Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What charter school supporters say they hope to change after school board victories - LA Times

What charter school supporters say they hope to change after school board victories - LA Times:

What charter school supporters say they hope to change after school board victories

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Charter school backers put a lot of money behind candidates in this month’s Los Angeles school board elections.
They spent at least $9.7 million pushing for Nick Melvoin and Kelly Gonez in the nation’s most expensive local school board races.
In District 4, Melvoin upended school board President Steve Zimmer, a two-term incumbent backed by unions. In District 6, with no incumbent, Gonez beat out union-supported Imelda Padilla.
Now the seven-member board is about to have its first pro-charter majority.
Charter schools are publicly funded, privately run schools that are exempt from some of the rules that govern traditional public schools. In Los Angeles, they are mostly run by nonprofits, with a staff that is not unionized.
Los Angeles already has more charters than any other school district in the nation. We asked charter supporters to tell us why they pushed so hard for a school board power shift and what they hope will come of it.

A spirit of collaboration — but also growth

Charter school advocates have been careful to frame the election more as a win for families than charters.
“Charter schools made incremental progress [in the elections] last week,” said Jed Wallace, president of the California Charter Schools Assn. “We’re pleased about that. We don’t want to overstate its significance.”
His organization’s political action committee gave at least $2.84 million to school board candidates.
Former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan, who donated more than $2 million to the pro-charter candidates and the PACs that backed them, took a similarly nonpartisan tone. “What can happen is the charter schools and the public schools could pretty much unite,” he said.
In 2015, Eli Broad's foundation spearheaded a push to get half of L.A. Unified’s students into charters, an effort that backers now say is focused on finding ways to replicate great schools of any kind.
"This election was about the need to improve all our city’s public schools,” the What charter school supporters say they hope to change after school board victories - LA Times:
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