Hundreds of parents, students and school officials attended the LAUSD board meeting held on Tuesday, November 7, ready to fight for their schools. As it turns out, that was not necessary after a last minute deal was reached between the district and the charter schools. At issue was a dispute over DRL (District Rules Language) that the charter school operators felt was unfair and unnecessarily caused more bureaucratic hurdles for renewal. Some time prior to the Special Board Meeting held last Tuesday at 9am, an agreement was reached by all that allowed the district to recommend approvals of eleven of the fourteen charter schools previously recommended for denial. In the end, only three charters were denied.
Take a look at the agreement that was reached to avoid the denial of several very successful and popular charter schools in LAUSD. It appears to be a few small changes in language that appears fair for all. This last minute agreement however was questioned by Board Member, George McKenna who stated that he was not included in the conversation about changes that were being made. He alluded that maybe other board members were included in the process. Still, he went on to support the renewals as did the rest of the board.
The schools in question included academically successful schools that garnered praise from some of the board members during the meeting. However, a notable concern among many of the board members is a perceived lack of priority given to English Learners, specifically, redesignation and reclassification rates. The issue was brought up several times by Dr, Richard Vladovic and echoed by Kelly Gonez. All agreed, as do we, that we do need to prioritize the advancement of English Learners out of the EL programs. All of the schools have now been put on notice to make it a priority or risk future denials.
Three of the charter schools recommended for denial by LAUSD Charter Schools Division were rejected by the board unanimously. International Studies Language Academy, North Valley Military Institute and Magnolia Science Academy 5 were denied authorizations and it is unclear if they will be appealing to the County Board of Education and State Board of Education. All were denied based on low academic performance and scores and fiscal issues.
The details on the approvals and denials are all listed in the minutes from Tuesday’s meeting that can be found here. Overall, the board of education did put kids first and seemed to have conducted a reasonable amount of due diligence in coming to conclusions on these charter school permits.
Another special board meeting is scheduled for December 5, 2017. 15 charter schools will be reviewed at the December 5, 2017 Special Meeting.
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