LAUSD puts money and muscle behind 3 state bills that shackle charter schools
*UPDATED After passionate debate and pleas from charter school administrators and parents, the LA Unified school board voted 4-3 to support three teacher union-backed bills being considered by the California legislature that all restrict some of the autonomies given to public charter schools. The most contested bill, SB 808, was pulled by its author on Monday...
By Mike Szymanski | April 18, 2017 7:26 pm
LA Unified considers supporting a state bill some say could ‘kill’ charters
*UPDATED A state bill that’s been labeled a charter killer could be supported by LA Unified’s lobbying capital if the school board passes a resolution on Tuesday’s agenda. School board vice president George McKenna, supported by fellow board member Scott Schmerelson, proposed the resolution that asks the school board to support the “swift passage” of...
By Mike Szymanski | April 17, 2017 2:38 pm
State audit finds Alliance did not use public funds to fight UTLA unionizing efforts
*UPDATED A state audit released Thursday found that Alliance College-Ready Public Schools did not divert public funds intended for students on a nearly $1 million campaign to counter efforts by United Teachers Los Angeles to unionize its more than 600 teachers and counselors. The attempt to unionize the city’s largest charter management organization began more...
By Sarah Favot | April 13, 2017 3:03 pm
Exclusive: Charter school gives up the fight and will close after years of battling LAUSD for classroom space
A charter school that was repeatedly denied classroom space in its neighborhood by LA Unified is giving up the fight and will close in June. Westchester Secondary Charter School has operated in three sites during its four years and has never been granted district space in the west side community where its founding families and...
By Sarah Favot | April 5, 2017 7:23 pm
Black Girls 6 Times as Likely to Be Suspended as Whites. ‘Let Her Learn’ Looks to Reverse the Trend
High School Sophomore Wins Google Contest — and $30,000 Scholarship — With Diversity Doodle
The Political Parallels and Contradictions of the School Choice, Food Choice — Er, Food Stamps — Debate
New coalition will advocate for LAUSD’s unified enrollment system to include charter schools
LA Unified is preparing its first-ever unified enrollment system, but signs that it’s already running off the tracks have spurred an influential group of advocates to band together to make sure the final product is equitable and accessible to all. The biggest obstacle to success they cite is leaving out charter schools, which already educate...
By Sarah Favot | March 30, 2017 4:55 pm
All sides push for earlier inclusion of charters as LAUSD readies its Universal Enrollment site
LA Unified is preparing to launch this fall its new and easier way to apply to different kinds of schools within the district, but the system is not going to include charter schools. Not yet, anyway. And that’s not acceptable to stakeholders throughout the district, even those usually on opposite sides of the table. The Universal Enrollment...
By Mike Szymanski | March 1, 2017 1:01 pm
What’s behind the federal raids on Celerity?
Questions about Celerity Educational Group, a Los Angeles charter school management organization now under federal investigation, and its relationship with affiliated nonprofit entities have been probed by LA Unified for nearly a decade, according to public documents and school board meetings, and the concerns are widely thought to have prompted last month’s highly publicized raids by seven federal...
By Mike Szymanski | February 22, 2017 11:33 pm
Charter school parents advocate for their place in LA’s public education landscape
As the political rhetoric around charter schools heats up locally and nationally, Los Angeles charter school parents are not only defending their right to choose a school for their child but are now advocating for their place in the public education landscape. The shift was on display last week during two events in downtown Los...
By Sarah Favot | February 14, 2017 4:13 pm
Why did the feds raid Celerity charter, and what’s next?
*UPDATED Seven federal agencies united in a raid Wednesday in Los Angeles of a charter school network that oversees high-performing schools but had come under scrutiny for its financial and management practices. The raid of Celerity Educational Group, first reported by the Los Angeles Times, came after an investigation by LA Unified’s own Office of...
By Mike Szymanski | January 26, 2017 5:05 pm
Latino community celebrates as KIPP LA Prep is honored as a National Blue Ribbon School
Education leaders in Los Angeles along with families and members of the community of Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles on Thursday celebrated that one of their neighborhood’s schools — KIPP Los Angeles College Preparatory School (KIPP LA Prep) — has been named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. The National Blue...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | January 20, 2017 7:04 pm