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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Is your school prepared to share?

The Eastsider has written about the concern and opposition generated by proposals to allow charter school operators to take over classrooms at Elysian Heights and Micheltorena Street schools. But these are from the only L.A. Unified campuses that might end up having to share space with a charter.  As part of an annual process, the school district is poised to offer space on about 80 campuses to charter schools in order comply with Prop. 39. The charter schools have until May to take the district up on its offer.

Here’s a sample of some of the Eastside schools that might be forced to share and the charter schools that will be offered the available rooms:

School
Rooms
Available*
Charter School
Albion Elementary
Lincoln Heights
 4 Endeavor College Prep
Dena Elementary
Boyle Heights
8 Futuro College Preparatory Elementary
Elysian Heights Elementary
Elysian Heights
 3 Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts
Franklin High School
Highland Park
 8 Los Angeles International Charter High
Hollenbeck Middle School
Boyle Heights
 7 Media Ats & Design High School
King Middle School
Los Feliz
12 Santa Rosa Charter Academy
Lake Street Primary Center
Historic Filipinotown
 2 Equitas Academy Charter School
Micheltorena Street Elementary
Silver Lake
 8 Citizens of the World Charter School 2
Plasencia Elementary
Echo Park
 7 Equitas Academy #2 Charter School

Click here for a complete list of schools that are being available to charter operators is included in a letter from Supt. John Deasy. The List follows his letter.
* Does not include rooms made available for offices



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25 comments

  1. It might sound like hyperbole, but for Micheltorena Elementary the loss of those 8 classrooms to the Charter that wants them would be a HUGE blow to the progress the parents, community and staff have made in the past few years. We’ve built a garden, planted trees, raised money for a playground, a new library, painted murals, started after-school enrichment programs and are on the cusp of starting a DUAL LANGUAGE SPANISH PROGRAM, which we are all so excited about! The loss of those rooms would mean the end to many of the enrichment classes and, most importantly, this incredible Dual Language program. If you don’t have kids, you might not understand the enormous draw that dual language programs have for parents, but this program has the possibility of pulling local kids and parents back into our community.

    Against the odds, we’ve been fighting Silver Lake’s pre-determined poor opinion of both our school and public school in general, and we’ve made so much progress! Come and see for yourself. We aren’t being selfish or territorial with these 8 classrooms, we just don’t want to see all the hard work we’ve been doing to make our school awesome tossed to the winds of the LAUSD bureaucracy.

  2. Charters Schools are not good for KIDS! Do your homework.

  3. Joe, can you help me with some data that indicating charter schools are not good for kids? My impression is there are some bad charters and some good ones.

  4. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: LISA BACA, GEPENC CIO
    January 25, 2012 CELL: 213 910-2592

    GEPENC VOTES TO OPPOSE CO-LOCATION OF CHARTER SCHOOL AT ELYSIAN HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY & CALLS FOR GREATER TRANSPARENCY AND PARENT AND COMMUNTY INVOLVEMENT IN CO-LOCATION PROCESS

    (Echo Park, CA) The Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council (GEPENC) announced today its opposition to the co-location of a charter school at Elysian Heights Elementary school in Echo Park and took action to request that LAUSD Board Members make more transparent, open and inclusive the co-location process to include input from parents, teachers and community members.

    GEPENC voted to oppose the placement of the charter school based on the concerns of increased parking and traffic and the negative impact on educational opportunities for the children attending Elysian Heights. A charter school is seeking to claim three classrooms at Elysian Heights under the provisions of Proposition 39, a statewide initiative passed by voters providing charter schools with space at public schools.

    “We have a very genuine concern on the negative impacts a co-location may have on the ability of children to receive a quality education. We have an example of a co-location going bad at another public school in Echo Park. We don’t want to repeat that awful experience at Elysian by creating to Separate but Unequal schools on the same campus”, stated Jose Sigala, President of the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council.

    The neighborhood council also noted the lack of any parent, teacher or community involvement in the co-location process. As a result, the Board approved sending a letter to LAUSD Board Members Kayser and Garcia urging them to amend the Mission of the Community Relations Department at LAUSD to include outreach for co-locations under Proposition 39. Currently the district provides a November 1st deadline for charter schools to apply for space and then decides by February 1st to provide the space requested. There is no transparency or opportunity for parents or community members to weigh in with concerns. Adding co-locations to an existing outreach department makes sense.

    The parents of Elysian Heights Elementary will be hosting a meeting on Monday, January 30th at 8:00 am at the school to provide up to date information on the co-location and to discuss the impact the co-location may have on the school. Everyone is welcomed to attend.

