Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Goldberg joins L.A. Unified school board, immediately challenges aid to charter schools - Los Angeles Times

Goldberg joins L.A. Unified school board, immediately challenges aid to charter schools - Los Angeles Times

Goldberg joins L.A. Unified school board, immediately challenges aid to charter schools

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Jackie Goldberg took a seat on the Los Angeles school board Tuesday and immediately signaled change to come, shifting the discussion to whether charter schools were getting unfair advantages over district-run public schools.


Not long ago, the seven-member Board of Education — with one different member — was easing restrictions on charters.
The 74-year-old political veteran last week won a special election to fill a board seat that has been vacant since last July, when former board President Ref Rodriguez resigned after pleading guilty to violating campaign finance laws.
She rejoined a body that she had served on more than 25 years ago, taking the oath of office twice: once in the morning so she could take part in an early meeting; the second time at midday, to accommodate more than 200 cheering well-wishers.
Rodriguez, the co-founder of a charter school organization, was elected with millions of dollars in support from wealthy backers of charters. Goldberg won with funding and volunteers anchored by the teachers union, which built on momentum from a six-day teachers strike in January.
Union leaders have called for a moratorium and tighter controls on charters, which are privately operated and mostly nonunion.
Charters compete with district-run schools for students, and critics say they undermine traditional schools by pulling away higher performing students and funding. Supporters say that charters offer high-quality options for parents and helpful competition.
Under state law, the district must offer charters available space. A classroom without a regularly assigned teacher, for example, is typically counted as available.
Goldberg’s concerns arose minutes after the board began moving through its agenda. The item was $16 million to prepare space for charters operating on up to 79 district campuses. In all, about 11% of campuses host charters, according to the California Charter Schools Assn. Charters enroll nearly one in five district students.
Goldberg noticed that some of the money would pay for computers and wanted to know if the host school would have comparable technology.
“I have a school that lost its computer lab and the charter school went in there and put in a computer lab,” which it used to recruit students, Goldberg said during the meeting. “That’s CONTINUE READING:  Goldberg joins L.A. Unified school board, immediately challenges aid to charter schools - Los Angeles Times

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