Saying it underplays local support, Sagebrush residents are crying foul about an informational document posted by Glendale Unified regarding negotiations to transfer the area to La Cañada Unified.
The first draft of the question-and-answer document was approved by both La Cañada and Glendale Unified officials and posted online. Residents also received a copy prior to a March town hall meeting about the transfer.
A revised version was published in June with new information, including negotiations regarding the Mountain Avenue Elementary and an adjacent bridge.
But in early July, Glendale released a third version, which included that district's version of disputed enrollment figures. The document states that of the 353 total number of Sagebrush students, 144 are high school students. La Cañada does not include the high school students on the theory that most, if not all, would not choose to change schools.
The July revision does not include the results of a survey commissioned by Glendale Unified showing 85% of polled residents would "definitely support" matching Sagebrush boundaries to La Cañada Unified. The survey reached 695 of the area's 1,604 registered voters. The June version, however, did include this information.
In addition, the document did not include the fact that 400 people attended the March town hall meeting with a majority of speakers supporting the transfer.
For Tom Smith, chair of Unite LCF — the group that reignited a decades-long effort to transfer the territory in 2013 — the new document issued by Glendale school officials is "disconcerting."
"It suddenly feels like there is a change in tone," Smith said. "How could it be that that historical knowledge is no longer important to the discussion?"
But Eva Lueck, chief business and financial officer for Glendale Unified, said the most recent document issued by her department was revised to include information current to the Glendale school board's July 8 discussion — the most recent one they've had.
"We needed to update it based on this current conversation," she said.
The revision omits previously included dollar amounts La Cañada school officials had suggested giving Glendale Unified under the potential agreement. Those dollar figures, including a proposed $4.45-million payment to Glendale Unified for a portion of its bond debt tied to the Measure K and Measure S bonds, are still being negotiated, Lueck said.
While La Canada Unified officials would not comment directly about the changes, they did say their involvement was not solicited in the recent revision of the document.
"The revised FAQs were developed unilaterally by GUSD, and we were not given an opportunity to review them before they were posted," said Ellen Multari, La Cañada's school board president, in an email.
Sagebrush resident Nalini Lasiewicz, a member of the coalition Unite LCF that supports the transfer, was concerned with the new document because it wasn't revised with weigh-in from La Cañada school officials. As of this week, La Cañada Unified's website gave residents access to the June 3 document.
"We were led to believe this would be a joint process," Lasiewicz said. "I just don't have any certainty now what the process is."