    # # #

  5. Prop 39 = Free tax payer funded real estate for your education business.

  6. I understand the confusion about “good”charters vs, “bad” charters. Briefly.1. ALL charters pull money away from legitimate public schools. 2. They serve a lower percentage of kids with special needs than public schools. 3. They rarely have programs for English learners other than pure English immersion classes. 4. They tend to “counsel out” kids who are problems (behavior, low scoring, under-achieving) who then can only find welcome at public schools. They tend to hire inexperienced teachers because they’re cheaper, non-unionized and tend to ask fewer questions about school policies. In short-these so called public schools are actually anti public education.

  7. I was told that this sharing is never “free” to charters, especially in L.A. City. In fact they are often asked to pay premium rents for space that the school has no other way to make money off of due to declining enrollments. (What is could provide for Charters is a place to have a school in communities where that much real estate isn’t often available except in commercial locations that are not built to be classrroms – and in an area already zoned for schools, which is even harder to find. If, indeed, LAUSD is offering space it’s more likely they’re looking to use the sub-tenant rent money from charters to reduce their own operational red ink, by getting paid for space that would be empty or under-utilized. In other words, part of the (taxpayer) money that the public charters are already receiving would be pooled with the (taxpayer) money that the LAUSD receives to keep the taxpayers from having to pay even more for empty space on current school sites (possibly saving the taxpayers money, all along the way). If LAUSD acts responsibly, the rent from charters could be used for better upkeep and maintenance of existing school sites – perhaps even the occasional improvement.

  8. I understand the negative impact the charters can have on local schools, evidenced by the forced combining mid semester of two grades due to low enrollment at Mayberry the year Camino Nuevo opened. And I heard rumors that Camino Nuevo aggressively pursued the parents to pull their kids out of neighborhood schools and attend the new charter.

    re: Cheryl’s arguments:

    1.) Camino Nuevo down the street offers doesn’t serve the needs of English language learners?

    2.) Where is the data supporting the notion that a lower percentage of kids with special needs are served at charter schools? Is that a national statistic, state, or local? Would love to know where you got this information

    3.) Perhaps they hire the inexperienced (cheaper) teachers because their budgets are smaller than the neighborhood school budget?

    4.) My understanding, please correct me because if this is inaccurate, is that the co-located charters actually pay RENT to the schools they are occupying. Doesn’t this give the neighborhood schools a larger operating budget? Or does the rent money go directly to LAUSD?

    • @mayberry mommy presents some interesting questions. Let me see if I can provide some information to help answer them.

      1) CNCA Corporation is actually one of the very few charters that accepts comparable numbers of ELL to those served by public schools. That said, they only offer ELL to a single language group, and only offer a developmental/transitional program, which is not considered best practice by language acquisition experts like my Schools Matter colleague Professor Stephen Krashen. For a background on this:

      http://rdsathene.blogspot.com/2011/03/developmentaltransitional-bilingual.html

      That said, we could only wish more charters would provide at a minimum what CNCA Corporation provides, and after looking at Citizens of the World Charter Corporation’s website, I’m concerned that they will not provide even that level of service.

      2) There’s a plethora of research (data is a corporate word, I tend to avoid it) on this topic from both local and national statistics.

      For local information, see this report by LAUSD’s OIM:

      http://bitly.com/qYafsP

      For a comprehensive national level report see:

      http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2012/02/charter-schools-and-students-with.html

      Another important report by the SPLC is:

      http://www.splcenter.org/access-denied/special-education-in-new-orleans-public-schools

      The above are both heart-wrenching and tragic in that public money is being used to support private organization that participate in the most vile discrimination against the most vulnerable in our schools. Perhaps when reading these documents, readers can begin to see part of the reason I fight the privatization of public schools with such passion and zeal. Social justice activists are tasked with standing beside the weak and disenfranchised, not the powerful corporate interests that are looking profit from school privatization.

      3) They hire inexperienced (cheaper) teachers because that money goes to their high paid executive staff, and because young teachers are easy to manipulate and they won’t stand up for the rights of their students or their families. For a great example of how charters treat these young teachers, see:

      http://rdsathene.blogspot.com/2011/02/teacher-at-imagine-charter-school-fired.html

      Despite CCSA propaganda stating that charters get less per pupil than public schools (which is true only when we’re talking State funding), charter schools get massive multi-million dollar grants annually from ideologically charged billionaires and other right-wing foundations. The arch-reactionary Walton Family Foundation used to publish these figures openly, many on these lists are Los Angeles based charter corporations:

      http://www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org/mediacenter/k-12-ed-reform-2010-grantee-full-list
      http://www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org/about/2009-grants

      Indeed charter are funded by the likes of the wealthiest one percent including names like DeVos, Broad, Bradley, Gates, Koch, Hastings, Dell, Powell-Jobs, Scaife, Tilson, et al.

      4) Charter corporations do compensate the district for the space they seize, at a fraction of what they would pay their fellow private sector landlords, and such compensation does not make up for the damage that Prop 39 colocations cause in terms of disruption of public school services and dividing communities.

