haven’t seen it, here is the link: [Deleted, per CCT blog policy and online editor's decision.]

    Interestingly, emails along with the comments here indicate there are people who love it and a small few that really hate it. I suspect I know the individuals that hate it.

    I plan to produce some more as I have time. My friends really got a kick out of it.

  • Anon

    Same students, same teachers, same uninvolved parent-base — so what is going to make this charter any different than what’s in place now?

  • Doctor J

    @Jester, You are quite talented. You are free to make a parody of me anytime you like — love the humor. FYI, I understand the Supt and Bd. President have placed a “bounty” on my “being outed”. Any day, I am expecting the MDUSD SEALS to show up at my “compound.” :-) I think the Supt. and Gary lie awake at night wondering, “Who is Doctor J?”. Theresa told me that Sue Brothers wanted to “meet me”. What Sue doesn’t understand is that she may have already met me or soon will, but she won’t know it. :-)

  • Theresa Harrington

    LTBW: Certainly there may be teachers who oppose the charter for philosophical reasons. However, I attended the teacher meeting with charter organizers and one specifically asked: “What if I am asked to leave?” This prompted a discussion about the possibility of taking a leave of absence from the district to try out the charter for a year or two, with the option of going back to the district if it wasn’t a good fit.
    It also seems that some of the changes that charter supporters want could be made without a conversion, such as enforcement of a consistent dress code and discipline policy. Perhaps the school could even implement the summer orientation for incoming freshmen that charter organizers want. Delta View Elementary is providing a summer intervention program similar to those planned by Bel Air and Shore Acres elementary schools, even though it doesn’t have the benefit of a School Improvement Grant (it is using Economic Impact Aid funds): http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=3969&mtgId=303.
    However, Delta View has a very cohesive staff that has worked for years toward common goals, with a supportive principal and site council. Even so, I have heard grumbling about the fact that the district doesn’t equitably distribute Title 1 funds to schools such as Delta View, which indicates that even this successful campus could be frustrated by district bureacracy beyond its control.
    If the charter is approved, and if Brothers is able to accomplish some of the charter conversion goals in the next year, I don’t know if it would be possible for the charter organizers to change their minds. Part of the issue at this point seems to be a lack of trust on both sides.
    The district’s failure to enter into a constructive dialogue with the charter organizers makes some people feel that the district doesn’t really care about their concerns. However, the charter organizers’ decision not to share the petition with the public before bringing it to the board is also starting to make people suspicious, it seems.

  • Billy Bob

    Anonamom,

    You must be one of the board members is your claim that “you will vote no on the charter is true”. Let’s see by powers of deduction you must be Sherry.

    Or are you just trying to puff out your chest and pretend you have a vote. Let me assure you that if you are not Sherry you have no vote.

  • Doctor J

    How does Anonamom know that Flippin Tired is not Paul ? Just that statement by itself raises lots of suspicion.

  • have to keep guessing!

    I keep up with school talk over on Claycord too. There is an anonamom on there for years that is very outspoken and is all for the conversion. On Claycord, every once in a while, someone else signs in with that name and talks the opposite of whatever the original anomamom says! So, it would appear that that phony one has now hit Theresa’s site too.

    Whomever it is does sound a lot like Sherry and her YVHS competition with CVHS mentality.

  • http://www.k12reboot.com Jim

    Anonamom (or whoever you are): Your “60% of charters fail” comment is complete rubbish. I don’t know what criterion you are using for “fail”, so it is impossible to refute with the specific comparable data. For the most reliable info on charter performance, I suggest that readers of this blog visit Stanford’s CREDO site at: http://credo.stanford.edu/
    Not only have they studied charters nationally, they have done extensive longer-term tracking of charter performance for states like Indiana and NY that have asked for it. (If you click on my name, there is a whole blog devoted to charters and school choice topics in general.)

    But the very comparison of CVHS to Oakland (where parents are still demanding more charter seats) or charters in general is meaningless. Most charters start with no plan, no campus, no staff, no teachers, no budget, no curriculum materials, etc. Everything has to be created from scratch, and THEN the organizers have to convince parents to send their children there. (Remember, people can freely choose to attend charters or not. It isn’t like the MDUSD school monopoly.) CVHS, in contrast, has a campus, the beginnings of a plan and budget, a staff, teachers, existing curriculum materials (which they can choose to use or not), and a student body and community that is already committed to the school. In other words, almost NOTHING about a typical charter would pertain to a CVHS conversion.

