Sagebrush petition impacts GUSD


By Pareli Amirkhanian 

For over 56 years, the residents of Sagebrush, located in the northwest corner of the city of La Cañada Flintridge, have fought for the approval to be part of the La Cañada Unified School District (LCUSD) instead of the Glendale Unified School District (GUSD).
The Sagebrush area is bordered by Rosebank Drive on the west, Ocean View Blvd on the east, and Foothill Blvd on the South.
In 2013, LCUSD and GUSD agreed to find a path in achieving the community’s goal with an agreement that would serve both school districts.
While they came to the agreement that would allow the transition of students to LCUSD from GUSD who lived in the Sagebrush area, it never got passed.
This year, however, community meetings took place for the final solution.
The first meeting on October 26 in La Cañada started off with Nick Karapetian, a La Cañada petitioner, speaking about the safety issues that are in place with Sagebrush students attending the GUSD Elementary School — Mountain Avenue.
Parent Stephanie Hosford also voiced her concerns on the situation.
“We feel like a nobody’s land,” Hosford said, “Our city is broken.”
Another parent, Craig Baker, feels the need for the Sagebrush transfer as well. With a “wonderful small town community,” he feels distant being in Sagebrush.
GUSD Superintendent Winfred Roberson Jr. stressed how research shows the transfer of fragmented schools and communities are more likely to decrease their social capital, in turn leading to poorer student achievement.
GUSD school board President Armina Gharapetian noted how the transfer would cause tremendous physical impact to both school districts.
On GUSD’s side, mainly the permanent loss of ADA’s — the average daily attendance. This would cause a deficit of about $3-$3.6 million annually.
She also mentioned the downfall on the La Cañada side, which is the increase in housing cost, an estimated 30% due to the fact that residents would attend La Cañada schools.
Both districts are now waiting for the committee to create a recommendation to be sent to the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE).
Such a decision could come as early as Feb. 1.