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Parents, teachers fight looming state takeover

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BAKER - Frustrated parents and teachers met Monday to hear a plan designed to save an elementary school in Baker poised to be taken over by the state.

Bakerfield Elementary school is eligible for takeover by the Recovery School District following four years of failing grades. The school has consistently achieved only an "F" rating with declining scores.

Superintendent Ulysses Joseph said the Baker School District is in discussions with the Recovery School District, but there is no conclusion on what will happen with the school. The RSD said they would like to come up with a unique solution, which could leave the school in district control.

On Monday Joseph blamed a revolving door of principals and employee absenteeism for the failing grades.

"We just have some folks that get sick sometimes," he said. "We've had a problem keeping some of the principals that we've had and when you have a big turn over in terms of teachers and in terms of principals that has a great affect on the outcome."

News 2 spoke with teachers and parents who say the real issue stems from teacher bullying, explaining that many teachers have been afraid of their students. However, they say this year has been the best year for Bakerfield, crediting the principal and assistant principal for taking control of the situation.

Parent Robreka King credits Bakerfield for the continued success of her two children.

"it's my prayer that they're able to get back to what I know they're capable of being as a school district."

In February Joseph submitted a reconstitution plan to the RSD. It has an estimated cost of more than $2 million, would extend the school year by a month, add a Pre-K program and put aside cash for teachers that meet an attendance standard. If approved it will still need to go through the state school board.

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