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Back charter schools for more student options

By in Press Enterprise on November 7, 2017

By The Editorial Board

Charter schools are often the only viable option for parents and students seeking alternatives to monopolized traditional public schools. But school districts can often stand in the way of even the most academically successful charter schools.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s board will consider the fate of dozens of charter schools in the district. Notably, district staff has recommended the denial of 14 charter school petitions, including those of three new charter schools proposing to serve an estimated 2,000 students. The existing schools recommended for denial serve more than 4,500 students.

The proposed charter renewal rejections of schools run by charter operators such as Magnolia Public Schools, STEM Preparatory Schools and Alliance College-Ready Public Schools comes as charter school leaders seek relief from what they consider onerous and counterproductive regulations from LAUSD.

On Nov 1, the aforementioned charter operators, along with KIPP LA Schools and Equitas Academy Charter Schools, issued a statement calling on the district to change policies which they think are “not in the interest of our students and teachers” and which “take staff time, energy and resources away from the classroom while weakening transparency and accountability.”

Among the requests made by the charters includes a change on a rule requiring charters to apply every year for space on district property. Instead, they would like to be able to secure longer-term agreements for facility use so that they don’t have to deal with the uncertainty of where their schools will be located every year. Additionally, the charter groups would like a simplified set of policies to abide by, rather than the often-changing and lengthy demands imposed by the district.

“We have known that seeking better policies could cause complications for our petitions — this is a risk we have been willing to take,” the charter groups said, making clear that […]    

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