Parents Network Australia has confirmed that it will not be renewing its contract with its parent company Eric and Ericka, which it had for about a decade.
The news comes just weeks after the two parents, who had worked at Berkeley for more than 25 years, were awarded $200,000 from the city in a settlement with the city.
The couple, who are now in their early 70s, said they would be “very happy” to remain in the community.
“It’s been a long time coming, but we’re very happy to have that kind of support for us to stay in the Bay Area,” said Eric and Ernestine.
The parent network, which is also known as Berkeley Parents Network, was launched in 2013 and began its work in 2018 with the Berkeley Housing Authority and the Berkeley Public Schools.
In 2017, it was purchased by the parent company of the Berkeley Parent Network and renamed Berkeley Parents Networks, with Eric and Ire still working there.
In 2018, the company was renamed Berkeley Parent Networks, Inc. The network was also acquired by the Berkeley Independent Parents Network (BIPN) in 2018, which merged with the parent network to become the parent-teacher-student alliance.
The merger resulted in the removal of the parent and student boards, with BIPN now being run as a standalone organization.
BIPNs parent boards and parent members, which had existed for the past 25 years and were responsible for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of students in their care, were replaced by a parent-led network.
A spokesperson for Berkeley Parent NETWORK confirmed to the ABC that the organisation would be exiting the Berkeley parent network.
The spokesperson added that BIPNA is now run independently.
The BIP Network said it was not the first parent-parent network to be sold and that it was working with BipN to ensure its future.
The company said it had no immediate comment.
The ABC contacted Berkeley Parent NET, BIPNET and the parent organisations involved in the sale to find out if the BIP networks board members had been contacted and if they would remain in place.
In response to the news, a spokesperson for BIP Networks said it would be inappropriate to comment further.
A parent spokesperson for the Berkeley School District, which owns the parent networks parent boards, confirmed that the parent board members will be retained.
“The Berkeley School Board is working with the Bip Networks parent boards to continue their work in providing education and safety support for Berkeley students,” the spokesperson said.
“As with all other Berkeley parent networks, Berkeley ParentNET remains committed to providing our students with a safe and secure environment.”
In September, the Berkeley City Council voted to purchase BIPNetwork from BIPNet, a merger of the two parent organisations, to form the parent organisation Berkeley Parent Alliance.
The merged parent organisations will be overseen by a new executive board that includes the Berkeley Parents Alliance, Berkeley Parents Association and the Oakland School District.
BipNetwork parent board board member and BIP network board member Emily Leff said the merger will create an effective parent-child relationship.
“We want to be a model that will provide for the safety of all students,” she said.
BAPT-BAN, the parent advocacy group for students, said it will continue to support the parent groups that remain in Berkeley.
“Berkeley Parents Network and Berkeley Parents Coalition have worked tirelessly to support Berkeley parents for over 25 years,” a statement from the group said.
The statement continued: “We will continue our work to ensure the safety, dignity and wellbeing for students and staff at Berkeley, and the BAPTs parent board and parent network will continue the work to create a more safe, stable and caring environment for all students and employees.”
A spokesperson from the Berkeley Student Union (BSU) told the ABC the BSPU had no comment on the BN’s announcement.
The Berkeley Parent Association said it did not know the reason for the announcement and did not expect it to happen.
“Our main focus is on providing support to our students and the parents who are supporting them,” the group told the BBC.
“They are not our customers.”