New hope for unification and Alpine High School
A Special Announcement from the Alpine Unification Effort
For The Alpine Sun
Alpine, CA, February 26, 2014: The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) announced that the Registrar of Voters has validated the Alpine school unification petition. The SDCOE Board will act on the petition at their March 12, 2014 Board meeting which will trigger a 60 day window for two public hearings to be held within the boundaries of the Alpine Union School District (AUSD) and the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD). These hearings will address the merits of the citizens petition to unify the Alpine school district from a K-8 to a K-12 unified district.
Sal Casamassima, Chairman of the Alpine High School Citizens Committee (AHSCC) reacted positively to this news. He said: “The citizens of Alpine received two vitally important pieces of good news. The first was the settlement of the Alpine teachers strike. The resolution of the teacher contract dispute finally puts our current school district on the path toward solvency. Our teachers and our school district have demonstrated they are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to save our district. The next step in rebuilding our district is to reverse enrollment decline and this will come through unification of the district and the construction of our long-promised Alpine high school.”
Mr. Casamassima added: “Despite passage of two major bond measures that specifically provided for construction of an Alpine high school, GUHSD has repeatedly broken its promise to do so. GUHSD’s conduct prompted a San Diego County Grand Jury investigation and report which was highly critical of GUHSD’s failure to build the Alpine school. During the last decade, the citizens of Alpine have witnessed their tax dollars being spent on numerous projects at existing GUHSD schools while the Alpine school was placed at the bottom of their project priority list. The GUHSD Board majority also passed resolutions which indefinitely blocked all work directed to construction of the school. GUHSD’s clear message to Alpine was that the Alpine school would never be built. This situation left us no choice but to seek a ‘divorce’ from GUHSD, unify our district, and build our own high school.”
The AHSCC and numerous volunteers collected nearly 4000 signatures over the past 18 months in support of the Alpine petition and finally reached the milestone of having sufficient signatures validated to get the unification process started. At its last meeting, the AHSCC expressed its thanks to the community volunteers who donated their time and money to acquire the needed signatures and the Alpine residents who signed the petition. This major effort raised awareness and advanced the conversation about the future of Alpine schools. AHSCC looks forward to ongoing support from AUSD’s Board members, Superintendent, teachers and staff. AHSCC also looks forward to the upcoming hearings by SDCOE and ultimately the day when our unified school district opens the doors to its new Alpine high school.”
Additional information is available at www.alpinehighschool.net
Photos are available upon request.
Contact: Sal Casamassima
Chairman, Alpine High School Citizens Committee
619-445-2235 or 619-248-8872