Thursday, July 6, 2017

Audio: LAUSD's new board members aren't interested in 'massive charter school expansion' | 89.3 KPCC

Audio: LAUSD's new board members aren't interested in 'massive charter school expansion' | 89.3 KPCC:

LAUSD's new board members aren't interested in 'massive charter school expansion'


Forget what you’ve heard: the Los Angeles Unified School Board's two newest members say they're not here to usher in a new golden era for charter schools.


Nick Melvoin and Kelly Gonez both benefited from record outside spending by pro-charter school political groups on this spring’s school board campaign. After they take their oaths of office on Thursday, they'll become the third and fourth board members to receive the California Charter Schools Association's exclusive endorsement — enough, in theory, to form a majority on a seven-member board.
But in separate and broad-ranging interviews for KPCC’s Take Two, both Melvoin and Gonez were adamant: this new school board is not about to open the floodgates for more charter schools in L.A.
"No … I'm not interested in a dramatic expansion, or really an expansion at all, of the number of independent charter schools in the district," said Gonez, who now represents the East San Fernando Valley on the board.
"I'm concerned about the financial health of the district," Gonez went on, "and I'm concerned about students in district schools. I think, while there are many factors that are contributing to declining enrollment in our district schools, charter schools are one of those factors."
Melvoin, too, said "massive charter expansion" is unlikely: "That's (A) not going to happen because … I don't support it, but (B) it's just really infeasible when you consider the restraints on facilities and the supply of teachers."
Like most L.A. Unified elections in recent years, this year's campaign was a proxy battle between charter school groups and the United Teachers Los Angeles teachers union. Since campaign finance rules allow outside groups to spend more freely, Audio: LAUSD's new board members aren't interested in 'massive charter school expansion' | 89.3 KPCC:

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