Less than a week after the first meeting, Franklin Elementary School parents had the opportunity to again meet with officials from the Elk Grove Unified Schools District.
The first meeting took place on May 10 at the school. Robert Pierce, Deputy Superintendent, Business Services and Facilities, was alone at the first meeting and discussed the current situation with the school and the process for building another school. At last night’s meeting he was joined by EGUSD Trustee Bobbie Singh-Allen and Donna Cherry, Associate Superintendent PreK-6 Education. Parents asked for a second meeting because they wanted to speak to a board member. Singh-Allen said she also wanted a second meeting because she was unable to attend the first due to family obligations. She said she received numerous emails from parents after the first meeting, asking for another one.
At the first meeting, Pierce outlined what was happening and used a slide show. At last night’s meeting parents were given the opportunity to ask questions and make comments. Parents and teachers expressed their frustration with the district at the lack of communication and what they felt was the lack of action taken by the district on issues facing the school. Teachers again spoke about issues with the facilities. Parents voiced their concerns about safety at the school due to the lack of infrastructure. Several parents spoke of the traffic and how a school bus is forced to pass them and cross a double yellow line into oncoming traffic because of narrow roadway. Pierce addressed the issues and said the district’s hands were tied because it is the responsibility of the county to improve the existing road and the county has not done so.
Singh-Allen addressed parents and assured them that Franklin is her #1 priority and has been for some time. She urged parents to contact her and other board members to discuss their concerns. She stressed improving communication to lessen the misinformation.
Several parents asked for interim solutions, such as going to a year round schedule, offloading to other schools or having parents volunteer to go to other schools. Donna Cherry addressed their questions on that topic. She said that any change in the school schedule requires two years and that couldn’t happen until 2020 at the earliest. She also said that presents other issues because many parents don’t want to switch schedules. She also said that offloading or reducing the size of enrollment comes with consequences. Families may have kids at different elementary schools. Some teachers would be forced to leave if enrollment drops.
Pierce updated parents on the status of state funding. He said the new Franklin Elementary School is “shovel ready.” That means as soon as state funding is provided the EGUSD Board can vote to allocate funds to build the school. Pierce said that in the last week that there has been a push in the legislature, due in part to pressure from the public, to release more funds through Prop 51. He and Singh-Allen urged parents to go to Repairourschoolsnow.com to send an email to local legislators to ask for the release of more funds.
Parents wishing to contact the school board members can visit the district website, EGUSD Board of Trustees.
Don Nottoli is the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors representative for the area. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org