    For anyone interested in pertinent information on conversion high schools that have gone through this process, just Google “LAUSD high school conversion charter” or similar terms and browse the results. Other schools and communities have already pioneered this process. The MDUSD community can learn from the mistakes that others have made, and they can also see the rewards that other communities have realized by persevering with a charter conversion.

  • AnotherMom

    We need more info.

    It’s too soon to say that conversion to a charter will automatically be successful for CVHS. They’ll need to have innovative leadership and innovative (out of the box) teachers involved; need to have experienced and competent fiscal management and administration. I haven’t seen these elements yet, but am willing to wait and see if these come to fruition.

    But if I had to render an opinion today, I would be quite skeptical of the charter based upon the info available. There seems to be nothing new offered since it is the same set of students, most (all?) same set of teachers – will the culture of CVHS really change? And there are lots of large new areas for staff to master – being smart finance folks, managing budgets, making payroll, negotiating contracts with suppliers, non-certificated staff, getting re-accredited with WASC, etc. Seems like an awfully big challenge to bite off in addition to focusing in on the students and curriculum. And the fact that the charter supporters were unable to raise the 10K startup money (lack of community support? lack of organizational skills?) might mean that’s the way the charter will roll …

  • Long-time Board Watcher

    Jim, reports of charter school success depend on which study you’re reading. Check out “The Charter School Experiment: Expectations, Evidence, and Implications”
    edited by Christopher A. Lubienski and Peter C. Weitzel.
    Harvard Education Press. It’s reviewed at
    http://www.tnr.com/book/review/charter-school-experiment. I respect your unqualified belief in charters, but the evidence shows they are hardly the guaranteed success you portray them to be.

  • Another MDUSD Mom

    The url provided by LTBW links to an article written by Richard D. Kahlenberg. According to his bio Kahlenberg has been called “the intellectual father of the economic integration movement” in K-12 schooling, and “arguably the nation’s chief proponent of class-based affirmative action in higher education admissions.”

    He has written several books and can be described as pro union, anti-voucher, and anti-charter. He considers himself pro school choice but his idea of choice refers to a student having the option to attend any of the status quo schools that exist today.

    Hmmmm? Do I perceive a bit of a bias?

  • Anon

    I suppose one could argue both sides. Have there been failed Charters? Yes. Have there been Great Charters? Yes. Are there differences in the public schools yes.
    The clear issue we have here is MDUSD is bad all the way around and unles you are a board member you will say it is all good and rosey. If you are a parent of a straigt a student you could argue that your child is getting a great education or you could say my child is not getting challenged enough. The whole idea behind the charter working is the dedication of not only the teachers but the community as well. To be rid of the district will be a wonderful change for me. I could be wrong but I don’t think so.

    For those who are saying CVHS teachers are pulling a fast one because they have not released the Charter to the public….I say really??? Have you ever read a Charter? It is full of legal junk and Education Law and statistics. There is no budget and there is only a small vision. Go look at one of the Charters that thay gave to look at. Granada Hills or Palasides. If you don’t like the Charter idea then you are entitled to that opinion as I am entitled to my approval of the Charter. It is going to happen if you like it or not if you are a not then you have a choice to go to another school. That is the key “Choice”.

  • Anon

    The board must be really upset right now.

    What a dubious distinction, The Board Which Oversaw the Break-Up of the MDUSD.

  • http://www.k12reboot.com Jim

    LTBW — I have never, on this blog, on my own blog, or anywhere else “portrayed” charters “as a guaranteed success”. You are employing that tired rhetorical device of mis-stating another’s position so that you can more easily dismiss it. There are no “guaranteed successes” in education. Period. Only someone who has never experienced the vagaries of people, organizations, or markets would think that there could ever be a “guaranteed success”. The world doesn’t work that way. However, there is one thing that has consistently worked as a successful framework for delivering goods and services, and that is Choice. When the end users (customers) have choice, it generally forces providers to be more accountable or risk losing revenue. School Choice is definitely NOT a panacea. It is an initial condition that I believe will be a prerequisite for better schools. When an organization is a monopoly, it is far too likely to ignore the needs of its constituencies (students, teachers, and parents in the case of MDUSD). The large school districts in the U.S. have established a very consistent record of not being able to competently operate large numbers of schools. I don’t think any informed observer disputes that. Regardless of funding levels or location, the same dysfunctional patterns persist. The people who pay for those schools and depend on them to educate the next generation deserve better than what the district monopolies like MDUSD have provided.

