Emotions ran high earlier this week when the L.A. Unified school board rejected the advice of its superintendent and a community advisory vote to select Camino Nuevo Charter Academy to manage a new Echo Park school. The decision was a blow to the teacher’s union and a group of passionate Echo Park parents who had supported a group of district administrators also seeking to run Central Region Elementary School #14. The Board of Education went with CaminoNuevo after school board member Yolie Flores introduced a motion backing the charter school operator. In a posting today on her blog, Flores, who represent the western edge of Echo Park where the new school is located, explained her vote, saying she thought Camino Nuevo was better suited to teach low-income students who were learning English:
After analyzing all of this information and input, it became clear that Camino Nuevo’s plan was the stronger of the two. For this reason, I decided to offer an amendment to have Camino Nuevo operate CRES #14, which was subsequently approved. I chose Camino Nuevo because we owe our children better – especially our English Learners. They cannot wait another year for us to figure it out when we have a proven model available to them right now.
Flores, who will head a nonprofit once her school board term expires later this year, noted that the new Echo Park school will draw students from campuses where 60% of the pupils are English learns and about 90% come from low-income households.