This is the final section of my paper: Education for Sale: LAUSD Throws the Fight in Its Competition with Charters. The previous section can be found at: Lack of Oversight
The CCSA has also shown a willingness to use the courts to gain the upperhand in its competition with public schools. It has been particularly litigious in claiming what it calls “charter school’s share” of space under Proposition 39, having sued both the LAUSD and the Oakland Unified School District. This unelected group states that they “are fully committed to ensuring that charter students have fair and equal access to classroom space across the state”, even if it disrupts the students of public schools.
While the word “co-location” does not appear in the text of Proposition 39, LAUSD schools constantly have to battle the District in order to remain a single, unified community. In one example, the stakeholders at Bushnell Way Elementary School described to the members of the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council how their campus was already overcrowded with not enough room for all of the teachers to park on campus. In an effort to make room for Celerity Charters to move onto their campus, teachers and parents allege that the District brought in a succession of three principals, eliminated the sixth grade from the school and reneged on a promise to remove aging bungalows. It is unclear how having students from this Schoolwide Title 1 school share their facilities would “increase learning opportunities for all pupils, with special emphasis on expanded learning experiences for pupils who are identified as academically low achieving.”
While Bushnell is represented by Ref Rodriguez, this Board member also knows that CCSA funds helped elect him last year. Therefore, instead of a resolution to protect LAUSD students from co-locations, he introduced one stating that “Proposition 39 presents an opportunity for charter schools and traditional District schools to collaborate by sharing resources that benefit all public school students”. Board President Zimmer expressed frustration about the Prop 39 proces, stating that he “would be a bigger believer in collaboration if the [District were]… not under the threat of being sued at every turn”. But he still voted with the majority to make co-locations easier for the charters. In voting “no”, George McKenna signaled that not everyone has given up on competing with the charters stating that it is “not our job to make it comfortable for charters to co-exist with us.”
With the vote of support for the Rodriguez’ resolution, the LAUSD Board ended their last meeting of the year. Four of the seven members were elected despite the opposition of the charter industry, but they were still unwilling to confront the CCSA when McKenna says that the “biggest challenge is the co-location.” It appears that the fight has already been thrown.
I am a candidate for the District 2 seat on the LAUSD School Board, founder of Change The LAUSD and member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council. You can voice your support for my campaign through DFA. Opinions are my own. You can interact with me on Twitter @ChangeTheLAUSD