Teachers rep scolds city

Association president says educators tried to work with Lincoln officials
By: Patty McAlpin, Reporter
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The president of the teachers association on Dec. 4 told the school board he wants them and future boards to remember the teachers tried to work with the city on building new schools.

“I was pretty saddened by ways some City Council members were talking to district Facilities Planner Heather Steer and educational consultant Ron Feist,” Mike Agrippino, president of the Western Placer Teachers Association, said of the Nov. 27 Lincoln City Council meeting.

Councilman Tom Cosgrove told the News Messenger in response the city wants the school district to be responsible.

“The school district is facing many challenges,” Cosgrove said. “It is difficult to increase the level of education for our children and providing the infrastructure. But it is the school district’s responsibility to do those things. We all have significant financial issues we have to deal with. And simply blaming the city is not the proper way to handle it.”

 Agrippino said at the school meeting, “I’m also surprised that despite assurances from the district about not asking the city to pay for new schools, the city is still saying that. It’s important for us to tell the board and future association leadership we are determined not to forget that meeting.” 

In response, Cosgrove told the News Messenger, “Do they believe that we are not going to see an increase in population?”

Cosgrove said the city will accommodate the population growth “in the areas where we are responsible. It would be appropriate for the school district to do the same for the areas where they are responsible.”

Agrippino said if schools are built without a solid financial plan they will become overcrowded.

“It’s our responsibility to remind the public the district attempted to work with all parties to avoid overcrowded schools in inadequate learning conditions and irritating parents,” Agrippino said.

School Board President Damian Armitage said he thinks Steer did an outstanding job of “dodging the bullets from the Lincoln City Council.”

The Lincoln City Council at the Nov. 27 council meeting approved the environmental impact (EIR) report for the Village 1 specific plan, a future development, over the objections of the school district that the EIR did not adequately address the need for future schools or traffic circulation.

Mayor Spencer Short said at the Nov. 27 council meeting he would like to meet with the school district to iron out how the district and the city are going to work with developers to address funding for future schools, but he wants solid financial documentation.

The council initially planned to meet with the district Nov. 27 but decided to reschedule the meeting until after the first of the year since approval of the Village 1 specific plan was recommended by the Planning Commission and would come before the City Council for a vote on the EIR.