DELAC parents addressed the board in November 2012 of the hardship of having their young children at two different schools
BRAWLEY – The Brawley Elementary School District board wrestled with the parameters of how the school configuration and realignment committee would be composed by local residents.
The district is planning on adding a 6th elementary school. This addition, coupled with the desire to begin converting the Phil Swing, Witter, Hidalgo, and Oakley to neighborhood schools, means that a committee of 28 will realign which schools will serve which neighborhoods.
In the 1980’s, Brawley followed state mandates and desegregated their K-6th grade schools. That entailed dividing the schools into K-3rd grade and K,4-6th grade campuses. This made busing necessary.
Thirty years later, Brawley’s newest neighborhoods are generally desegregated as are many of the older ones. With tight budgets, busing has become cost prohibitive, and parents are complaining of attending two or more school meetings, extracurricular activities, and daily driving clear across town to drop off and pick up their children. Those reasons, and a new school that will re-arrange neighborhood lines, points to a need to redraw school jurisdictions.
Brawley is one of the last in the state to continue with their desegregation, and the last in the valley to convert back to neighborhood schools.
After much discussion, the composition was unanimously voted on to include:
One parent from each school site who serves on District-level Committees (5)
One teacher and one administrator from each site (10)
Five at large community members chosen by each board member (5)
California School Employees Association (CSEA) representative (1)
Brawley Elementary Teachers Association (BETA) representative (1)
Certificated Pupil Personnel Association (CPPA) (1)
Community members from Community Advisory committees to study Racial and Ethnic Balance Rules and regulations (5)
Three Alternatives – non voting (3)
The committee will also be composed of the following staff that will be non-voting.
Special Education director (1)
District project director (1)
The superintendent (1)
Two board members, one assigned and one rotating (2)
This brings the committee number to thirty six with five non-voting staff members and three non-voting alternatives.
Half of the committee are employees of the district, it was mentioned that the last time such a list was made to desegregate the schools, that none of the people listed were identified as being employees of the district.
Superintendent Ron Garcia said this process is a multi-year project.