CVUSD should not endorse private education

When it was announced that Carden Conejo School, a non-denominational private school in Westlake Village, could face termination of their current lease with CVUSD, parents and Carden alumni alike expressed their discontent with the notion.

The possibility of termination comes after the district was alerted to an impending shift in ownership of the private school, whose lease does not allow for reassignment. However, this provides an excellent opportunity for our district to reevaluate its own position regarding the leasing of district property to a private school. Public school districts should not be giving special privileges to private schools, and Carden Conejo is no exception.

It is unjust that taxpayer’s money for the public school district is being used to lease property to a private elementary school that charges over 14,000 dollars a year for tuition. With all of the talk about inclusivity and equity in the school district, it is extremely hypocritical and misleading to turn around and allow for this one private school to get around the costs other private schools have to pay.

Even more insulting to students and taxpayers, over 30 parents and stakeholders in Carden Conejo showed up to the Dec. 14 school board meeting pleading for the renewal of the lease. A school board meeting is far from the appropriate platform to discuss such affairs; the item took over an hour of valuable time that could be used to discuss issues pertaining to public education.
This sort of arrangement between a school district and a private school is highly unusual. District superintendent Mark McLaughlin alluded to as much at the Dec. 14 meeting, saying, “this contract is different to say the least.”

We are not advocating for the abolition of private education, but the use of a public school district’s resources and land by a private school that charges exorbitant fees that the district could use for any other purpose is frankly unjust. CVUSD has no responsibility to uphold this agreement- now is the time for the school board to fully sever ties with Carden Conejo School.