  • Shoe – Mayor of Clayton

    At the risk of being skewered by anonymous ones, let me say that good healthy open debate is excellent and keeps the process honest. I will be open with my identity and would hope that sets a trend. A couple of points to think about.
    1. Is this a perfect solution? NO, but from the teacher and parent standpoint at CV it cannot get any worse and the potential upside is exciting. I recognize if you are not in CV’s area you might not want it to happen but before you condemn it ask yourself what if it were your school and your kids? CV can be the example to improve the entire District.
    2. Can anything be fully explained and understood in a blog? No, so engage in real research and actual conversation if you have questions.
    3. Overwhelming parent support from Clayton draw area is focused on the advantages of actually having a coherent and enforced code of conduct as well as potentially a school uniform. One of the big teacher complaints was/is the lack of respect and enforcement of rules, etc. A charter – much like De La Salle, Berean, etc. – can impose both and be consistent. This will improve the teaching environment and let the teachers teach.
    4. The Charter can set up its own contracts for, among others, custodial and transportation (academic and sports) and save a lot of money that can be put to better uses.
    5. I am hopeful that the District will work with the Charter and not against it and I will do what I can to help in that regard.
    6. Remember the Board and the Super are doing what they think is in the best interests so even if we disagree with some of what they do let’s not make it personal attacks. I would not want to be in their job and I want to thank them for all that they do to try and improve the District.

    That is quick bit before I leave so let the attacks begin. Candidly, not sure if I will respond again but am hoping to moderate the discussion a little bit.

    Finally, thanks to Theresa and Times for having this blog to keep us informed.

    Shoe

  • Theresa Harrington

    Shoe: Thanks for joining the discussion. Do you support Superintendent Lawrence’s proposal to “partner” with cities in a sales tax that could be shared by both the district and the city?

  • Anon

    Shoe,

    Thank you for posting. Well worded. Prepare to receive the wrath of Gary and Sherry.

  • Charter New Course

    Theresa’s article today says MDUSD spends $8,199 per student, and is doing well compared to other districts (REALLY???). It would be great to follow this with an article about AB 18, who’s in favor and opposed, the chances it will become law, and what would be the effect on MDUSD revenue? http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_18186136

  • anon

    I love the attitude of Anon 6:17 #28. The document is too difficult for us all to understand, so we should be good little followers and just agree that the charter is great. I don’t accept that from the district and I don’t accept it from the charter.

  • Anon

    Anon 9:50

    I was not saying that it is too difficult to read so just ignore it.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Charter New Course: The article says that MDUSD’s spending seems to be commensurate with its test scores compared to other districts (both in the median range). Since it hasn’t achieved an API of 800, it’s not doing “well” by state standards. It also doesn’t get as much revenue as some other districts, which could hamper its ability to improve. (Although the Glenbrook MS SIG arguably could have helped in that regard, if the board hadn’t decided to abandon it after one year.)
    I’m hoping to do a blog post about this later today. Thanks for mentioning AB 18. SPI Tom Torlakson recently tweeted that he favors that as a partial solution to the inequity in school funding.

  • Anon

    The Steering Committee’s decision not to release the document to the public was, in fact, an attempt to respect the protocol of the process. In other words, it seemed more than disrespectful to allow the public access to the charter before even presenting it to the District. It was never intended to be a secret, however, it was literally still in the revision/review stage until this past week. At that point it went right to the faculty for them to read and sign. It will be released to the public at the same time it is given to the District for review.

    If you’ve done your research on Charter documents (which many clearly have not), you may notice that these documents are purposefully written with some built-in latitude as it is the duty of the GOVERNING BOARD to determine specific policy. Happily for everyone, this representative Board has positions available for parents AND community members (which may or may not be parents). If so many people are so concerned about the welfare of these kids, perhaps they might throw their hat in the ring during the election process. Good luck to all.

