Districts don’t know if they owe

first_imgThe question of whether school districts in the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys will have to reimburse the state as much as $15million for the construction of special-education classrooms remains unresolved. State officials had told school officials that no reimbursement would be required under a new law, but attorneys for one state agency later issued an opinion saying otherwise, district officials said. “Our impression was that things were going to be dealt with administratively in our favor, and then the attorneys for the State Allocation Board told the (Office of Public School Construction’s) implementation committee that they interpreted the law as retroactive,” Newhall School District Superintendent Marc Winger said. “That set us all back again.” State officials had a different perspective, however, and said there had been a misunderstanding. The districts would not face liability unless they agree to it. “No liability would occur unless they agree to transfer eligibility back to the county and take title to the facilities,” said Rob Cook, deputy director of the Department of General Services. “No one can unilaterally force the liability on the school districts. The districts would have to accept the liability.” District officials say the new law would unfairly penalize them for taking over from Los Angeles County the special-education programs for severely disabled students several years ago. Assembly Bill 2947 would require districts to repay the state for part of the cost of constructing special-education classrooms that were built with 100percent state funding given to the Los Angeles County Office of Education when it ran the programs. Ten Antelope Valley school districts stand to lose more than $12million. Four elementary districts in the Santa Clarita Valley face losing $2.3million, based on the number of classrooms that were built, officials said. The classrooms were built in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and the special-education programs were transferred from the county Office of Education to the districts from 2000 to 2004. At the time, school officials said the districts had grown to such a point that they commanded the resources to assume responsibility for providing such services. The bill says if the county transfers title of the classrooms to the districts within 10 years of their occupation, then the districts would have to pay the state back. The county still has title to the classrooms but wants to transfer it to the districts because the law says the county’s eligibility for special-education school construction funding, which was hurt by the transfer, can’t be restored until the title transfer occurs. Winger says he believes the State Allocation Board and Office of Public School Construction are trying to avoid penalizing the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley school districts. “But they were pretty candid that they have a law, signed by the governor, and have to do something to implement that law,” he said. Another option is legislation proposed by state Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster, Winger said. The districts also have a legal opinion from their own attorneys that the law, if implemented, would constitute a breach of contract, Winger said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

IN FULL: MARTIN McGUINNESS LETTERKENNY SPEECH AT CLANREE HOTEL

first_imgMORE THAN 700 people packed into the Clanree Hotel on Saturday night to show their support for Presidential candidate Martin McGuinness.This was his address in full to those who were there:“I am delighted to be here this evening in Letterkenny addressing you as a candidate for the Presidency of my country. Donegal of course has a special place in my heart. My mother was from Donegal and I spent many summers as a boy on my grandfather’s farm on the Inishowen peninsula. I have fond memories of those times and I cherish my connections to this great county.Derry and Donegal have a long and close history. The partition of Ireland has had a deep and lasting effect on both. Ecomomically, politically and socially, partition was a disaster for Donegal and for Derry. It was a disaster for Ireland.Towns were cut off from their natural hinterlands, Businesses were cut off from their natural markets, farmers along the border suffered disruption and hardship. Disruption was also caused to social life along the border and even to family connections.The Peace Process has gone a long way to tackle the worst effects of Partition but there is much further to go. Many of the physical barriers have been removed. The next stage needs to be to build an all-island economy. The wasteful duplication of services needs to end. Sensible all Ireland working can deliver better services. Look at the example of the new cancer centre in Altnagalvin, or the new A5 road. None of these developments and others would have happened without the all-Ireland Ministerial council or which I am the longest serving member.In this Presidential election thousands of Irish citizens are being denied the right to vote for their President. The current President could not even vote in the Presidential election if she still lived in her native Belfast. This must change. Irish citizens from whatever part of Ireland must be able to vote in Presidential elections and the Government must do whatever it takes to ensure that this democratic entitlement is realised.In the meantime, vote or no vote, I intend to be a President for all of Ireland’s 32 Counties.Huge progress has been made in recent years in ending the conflict on this island, and in creating a new peaceful dispensation in which our people and our country should be able to thrive. But we have to go further. We have to begin to heal the scars of the past 40 years.The period during the next Presidency will see the centenary of many defining moments in our history. These commemorations need to be handled sensibly and sensitively. I intend to ensure that they are handled in a way that all sections of our people can participate in and learn from the commemorative events. I have also proposed that this decade of commemorations become a Decade of Reconciliation which would celebrate the diverse nature of Irish society and the peace we now enjoy.Bridges have been built in recent between the communities in the North and between North and South. In this regard I want to acknowledge the contribution of President McAleese who made ‘building bridges’ a theme of her Presidency.I believe that the time has now come to move from bridge building to building unity.As President I want to lead the way in bringing all of our people — North and South, Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter closer together through mutual respect and understanding. I want to bring both parts of our Ireland closer together, laying the foundations for Irish unity. I have said from the outset that I intend to be a President of the People. I want to be a President that stands for hard pressed working families; for those struggling to pay mortgages; for those people losing their jobs and facing emigration; for those with disabilities; for those lying on hospital trolleys.These are the people who need a President who will shine a light on their needs, who will highlight their concerns, who will stand up for their interests.There are parts of Ireland, such as Donegal, which have been disproportionately affected by unemployment, by emigration, by a lack of infrastructural investment, by having had their vital services, including health services, stripped to the bare minimum.There are some in official Ireland who believe that some Irish people and some parts of Ireland deserve first class status while others don’t really matter. Well as someone who has struggled for 40 years to be treated as a first class citizen and I can guarantee people here that under my Presidency every citizen in an Ireland will be a first class citizen and every part of Ireland — North, South, East and West will be cherished. That is the essence of what a republic means.Many of our citizens have become disillusioned with the political system and with many of the long standing institutions of Irish life. This is inevitable considering the events of recent years. But as faith in institutions falls the question must be asked as to what will replace them.I believe that it is time to build a new Republic on this island. A real republic that puts the interests of citizens before those of bankers; a republic that puts the common good before private profit, a republic that puts the welfare of the people above the interests of a golden circle. I believe that the values of community, social solidarity and patriotism must be at the heart of this New Republic.The New Republic must also ensure that meaningful jobs are provided for our people. The jobs crisis is the biggest challenge now facing this country. As Deputy First Minister, I have, along with Ministerial colleagues brought thousands of new jobs to the north – I want to use my international reputation – my influence and skills to go to the boardrooms of major US corporations and elsewhere and help bring new jobs to these shores.In standing for election as President of Ireland, what I am offering is the same leadership, commitment and determination that delivered one of the most successful peace processes in the world. As President I will defend and promote Ireland. I will uphold the constitution. I will stand up for Irish sovereignty and freedom.Throughout 40 years and more of political activism, on the streets of Derry, in Downing Street, in the White House, in the Assembly and on Good Friday I have only ever been interested in serving my country. Now I want to do it as your President. I promise to stand by you the people and I ask you now to stand with me.Go raibh maith agaibh.COMMENTS ARE WELCOME ON DONEGALDAILY.COM, BUT THOSE CONTAINING SWEAR WORDS, ABUSIVE CONTENT OR CONTENT DEEMED LIBELOUS WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED.IN FULL: MARTIN McGUINNESS LETTERKENNY SPEECH AT CLANREE HOTEL was last modified: October 9th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:IN FULL: MARTIN McGUINNESS LETTERKENNY SPEECH IN FULLlast_img read more