LA charter schools could suffer ‘devastating’ consequences under new GOP tax bill
When KIPP Academy of Opportunity in Los Angeles opened its doors at the start of this school year, its 400 students were, for the first time in several years, all under one roof. The school opened in 2003, but Los Angeles’s tight real estate market forced the network to split the students, fifth- through eighth-graders,...
By Carolyn Phenicie | November 21, 2017
LA charter schools win policy changes that give them more clarity, avoid most denials
LA Unified officials and school board members put politics aside Tuesday, agreeing to long-sought policy changes for charter schools and paving the way for unanimous board votes that ended up saving about a dozen independent charter schools from denials. The changes to the rules that govern charter schools and who can make those changes will...
By Sarah Favot | November 7, 2017
Most charters were approved Tuesday, but here are the 3 that were turned down
*UPDATED Although the LA Unified Charter Division staff and school board approved last-minute wording that saves about a dozen other charter schools, three charters were rejected at Tuesday’s board meeting by unanimous votes. A military institute that shares space at Sun Valley High School, a 6-12 school that has a higher-than-average enrollment of special education students,...
By Mike Szymanski | November 7, 2017
JUST IN: Late-breaking deal may reverse most denials of charter schools
A late-breaking deal between LA Unified officials and charter school leaders may result in staff reversing their recommendations of denial for 11 independent charter schools. KPCC reported late Monday that three unidentified sources confirmed the deal prior to Tuesday morning’s school board meeting where board members are to vote on the petitions of 34 charter schools. The...
By Mike Szymanski | November 7, 2017
Most charters facing LAUSD denials on Tuesday are outperforming their peers
Students at the majority of the charter schools that could be turned down Tuesday by LA Unified’s school board are performing academically above their peers in nearby schools. But that’s not what Tuesday’s debate will likely be about. State law says that student academic achievement is the most important factor in determining whether charter school...
By Sarah Favot | November 6, 2017
Commentary: Nick Melvoin and Kelly Gonez need to take the lead now in changing the caustic divisions in LAUSD around charter schools
On November 7, Los Angeles Unified’s two newest board members will face early tests of their commitment to changing the district’s culture as it relates to how it views and relates to the charter schools it authorizes. The LAUSD staff is recommending the board vote to close highly successful, existing charter schools serving thousands of...
By Chris Bertelli | November 6, 2017
LA charter schools risk denials by LAUSD rather than accept ‘bureaucratic demands’
*UPDATED An unprecedented number of charter school petitions could be denied next week because Los Angeles charter leaders are standing up against district policies they say require increasing amounts of time and money to satisfy and take away resources from the classroom. While the district says the policies are needed to hold charter schools accountable, a...
By Mike Szymanski and Sarah Favot | November 2, 2017
LA charter is closing the ‘savvy gap’ for poor and immigrant students through high school internships
High school seniors at Academia Avance, an independent public charter school in northeast Los Angeles, show up to school looking like they’re headed to work. That’s because they are. Three days a week, all students in the senior class head off to internships where they are mentored by medical, legal, and business professionals. “Privileged kids...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | October 23, 2017
Documents: Here are Ref Rodriguez’s checks and the conflict-of-interest complaint against him
Partnerships to Uplift Communities, the charter school network co-founded by school board member Ref Rodriguez, released 109 pages of documents Wednesday relating to its conflict-of-interest complaint filed against Rodriguez. PUC alleges that Rodriguez illegally authorized $285,000 in payments to nonprofit organizations he oversaw during his tenure at PUC, as first reported Monday by the Los Angeles Times....
By Sarah Favot | October 18, 2017
Charter schools are negotiating with LAUSD on major revisions to school renewal petitions
* UPDATE For the first time since LA Unified began authorizing independent charter schools, a charter school coalition is asking for major revisions in language and restrictions in their school petitions. And the school district seems more open than ever to making those compromises. Both sides say the changes are not aimed at increasing the...
By Mike Szymanski | October 17, 2017