In order to prevent charter schools from discouraging parents from enrolling children with special education needs, the Office of the Independent Monitor required that the District prohibit them from asking for any special education paperwork prior to enrollment. As originally pointed out in a Uniform Complaint filed on December 21, 2016, Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) has blatantly violated this prohibition for years without any intervention from the LAUSD Charter School Division, the LAUSD School Board, or the State Department of Education. In fact, as the school enrolls students for the next school year, it still requests prohibited documents on three different pages in the enrollment section of its website.
Using article 3, Section 35145.5. of the California Education Code which allows “members of the public [are] able to place matters directly related to school district business on the agenda of school district governing board meetings”, the Holding GHCHS Accountable to Their Charter resolution was presented on August 28, 2017, to the LAUSD School Board for consideration. This proposed resolution will be considered by the Board at their Committee of the Whole meeting on February 20, 2018.
The North Valley Democratic Club has urged passage of the Holding GHCHS Accountable to Their Charter resolution. The resolution has also been endorsed by Gayle McLaughlin, who is a candidate to become the next Lieutenant Governor for the State of California. In doing so, she forwarded me a letter in which she recognizes that “charter school chains are having a serious impact on our public educational system by draining resources, creaming the student crop, and counseling out the difficult and ‘less profitable’ students.” As of the writing of this article, 256 public education supporters have also asked the LAUSD Board to “Stop Granada Hills Charter H.S. From Discouraging the Enrollment of Special Ed Students” on a Change.org petition.
If a protected tree falls in the woods and there is no regulator there to see it, did that tree really fall? If that regulator is brought to the forest but chooses to look in another direction, has the next tree in line really fallen? How many trees have to fall before the bureaucrat realizes that there is no forest left to save?
Carl Petersen is a parent and special education advocate, elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD’s District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a “strong supporter of public schools.” His past blogs can be found at www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com.