No Waldorf charter school for Lagunitas

05/31/2012

Representatives of the Lagunitas Waldorf-Inspired Program (LWIP) announced this week they are withdrawing their petition for charter school status. “After much soul-search and deliberation, the LWIP program has decided to table our charter petition,” program parent Matt Andrews told the Lagunitas School District’s directors at a regular meeting on Tuesday. “We are proud of the strong vision, collaboration, and focused work that has gone into the petition’s creation. Although we are withdrawing, …as a document [the charter] is very much alive for us, and beautifully illustrates what our program could be when stable and with full support of those involved.”

The withdrawal came after increasing criticism over how the proposed school would negatively impact the district’s finances, and the perception that the petition was tearing apart the community of parents, teachers and administrators.

Program parent Mia Terziev and others were gathered in the parking lot before the start of the meeting, holding signs in support of parent choice and of LWIP teacher Bill Kobabe, who’s tenure—and thus continued employment at the school—was recently denied, allegedly without a given cause.

“We need to request a district-wide collaborative effort to look at what the mission of the district is, and to establish a baseline for all the kids so that we have something in place when a decision needs to be made, so that we’re not only looking at everything through a financial lens,” Ms. Terziev said.

Board President Steve Rebscher, responding to criticism at the meeting, said the district had been a model of transparency. “If you claim that isn’t true, then you’ll get more push-back than you can imagine,” he said. “Don’t come and say that we’re not spending money well. The tremendous majority of the money had been spent on people, [and it’s] Carl Rove stuff, coming in here and taking cheap shots.”

Mr. Rebscher asked that the LWIP community demonstrate its commitment that it’s “in it for the long haul,” whether or not the program received everything it wanted from the district.