Thursday, June 23, 2016

Parents and principals will weigh in on charter placements at L.A. school campuses - LA Times

Parents and principals will weigh in on charter placements at L.A. school campuses - LA Times:

Parents and principals will weigh in on charter placements at L.A. school campuses



Families and schools in L.A. Unified could get more of a say in the way the district allocates space to charter schools, thanks to a committee the Los Angeles Unified School District board voted to create Tuesday.
The school board directed the superintendent to form a group that will suggest ways to make the process for giving charter schools space on district school campuses more transparent for families and schools. The group could include parents, district school principals, teachers and charter school leaders.
Under the current colocation process — defined by state law — schools and the parents who send their kids there are often informed that they’ll be sharing their school after the offer has been made.
The resolution isn’t just about making it easier for charter schools to take up space on traditional campuses, board member Ref Rodriguez said. Rodriguez, who wrote the resolution, said during the meeting that schools sometimes plan to use extra rooms for programs like expanding magnets or special classes, but then those rooms get allocated to charters. Involving schools earlier would help prevent this issue, he said.
In 2015-16, about 50 charter schools used space on campuses of L.A. Unified district schools. 
The committee will make suggestions that the superintendent must “carefully consider” in revising the district’s charter co-location policies.The board approved the resolution 5-2, with board members George McKenna and Scott Schmerelson dissenting. Board member Monica Garcia co-sponsored Rodriguez’s resolution.
“I do not believe it is our job to make it comfortable for charter schools to co-exist with us,” McKenna told the board during Tuesday’s meeting.
The superintendent should improve district schools so that families don’t want to leave for charters, McKenna said, instead of creating a committee.
The vote came after the school board approved a $7.6 billion budget with the warning that the district may be in deficit by the 2017-18 fiscal year, in part due to declining enrollment — and its draining effect on state funding.
The district anticipates district-operated school enrollment to drop by 13,728 students for the 2016-17 school years, while independent charter enrollment is projected to increase by 5,984 students.
Other board members who voted for the resolution did so with caveats. 
The board has already tried to address colocation practices twice before, in 2011 and 2013, board member Monica Ratliff pointed out. She added an amendment that requires the superintendent to review those recommendations and report on their status in 45 days.
Board president Steve Zimmer voted for the resolution, but said the law dictating co-location policies is faulty.
“I will be a bigger believer in the forward motion toward collaboration and joint solutions Parents and principals will weigh in on charter placements at L.A. school campuses - LA Times:

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