Friday, June 30, 2017

New school board member Kelly Gonez isn't as pro-charter as many donors to her campaign - LA Times

New school board member Kelly Gonez isn't as pro-charter as many donors to her campaign - LA Times:

New school board member Kelly Gonez isn't as pro-charter as many donors to her campaign


 Incoming Los Angeles school board member Kelly Gonez at times sounds little like someone charter-school backers would spend millions to help elect, which they did.

In a recent interview with The Times, she said charters in general would be better places if their employees belonged to unions. (Most don’t.) And she said she’d like to see limits on the growth of charters — publicly funded but privately operated campuses that typically are set up as nonprofits in L.A. Unified. (That position, when expressed by board member Steve Zimmer, prompted a successful pro-charter effort to defeat him.)
With the May election of Gonez and Nick Melvoin, charter backers for the first time can claim a majority on the seven-member Board of Education. Here is a look at where she says she stands.

The top of Gonez’s to-do list

  • Making sure LAUSD graduates are ready for college-level work
  • Creating more welcoming, supportive campuses, with better access to counselors
  • Supporting teachers by involving them in training and leadership opportunities
  • Making sure community members have meaningful input
  • Bringing different factions together for the sake of students

The district and charter growth

“For me, charters shouldn’t be authorized unless they are actually needed,” in neighborhoods where district-run schools have struggled and where there are not sufficient alternatives, including other charters or district programs, Gonez said.
Unrestrained charter growth, she said, would be a threat to the financial health of the district by pulling away enrollment. But rather than making charters a “villain,” the district must attract families by helping traditional schools become “outstanding across the board,” she said — and by offering options parents want, such as magnet schools and dual immersion, where students receive instruction in a foreign language to become bilingual.
“Parent demand is definitely for more and different school models,” said Gonez, who taught this past school year at a charter that shares space with a traditional school.
She said she supports strong district oversight of charter campuses to ensure they are New school board member Kelly Gonez isn't as pro-charter as many donors to her campaign - LA Times:
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