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Corte Madera parents behind Reed redistricting effort seek to pull their petition

The East Corte Madera parents behind a controversial months-long campaign to move their neighborhood out of the Reed Union School District are now seeking to withdraw the redistricting petition, saying the integrity of the process has been damaged by “toxic rhetoric” that has spread vitriol throughout the community.

Chief petitioners Paul Burton, Craig Blok and Heather Choate made the announcement at a Dec. 15 hearing held at Del Mar Middle School to solicit public feedback on the effort to transfer the East Corte Madera hillside area into the Larkspur-Corte Madera School District.

“The challenges facing this particular petition have become insurmountable,” Blok said in addressing the County Committee on School District Organization, which hosted the hearing and has been tasked with ruling on the territory transfer request.

However, the county committee was not immediately able to discuss and vote on whether to allow the withdrawal, as the item was not listed on the meeting’s agenda. Bob Henry, counsel to the committee, said he had consulted with the state Department of Education, which advised him that the chief petitioners do not necessarily have the unilateral right to withdraw a petition. He suggested the board schedule a January meeting to consider the withdrawal, noting that would also allow anyone who signed the petition an opportunity to comment.

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