The school board of Antioch Unified School District in California had an extended discussion about whether to approve two new charter schools. The discussion was often heated. The district made the decision knowing that the two charters will draw away $25 million from its own public schools. The board staff urged the board to reject the charters.

It makes for interesting reading.

The lead petitioner stressed the district’s low test scores and the urgency of change.

On Wednesday, the Antioch Unified School District approved charter petitions for East Bay Tech Middle School Academy and High School Academy on 3-2 votes in a meeting that lasted more than 5-hours.

As a result, District staff anticipate losing $25 million in revenue over the next several years.

In favor was Debra Vinson, Chrystal Sawyer-White and Walter Ruehlig. Opposed were Gary Hack and Diane Gibson-Gray.

The vote came after staff recommended the Board deny the petition based on an analysis by legal council in which numerous deficiencies were identified in the petition along with concerns related to the petition and the proposed Charter School’s operations. HE also stated that that more than one of the legal grounds for denial were met. Specifically, the petition does not provide a reasonably comprehensive description of several essential charter elements and the petitioners are demonstrably unlikely to successfully implement the proposed education program.