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Corbett School District ( CSD )
Corbett Schools opened the first Charter school based on Imaginative Education in 2009. In what appears to have been an effort to remove Bob Dunton, in 2013/2014 the school board eventually voted to remove the Charter School and Open Enroll all the students. Here is a recap of that timeline.
Doubling the Student Population within 3-5 years
CSD used their “national ranking” to attract students and families from outside our attendance boundaries- even though our district’s academic performance has been in decline over the years. Our high school has been listed as “only about average” with the State of Oregon compared to similar schools. More about this can be found here.
Loopholes and Losing Small School Funding from the State
CSD’s leadership has also shown an ability to creatively navigate changes in the laws that allow us to grow our population based on out of area students without the Charter. Some people feel the recent letter from the state, repealing our small school funding, is only one example of how some of these loopholes are starting to close on us. CSD more than doubled the school district’s population in less than five years because of the Charter.
Not legally establishing the Charter School
CSD did not notify Multnomah County, when they opened the charter in 2009. Because of this the community never had their right to the legally required public hearing as to what this growth might look like, before it started. CSD’s Superintendent Trani also did not involve the school board or the community when he applied for (and received) a population increase from Multnomah County in 2013. At that time, we were out of compliance in each building on our main campus, due to growth, based on conditional use permits between 2009 and 2013 so we had to apply for a new conditional use permit.
Financial Roller Coaster
CSD has struggled with our budget, including a “computer glitch” that resulted in an emergency board meeting the last day to file for a levy in late 2010 when a $725,000 plus shortfall was discovered. This glitch was never explained but was directly tied to the expansion of the Charter and our district’s population, only one year after it opened. There was no review or board evaluation of the Charter but we also extended their contract.