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Charter School Association Accuses Franklin Teacher of 'Harassment'

LAICHS says they are unlikely to accept the district's co-location offer.

Following a protest outside Los Angeles International Charter High School held by teachers and students on Friday, March 30, lawyers for the California Charter School Association (CCSA) sent a letter to the Los Angeles Unified School district demanding that they put an end to the "harassing" behavior or face legal action.

The letter--sent last week by CCSA lawyers Latham & Watkins to LAUSD counsel--states that the protest , were "counter to the spirit of [California Prop. 39]," which requires the district to make open classroom space available for rent to charter schools.

"We are alerting you to these incidents to put LAUSD on notice that if the hostilities do not stop, and if LAUSD fails to take action to prevent its employees from harassing charter school students and teachers, CCSA will have no choice but to seek judicial relief," the correspondence states.

Los Angeles International Charter High School (LAICHS) is currently in the process of

The charter school first applied through Prop. 39 to move onto Franklin's campus in November, a move Whalen has argued would limit student access to gym and library facilities, burden staff with added administrative tasks and open the school to increased competition from the charter.

The move would also , which uses the bungalows for classrooms, computer labs and storage space.

In response to the potential move, Whalen authored a petition expressing the union's opposition to the potential move. As of Wednesday, it had 403 signatures.

"We want to make them know they're not going to be welcome," Whalen told Patch in a previous interview.

However, Whalen disputed the claims in the letter which stated that Franklin students were throwing rocks or blocking the entrance to LAICHS.

"We showed up in the morning and stood across the street and waved," she said "We held a big sign that said 'Join Franklin.' The cops drove right by us and didn't do anything."

She also denied that any students were offered extra credit to take part in the protest.

"Teachers were told not to offer extra credit, and they didn't," Whalen said. "When we asked students why they took part, they said it was because they wanted to keep Franklin whole."

She also scoffed at the notion that her petition violated provisions of Prop. 39 that require public schools to offer their facilities "in good faith."

"Do I want to share by counselors with a charter school? Do I want a learning community to be displaced? No. But I can't stop anybody from coming here. I don't wish violence on anyone," she said. "I'm just one person, I can't stop them from doing anything."

Tactics May Be Working for Franklin

Tony Torres--planning and development director for LAICHS--told Patch that students were "shaken" by the protest.

"There's a concern for safety among the students," Torres said.

He said LAICHS was "probably going to turn the offer down" despite the significant decrease in rent they would pay should they move to Franklin. He declined to discuss the financial details of the offer.

"We're still going to run it by students, teachers and faculty, but we've already heard from them," Torres.

LAICHS is required to respond to LAUSD's offer by May 1. Their lease at their current location at 625 Coleman Avenue doesn't expire until 2020.

Torres said the charter school's likely plan moving forward would be to reapply for Franklin's available classroom space next year, while attempting to bring "a sense of calm" to relationship between the two schools in the meantime.

BT April 16, 2012 at 08:30 AM
Rene...I have a plane You teachers STOP PASSING STUDENTS TO THE NEXT GRADE LEVEL IF THEY DO NOT QUALIFY FOR ADVISEMENT! If YOU the teachers in the classroom continue this process of advancing this state’s K -12 students to the next grade level knowing they do not meet standards, we will continue to rank 49th.
Susan R April 16, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Special Education is a scam. Yes, there are some students that definately need it. But there are a lot that do not. Many, many students are just put into special education because they are board or do not want to sit down in their seat or because they daydream. That is why I say that Special Education is such a scam. It is putting a label on a kid that they can NEVER get rid of. So, be careful and not put your kid into special education. We are losing lots of students to special education, when there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. There is little or no teaching in these special education classrooms. The schools are wasting millions of dollars on school psychologists and teachers aids and special education programs that do ABSOLUTELY nothing. And, students do not have to go get illegal drugs. They line up at the school nurses office to get the "legal" ones. Big money and big bucks. Biggest scam in the world. Where is all the money for the schools? In the pockets of drug companies and school psychologist and special education programs. Waste, waste, waste. All the LAUSD knows how to do is waste money. Wasted money and no education, that's LAUSD. Too many paper pushers and too much money for pensions. There is plenty of money. There is just too much waste.
Alan April 17, 2012 at 04:36 AM
Here is the API report for Benjamin Franklin Senior High School: http://api.cde.ca.gov/Acnt2011/2011GrowthSch.aspx?allcds=19647331933043 Every teacher at Benjamin Franklin knows: That for every 35 students (it is 35-1 ratio) that leave for a charter means that one of them will get laid off. There is a glut of unionized teachers already laid off. Any teacher still at Franklin is senior (all the junior teachers were already laid off as the parents/children fled the school). No charter will likely hire a senior unionized teacher laid off from a failing school. Therefore if they get laid off they will not find another teaching job. Charters look at their schools as better helping children learn. Unionized teachers view charters as threatening their livelihood. Both sides are correct, and Charters need to understand this and deal with them accordingly.
Anonymous Net. April 30, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Folks, do some research. LAICHS is an interesting case! very very interesting!
Rene Diedrich May 01, 2012 at 06:45 AM
Susan, I doubt the schools Teachers are hiding anything. They may feel defensive because the scores are so low,but I don't believe that the scores are accurate.mwhile cheating in reverse sounds weird it icannserve the district's purpose when it comes to charte schools. I don't blame the charter but displacing the SLC and early childhood center is just wrongl

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