    • A recent NEPC report also discussion how children with disabilities and ELL students are underserved by the lucrative charter school sector. It also discusses how charters are bastions of segregation.

      http://nepc.colorado.edu/files/PB-CharterEquity.pdf

  9. you guys do realize that WE all voted Prop 39 in and it clearly says that they will be using surplus space at schools (section 6).

    http://vote2000.sos.ca.gov/VoterGuide/text/text_proposed_law_39.htm

  10. A friend at a charter now confirms. Last time LAUSD offered space like this, each classroom would have cost the charter school about as much each year as she pays to rent a good-sized 2-bedroom house in the same neighborhood.

  11. The principal over at Micheltorena has made it very clear that our school would have no financial gain as a result of a co-location and that we are legally required to share all our facilities, but they are not required to share theirs. So when the parents in FOM raise money for the Wonder of Reading Library (√) or for a community garden (√), a charter could use these great resources, but if the charter creates a dance room or a black box theatre, the local school has no similar rights of usage. I don’t know if LAUSD gets rent or not, but if money is coming in, it’s not helping out the school directly affected by the co-location. But money and shared space aside, the worst aspect of co-location is the loss of enrollment. Our school is on the verge. I’ve seen the energy that charter school parents have, and if they could bring that to their local public school, Micheltorena would be better than the best charters and be available to the entire community for generations to come.

  12. Come to the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council board meeting on Wednesday, February 1 at 7pm in the Micheltorena auditorium. Principal Furfari will be there to speak on the charter situation. We are inviting people to come and submit written comments so they can be entered into the Council minutes and become part of the official public record. You can also email your comments to the board that day at [email protected] if you are not able to make the meeting.

  13. I feel the need to weigh in here as a parent involved in the Citizens of the World (CWC) Silverlake effort. I sense that there is a lot of misconception about what charter schools are trying to do in general, and how they relate to traditional public schools. First, let me say that both of my parents were in public education for over 40 years so I support all hardworking teachers and administrators across the district, I recognize the challenges faced by our local public schools, and I’m deeply committed to public education. I have found in CWC a compelling public school option for my son so I have been working hard to help make it happen in Silverlake.

    It’s helpful to remember that charter schools are public schools, open to all in a blind lottery, and dedicated to serving all members of a given community. They are here for you, me and anyone who wants to apply. Bringing this CWC charter to the Eastside is about offering more choice to parents – a neighborhood public school, open to all, truly diverse, and with a progressive curriculum. CWC’s entry into the scene doesn’t mean that the other neighborhood schools are not doing a good job and making great strides – any observer would agree that they indeed are. CWC, like all charters, are simply offering a different option, a different teaching philosophy and method (based largely on the Constructivist model), one that I feel has a lot to offer our children.

    CWC also has an especially unique mission of fostering true socioeconomic diversity—a balance that has been very hard to achieve in the LA’s public schools, whether charters or traditional. CWC believes, as do I, that children who have had the lived experience of Difference (in learning ability, ethnicity, language, and in particular, socioeconomic standing) will be better able to function the 21st century and will view their neighborhood, city, world, and the human condition in a different, more informed, skillful and empathetic light. It is also patently not true that CWC will be selecting out English learners, those with disabilities, etc. , it will be a blind lottery, despite what we have read in some recent articles covering admissions process controversies at local charters.

    With regard to the Prop 39 space sharing, many charters in the beginning don’t have the means to strike out on their own yet and need to share space in traditional schools. I realize that this might seem like an undue burden to the host school, especially if that school had future plans for the space, but if the goal is to serve neighborhood kids, then CWC will be serving those kids. The money per pupil is following the kid, and kids are being served. The CWC Hollywood is hosted by La Comte Middle School in a very positive and copasetic arrangement for both. I know that this is not the case with every share situation, but if the CWC Silverlake ends up at Micheltorrena, I’m sure there could be a way for both schools to positively affect each other and build programs/relationships that would benefit both sub-schools, and most importantly, the children.

    • Respectfully I disagree that charters are public schools in the true sense of the word. They are a hybrid: publicly funded, privately run. The (sometimes) blind lottery by definition means that some members of the community will be left out. This is not the case at the local public school, where everyone in the community is guaranteed admittance. This disconnect between inclusivity and exclusivity is at the crux of the problem. Charter schools, especially the successful ones, cater to parents who know how to navigate the system, who have the skills to help be a founding parent, and who are likely very educated themselves. As these parents leave truly public schools in droves, the public schools suffer. I know parents who help create new charter schools have the best of intentions for their children, but I’d like to see those return their energies to the schools the real public schools. Our kids (all of them) will in turn stay local, have common experiences with the kid down the street, and benefit from parents not madly driving their kids 20 minutes here, 20 minutes there in search of the “best” school. Charter schools are a band-aid; supporting local public schools are the real solution to educational reform.

