Selected readings on US charter schools
The School Board yesterday approved a motion by Steve Zimmer to ask state lawmakers to clarify the use of Proposition 39, a 2000 law mandating that public school space be shared equitably with charter schools. That law has lead to legal disputes between district schools and charters forced to share campuses as well as a lawsuit between LAUSD and the California Charter School Association (CCSA).
Zimmer’s proposal also seeks to set up rules restricting the “solicitation of LAUSD pupils for the purposes of attending charter” schools, which charter executives deny takes place.
Constitutional amendments to Prop 39 could only be changed with another statewide vote, but according to the California Secretary of State, statutory provisions could be changed by a majority vote of both houses of the legislature and approval by the Governor.
The resolution passed, 4-2, along lines that are becoming familiar, with only Tamar Galatzan and Monica Garcia in the minority. On this vote, Marguerite LaMotte, a steady majority voter, had left the meeting by the time the item came to the floor. She missed several other votes, as well. On many of the day’s key decisions, Galatzan and Garcia, once part of a semi-firm majority, were alone in dissent.
A number of public speakers opposed Zimmer’s resolution, including representatives from the CCSA and the Alliance for a Better Community, the CEO of Extera Charter Schools and Reverend K.W. Tulloss of the National Action Network, who said, “It’s time for the entire board to take a stand against anti-charter language and anti-charter intentions.”
Zimmer defended his resolution and his intentions.
“This did not come from a negative or hateful place about charter schools,” he said, adding: “There has been a negative spirit and energy about the issue of co-location. It is my hope that by getting some basic guidelines around what is a parent center or a library that we can move forward. The individual stories of collaboration do exist. They need to become the rule and not the exception.”
LAUSD has long been in a dispute with CCSA over just what kinds of school space are subject to Prop 39. Superintendent John Deasy and his allies on the board, Garcia and Galatzan, have stated that they think the current ruling, which the district has appealed.
Source: LA School Report – by Hillel Aron