  • Charter New Course

    Theresa,
    Please don’t take offense. Just wish you had more space to cover all the related issues. Look forward to a blog post, and more about AB 18. Wonder what does Torlakson mean by “partial” solution?

  • anonamom

    Rumor has it that Doctor J is the Principal at El Dorado.. Anonamom is NOT a BOE member, I am a community member who looks at all sides.

    Again, let us see how this Charter pans out and right now I agree with others who have posted, there is not enough information to agree to it. If only the committee had taken more time, raised the necessary money and not had to borrow. Not the way to begin a long process, in a hurry…..

    Time will tell. One reason I am NOT in favor of this charter as they will NOT have to educate all students, they can turn away ESL and Special Ed just by not offering the programs or services. This creates an in-equity issue and skewed API’s!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Anonamom,

    So your argument is they should have waited to let Sue Brothers come in and fire all the teachers who were planning to vote yes?

    You are either off your medication or you are lying and you really are one of the board members. Which is it?

  • anonamom

    Anon, wow really? I am not arguing on Sue Brothers at all, I have no opinion on her until she is begins her work at CVHS. I liked her interview with Ms. Harrington and if she stands behind everything she said, then this is a positive move for CVHS. Which teacher are you at CVHS that is afraid for their job? I am not a BOE member, just a community member who has taken the time to attend many meetings, observe and just state, this Charter moved way too fast without a solid plan. I know staff at CVHS and there is a lot more that is not being said.

    I crack up at you, because someone does not agree with you they are on Meds? Well a therapist would tell you that if you accuse, you are the abuser.

  • Anonymous

    Anonmmom,

    I have you pegged as Whitmarsh. Am I right? You know I am.

  • have to keep guessing!

    One thing for sure; this Anonamom lacks the industry or acumen to find an original pseudonym rather than latch on to one already in heavy use in the local blogosphere.

    She latches onto other’s names and arguments and ideas that are grossly unfounded, which would lend to the argument that she is Sherry, since Sherry has NEVER had an original idea, and who has proven time and again that all she can do on her own is play with her hair, sigh deeply, and follow the boy’s instructions.

  • Debbie Heinzmann

    Hello, Have to Keep Guessing!

    I don’t know or care who Anonamom is; I don’t engage in anonymous posting myself. I am writing to ask that you not throw YVHS’s name into this discussion just because you think Anonamom is Sherry Whitmarsh and her kids attend YV. A lot of folks’ kids attend there, including mine. We have a really nice community of parents and students who love the school, and who are working diligently to make it even better.

    A little home-town rivalry is healthy and fun, but I would like to limit it to our sports teams and bands, please.

    I am disappointed in the personal attacks against Sherry or anyone else, and wish they would stop. They do nothing to further the debate, which needs to occur, but in a manner that promotes resolution of the issues at hand.

    As for me, I am reserving my opinion on the charter until I have more information. I would hate to see the other district high schools suffer in decreased funding because of it, but I have not seen any evidence of that yet.

    Regards,
    Debbie Heinzmann, Proud YVHS mom and OGMS secretary

  • have to keep guessing!

    Debbie, I understand your dilemma. I understand your defense of your school’s reputation and character. I too think it is a fine school.

    Unfortunately, Sherry Whitmarsh is far more than just “another mom” at YVHS. She is your PTSA President, and a biased Board Member!

  • Theresa Harrington

    Pat Middendorf says nearly 80 percent of teachers have signed the petition.
    The committee expects to submit it to the district early next week.
    It will post the petition on its website and its Facebook page after giving it to the district, Middendorf said.
    CVHS graduation is tonight at 7 p.m.

  • Doctor J

    80% is tremendous especially when you consider that at least 10% are always on the fence afraid of putting their names out there. What a slap in the face to Lawrence and the District Administration and the BOE. I think the teachers saw through the transparency of the Steue appointment.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Middendorf said only three teachers have absolutely declined to sign the petition.
    Several are on the fence and a few still need to be asked, she said.
    Out of 73 permanent teachers, she said 57 have signed so far.

  • Anon

    I’m curious how the BOE is going to stop this. It is my understanding that if all the procedural items are in order that the BOE is obligated to approve.

    I suspect the board president will pull a rabbit out of a hat and block it somehow. Hopefully blocking it is found to be illegal.