Thursday, October 15, 2015

ICEF removes "volunteer" requirement after complaints from this blog

ICEF Vista allows parents to complete  "volunteer" requirement by donating good
ICEF Vista allows parents to complete
"volunteer" requirement by donating goods.
      In previous years, ICEF Vista required its parents to sign an agreement that they would complete 40 hours of required volunteer service for ICEF.  If parents could not provide the 40 hours, they were allowed to donate goods to complete their service requirement.
    This volunteer requirement is a violation of both California Constitution Article 9 sec. 5 and Education Code § 49011(b)(4) and creates an undue burden on the parents of a public school.
    In August 17, I submitted a public records request to see the ICEF Vista Parent handbook for 2015/16. ICEF responded and said the handbook was at the printers and would be available on August 28.
    When I spoke with ICEF's lawyers on Friday, August 28 regarding another records request, I mentioned the required volunteer hours were a violation of state law. Suddenly, there was a delay in the release of the handbook book because ICEF claimed there were type-o's in the handbook that need to be corrected.
    When ICEF finally release the handbook on September 22, the volunteer requirement was mysteriously gone from their handbook.
    Unfortunately, by this time, many parents had already donated goods to cover the hours they thought they were required to complete.  The picture below is from the first day of school. On that first day, many parents showed up with bags full of supplies for the school.
ICEF Vista parents donating goods on the first day of school  to complete the "volunteer" requirement
ICEF Vista parents donating goods on the first day of school
 to complete the "volunteer" requirement
      I spoke with some of the ICEF parents, and many of them were still under the impression that the required volunteer hours had to be completed and so they donated goods on the first day so that they could complete the requirement. Some ICEF parents were quite upset when they learned that they did not have to complete the "volunteer" requirement.
     I am glad that ICEF removed the "volunteer" requirement, but it's disturbing that it took investigative reporting from this blog for ICEF to comply with the law.

1 comment:

  1. I just want to say thank you. I am sure this change affected the rest of the ICEF charter schools.