  14. Respectfully I disagree that charters are public schools in the true sense of the word. They are a hybrid: publicly funded, privately run. The (sometimes) blind lottery by definition means that some members of the community will be left out. This is not the case at the local public school, where everyone in the community is guaranteed admittance. This disconnect between inclusivity and exclusivity is at the crux of the problem. Charter schools, especially the successful ones, cater to parents who know how to navigate the system, who have the skills to help be a founding parent, and who are likely very educated themselves. As these parents leave truly public schools in droves, the public schools suffer. I know parents who help create new charter schools have the best of intentions for their children, but I’d like to see those return their energies to the real public schools. Our kids (all of them) will in turn stay local, have common experiences with the kid down the street, and benefit from parents not madly driving their kids 20 minutes here, 20 minutes there in search of the “best” school. Charter schools are a band-aid; supporting local public schools are the real solution to educational reform.

  15. Tried to fix a typo and ended up sending it twice… oops.

  16. I definitely agree that charters schools are just one piece of the school reform challenge, they are not the sole answer. However, they are a powerful force for good, in my mind, that is both proving great school choices now, as well as driving reform in the broader context. Complex internal reforms, increased funding and pay, and greater parental involvement are equally important components to public education reform in this country, and those things are happening too, slowly but (hopefully) surely.

    My local school, Clifford, for example, is a great and ever improving school (818 API for 2011), and very worthy of my support. If I wanted a standard, traditional curriculum for my son, then I would unhesitatingly be sending him there and throwing all of my time and effort into that school. But I am interested in a very different teaching model, one like the project-based constructivist curriculum offered by Citizens of the World (CWC). The difference between traditional and progressive curriculum is quite pronounced, it’s like comparing apples and oranges. I believe this alternative curriculum is highly effective way to teach/learn and that it’s the better choice for my family. That might not be the case for every family, it’s just what I’m interested in.

    It’s a misconception that charter schools are just there to “save” failing schools. That’s obviously not the case in our neighborhood (as has been rightly pointed out, our traditional schools are not failing), nor has it been the case in many instances throughout LAUSD. While some charters do offer a corrective to troubled schools, many others are simply offering an alternative curriculum, and I want our neighborhood kids to have access to this alternative choice.

    I’m a 23-year resident of Silverlake and I too wish that the charters could restrict enrollment to neighborhood kids only, but it’s my understanding that State law prohibits this, that charters must be open to all comers, regardless of geography. It is also widely known that not all charters are created equal, but for those that do not live up to their promise, their charters are not renewed by the LAUSD. There is accountability, from parents and from the district.

    As to co-location, I agree that LAUSD’s co-location process and its lack of transparency and community involvement absolutely stinks. It has clearly generated a lot of mistrust and hopefully the process can be reformed. I don’t know where CWC will be located, and I don’t want it to negatively impact any other local school, but I also sincerely hope that our community recognizes the benefits of such a high quality public school option as CWC coming to the neighborhood. For me it’s like a dream come true—a neighborhood public school, truly socioeconomically diverse, with a progressive curriculum.

    • Are you an employee of the CCSA?

      I ask this because, not only is everything you said easily refuted by fact, but it reads like the corporate market-speak that the CCSA and their ilk promulgate. If you indeed are a genuine parent that actually believes what you’ve written, I’m somewhat astonished by both the lack of veracity of your prose, and be a seeming degree of selfishness and self-centeredness in terms of displaying an almost Ayn Rand-like I want what’s best for me and my family even if it’s at the expense of everyone else.

      • It seems remarkable to me that you are so offended by someone who holds a differing opinion of the charter school issue that you would question whether or not I’m honestly representing myself as the parent and engaged Silverlake resident of 23 years that I am. Coupled with your accusation of selfishness, I’m left truly demoralized to think that our civic discourse on such an important issue as this has taken such an uncivil turn.

        • Decades of resisting of one sided class war waged by the plutocrat class that pushes school privatization via charters has left me with little tolerance for neoliberalism and those that cheerlead it. Why not advocate for expanded curriculums in public schools instead of supporting what is increasingly becoming a privately managed apartheid educational system?

          I’m not sure there’s anything less civil than private corporations devouring the last of the public commons. You’re probably too young to know this, but “school choice” was the clarion call of the segregationists. In my observation, it still is.

        • Kathleen, I think you are a real person and feel your desire for an alternative curriculum is sincere; however, I must agree with Skeels that an alternative curriculum can exist in public schools, but we need to have educated parents in place to fight for it. Public schools will not get better if the educated classes leave it in hopes of finding some mythological perfect education.

          • I should add that parents who are not part of the “educated” class also have so much to bring to schools and think that our community and its children benefit when we are all working side by side to erase educational differences and allow everyone equal access to an excellent education.

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