The #1 issue facing the Conejo Valley Unified School District right now is declining student enrollment. School funding is linked to enrollment numbers, so lower enrollment means school closings. The loss of neighborhood schools would have a significant negative impact on our real estate values and community quality of life.
Sadly, according to District projections, our CVUSD enrollment numbers have been steadily declining for a decade and this decline is expected to continue at the rate of about 200 students per year. This means that if we do not reverse this trend, we will be facing several more school closures by 2026 - including at least two elementary schools in the near term.
We have heard many unsubstantiated excuses for why CVUSD enrollment is declining, despite the fact that neighboring Oak Park Unified does not have declining enrollment and local private schools have waiting lists.
We absolutely CAN turn this trend around.
I am running for School Board to protect our amazing schools, prevent school closures, prevent teacher layoffs and ensure that every student in our community has access to an exceptional CVUSD education for years to come.
The only way to save each neighborhood school is to increase enrollment and with only two-thirds of Conejo Valley school-age children attending a CVUSD school, there is ample opportunity to fix this.
I understand that we often lose students simply because our district does not offer the right options.
My experiences with different education modalities have taught me many of the innovative ways, outside of what CVUSD currently offers, that parents are finding elsewhere to meet the educational needs of their children.
By understanding the needs of the thousands of local families not choosing our schools and then working to ensure that more flexible, individualized and innovative programs are provided by our district, we can serve more families in our community and grow our enrollment. We can’t please everyone, but we can definitely please a sufficient number of families to save ALL our schools.
The vast majority of families will choose to send their kids to their neighborhood school if there is a program there that meets their childr’s needs - because it is free, convenient and their kids can go to school with their neighborhood friends.
I Need Your Help
Help me fix this. The union has deeply involved themselves in the election this year and is working hard to get board members elected that will rubber stamp their political agenda, ignore parent rights and put the union desires ahead of the educational and social/emotional needs of our children.
We must ensure we have board members who are passionate about solving the real problems of the district, will always put kids first and who are watchdogs - not rubber stamps - when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars. We can quickly turn around our enrollment challenge and save our neighborhood schools with your help.
Dr. Amy Chen
Candidate for Conejo Valley School Board