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Charter School Will Not Move To Franklin Campus

The decision was made by LAICHS during a board meeting on Friday.

Citing concerns for student safety, Los Angeles International Charter High School (LAICHS) officials have rejected an offer from the district to move onto 's campus.

"We had a board meeting last Friday, we mulled it over, it was a long meeting, and [we] decided that were going to reject the offer," said Tony Torres, director of planning and development at LAICHS. "It's important to note that the offer was rejected for fear of safety of the students, also for the hostility that was created."

LAICHS applied to move onto Franklin's Campus through California Proposition 39, which, among other provisions, allows charters to operate on under-populated public school campuses.

"It was a good offer," Torres said, noting that LAICHS' annual rent would have dropped from $20,000 per-month to about $8,800.

LAICHS currently operates on the campus of Pacific Christian Academy on Coleman Avenue in Hermon.

However, while co-location would have been a good deal for LAICHS financially, opponents of the move argued that it would have further strained Franklin High School by adding to the workload of counselors and nurses.

Teachers and students at Franklin adamantly opposed the co-location effort, with United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) representative Monica Whalen and aimed at informing LAICHS faculty and students that they would not be welcome at Franklin.

Opponents also argued that co-location would cause Franklin students to be displaced, as the classroom space offered to LAICHS currently houses students in Franklin's Arroyo Seco Academy.

"I'm thrilled," Whalen said, who was informed of the news by phone during a UTLA meeting.

A round of applause rose from the meeting when Whalen announced the news to the membership.

"We have enough challenges and I want to make sure we focus on what our students need," she said. "This co-location would distract from that."

When asked about some of the language she used in protesting the co-location effort--which made it clear that LAICHS students would not be welcomed--Whalen said she had no regrets.

"I don't what them on my campus, because there would be less resources for my students," she said. "I think because students and staff were not asked if we want this relationship, I think it would be a resentful environment. I don't think there would have been violence, I don't think there would have been fights."

Torres said that LAICHS would likely apply for space on one of LAUSD's campuses again next year, and may even consider moving to Franklin. However, he said outreach efforts would be necessary.

"We don't know right now, but the offer was a good offer," he said. "If there wasn't any hostility, if there was a welcoming environment, if we had time to educate parents about it? We might consider it."

For her part, Whalen said she may be open to discussions.

"If they're going to pay for nurse, counselors and services, I'd be more open for them to be on campus," Whalen said.

Alice M. May 07, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Maybe now the Alliance Environmental Science and Technology High School - currently at Van de Kamps, but maybe soon homeless - will be offered the spare classrooms at Franklin. That charter school is 50 percent larger than LAICHES, and has even higher test scores apparently (among the highest in LAUSD).
ray May 07, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I recently LEFTED LAICHS its a LOW-BUGET school, i was "Told to leave" because i didn't want them to "confiscate" my cell phone (in which they hold for 1 WHOLE WEEK) the principle is very rude !!! Ms. Escobedo is VERY rude she questioned my parents parenting skills because they didn't want to hand over my phone. IM TRULY HAPPY THEY REJECTED THE OFFER THE BEST THING IS LAICHS SHOULD CLOSE DOWN AND NOT BE A "CHARTER SCHOOL" horrible SCHOOL !!!!
Elijah H May 08, 2012 at 07:16 PM
All of this hostility toward charters... remember that it's largely your neighbors who are sending their kids there. Neighbors who contribute to neighborhood schools too. Creating an adversarial atmosphere and a negative impression among a sizable share of community parents does nothing to help the students at the schools you're attempting to "protect".
Karla Johnson May 18, 2012 at 05:43 AM
Susan - I didn't realize you worked at Franklin.
Susan R May 18, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Karla, I do not work at Franklin.

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