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Petaluma's Waugh district exploring conversion to charter schools

The Waugh School board this week voted to approve the district's application to convert both of its campuses to charter schools.

The unanimous vote by the five-member board Tuesday night gives district officials the green light to submit the application at any time in order for the conversion to be complete by the start of the 2013-14 school year in August. A majority of teachers approved the move last week.

But a final decision hinges on Gov. Jerry Brown's new education funding proposal, a plan that has not been approved by the Legislature but which could revamp the way California's school districts are paid, leaving Waugh vulnerable to deep budget cuts.

Superintendent Bob Cmelak said that converting to charters could boost Waugh's funding levels and that any changes would not alter the programs or staffs at either school.

The district in Petaluma hosted informational meetings for parents at Meadow School on Thursday night. A meeting was held at Corona Creek last week.


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