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Charter School Offers Funding Proposal : Education: Vaughn Street Elementary says the L.A. district should pay about $150,000 to campuses in its 'cluster group.'

September 22, 1993

PACOIMA — Vaughn Street Elementary School, the San Fernando Valley's first charter school, Tuesday rejected another funding offer from the Los Angeles Unified School District, making a counteroffer of its own.

The school will accept the current district offer only if the district agrees to pay the difference--about $150,000--to 15 elementary schools, three middle schools and one high school that are part of Vaughn's "cluster group," said Vaughn Principal Yvonne Chan.

Under the charter school program, the school, following a vote by parents, teachers and administrators, became independent of the district in most respects, but is negotiating the level of financial support the district will provide.

The district's latest offer, made last week, was to provide $2,902 per student per year, an increase from a July 30 offer of about $2,400 per student. District officials have steadily increased their offer from a total of $3.4 million to $4.3 million.

Chan maintains that the school should receive about $3,100 per student, the same amount the state provides the district for each student.

Both sides accused the other of "playing games" to influence public opinion on the issue, which has received substantial news media attention.

Assemblyman Richard Katz (D-Sylmar), who supports the school's position, said his office will file a Freedom of Information Act request to review the district funding process.

Henry Jones, budget director for the school district, said Supt. Sid Thompson told Katz that he would accept Chan's proposal Tuesday before he attended the meeting.

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