Clayton Valley Charter High School – WE ARE CONCERNED!

Stakeholders for Transparency is a grass roots group that was formed to advocate for the transparent operation of Clayton Valley Charter High School. We are Parents, Teachers, Staff, Community Members, Students, and Alumni. We are stakeholders united in the effort to provide the highest level of education to the children of our community. We battled long and hard to convert Clayton Valley High School to a Charter School. We won that battle on January 11, 2012 and immediately proceeded full speed ahead to move our school from “Good to Great” and we never looked back… until now. We had a common vision to make Clayton Valley a school that we could all once again be proud of and could bring its students to the highest level of academics and character development. But now others have used our passion to further their own ambitions. They have an AGENDA, which does not seem to put CVCHS as their highest priority. What is their agenda—could it be for personal gain or personal recognition? They seem to be obsessed with the need to grow, no matter what the risk, no matter what core values are lost or what ethics may be ignored.

The public has witnessed the increasing turmoil among the CV staff, administration and governing board as it has erupted out into the community. With the renewal of our charter on the horizon, the Stakeholders for Transparency would like to ask others to stop and really look at what is going on. Why is there significant unrest among the teachers at CV who signed the original charter? Why are there staff complaints of bullying, threats, and intimidation? Those very same teachers and staff have turned to others for help, but to no avail.

The autonomy of an independent charter school is its best asset and its worst liability. That autonomy frees the school of many constraints; however it leaves the school vulnerable to unchecked, questionable practices that occur far from public view without repercussion.

It is time to ask more questions: VERY LOUD QUESTIONS! Today we ask these Questions:

  • Why are CVCHS Executive Director David Linzey and the other CVCHS administrator’s salaries not made public on the website Transparent California, the site used by public employees throughout California?
  • Why, when Mr. Linzey earned a reported base salary of $105,528 as the superintendent of 2400 students and 4 schools at his previous job in 2012, does he now have a base salary of $191,000 as the director of one school of fewer than 2000 students?
  • Why has the CVCHS Board approved his total compensation, including salary, bonuses and benefits, at more than $250,000, in addition to an employment contract for Mr. Linzey’s wife last year for $106,000? Who is fiscally responsible for the CV budget?
  • Why did Mr. Linzey and CVCHS Administrator Neil McChesney submit to the CVCHS Board two different contracts for Mr. Linzey’s wife one month apart last year? Why was the first contract, approved by the Board in June 2013 for $84,000, while the second contract submitted a month later in July 2013 was for $106,000 BUT NOT approved by the Board? Why was Mrs. Linzey’s contract not renewed for the current school year? Was it because some Board members were beginning to ask questions last year?
  • Why did Mr. Linzey and Mr. McChesney submit petitions for two new CHARTER SCHOOLS to the County School Board last year? Those proposed charters listed as a primary source of funding a loan from CVCHS of $900,000. The petitions were submitted before the Board was given the chance to look at or approve them. Those two charter petitions were withdrawn last year after the Board expressed concern.
  • Last week, we learned that Mr. McChesney, a full time CVCHS employee with a six figure salary, had time to write and submit last month, a 136 page petition for a NEW Charter School, with eventual enrollment of over 1000 students in Concord! Claims have been made that this new Charter School will be totally unrelated to CVCHS, yet the petition has the signatures of 3 CVCHS Administrators besides Lead Petitioner, Mr. McChesney!
  • The school will be run by Mr. McChesney as CEO of Charthouse Public Schools, a corporation he formed in July 2014. While the corporation is described as a nonprofit public benefit corporation in the petition, will he not be compensated as administrator? Is Mr. Linzey aware of Mr. McChesney’s new venture? Is Mr. Linzey involved in this new Charter, or in any other Charter School petitions that may be in the works? Should this entire Charter venture have been disclosed to the CV governing board?

As CVCHS stakeholders we will continue to seek answers to these questions and many more! We owe that to the students, teachers and community who stood together to move this school from “Good to Great!”

**The definition of transparency: characterized by visibility or accessibility of   information especially concerning business practices; free from pretense or deceit.

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