Charter Still Weighing LAUSD's Offer to Move to Franklin

LAICHS has disputed some of Monica Whalen's claims.

The Los Angeles Unified School District has offered classroom space at to Los Angeles International Charter High School (LAICHS), but the charter has yet to decide whether to accept the offer, said planning and development director Tony Torres. 

"I can tell you that it is an okay offer," Torres said. "The classrooms would all be grouped together, which is something we would want."

, LAICHS applied to operate in Franklin's empty classrooms through California Proposition 39 in November.

Among other provisions that allowed for the funding of public school building projects, Prop. 39 requires public school districts to take applications from charter schools to operate in open classroom space in their buildings.

Torres said LAICHS has until May 1 to accept the offer; the school is still undecided.

"We're not sure if the time is right for us," Torres said. "We'd also have a parent meeting before we made any decision."

LAICHS currently operates on a campus located at 625 Coleman Ave. in Hermon.

On Monday, Franklin teacher and United Teachers Los Angeles representative Monica Whalen said LAICHS faculty and students would not be welcomed at the high school.

Whalen has authored a petition expressing the union's opposition to the possible co-location.

The petition, which had 253 signatures as of 4 p.m. on Monday, can be found here.

"We want to make them know they're not going to be welcome," Whalen said.

Whalen said the co-location of LAICHS students onto Franklin's campus 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.

Torres disputed some of Whalen's claims. He said that LAICHS can only enroll 400 students and already had 250 students signed up.

"We are not a threat to them," Torres said.

He added that that Whalen's assertion that LAICHS' students would be a financial burden on Franklin were untrue.

"They're not just going to give us Franklin's facilities," Torres said. "We have to pay rent, we have to pay for janitorial services, we have to pay for cafeteria  services. We have to pay for any of the costs associated with running a school."

Torres added that he feared that the language in Whalen's petition would create a hostile environment for students.

"We've been the quiet side in this negotiation," Torres said. "I found some of the comments in the petition interesting. We just don't want there to be any hostility toward our students."

Asked if she feared that her petition might create a hostile environment for charter students, Whalen said she did not wish violence on anybody.

"I don't want anything hostile to happen to the kids," Whalen said.

She added: "You have this group, they're coming to our campus and they are not welcome. They are forcing themselves on us."

Krystal Selina Gutierrez March 29, 2012 at 04:29 AM
To Monica Whalen/Franklin administrators/Staff/UTLA, Enough is enough. I’m actively aware of the statements you have been releasing to reporters Ms. Whalen commenting things such as “You have this group, they’re coming to our campus and they are not welcome, they’re forcing themselves on us.” Ms. Whalen we’re not forcing anything and this “group” are students who are in school to learn, we are not a group of hoodlums rioting the streets of Highland Park. Why would a student be a burden to a school? I don’t appreciate the statements you have made to reporters. Surely, you are aware that students are reading articles and are being harassed on facebook. My classmates are becoming victims of cyber bullying and the adults are the sources. I’ve lived in Highland Park/Hermon my whole life and I have never felt unwanted or unsafe until now. Franklin has unoccupied classrooms, Franklin is a place of education correct? Use those classrooms, occupy them, broaden minds in them, don’t lock them up and deprive them light and laughter. ...Continuation beneath
Krystal Selina Gutierrez March 29, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Ms. Whalen you should use your gift of instruction on matters of less destruction, but instead you are influencing impressionable young minds on battles need not be fought. If we do not occupy the space another school will because by law Franklin as well as any other public schools are required “to take applications from charter schools to operate in open classroom space in their buildings.” Too quick to forget Franklin made the offer, all LAICHS did was ask. “We want to make them know they’re not going to be welcome” Whalen. I know, thank you for putting it out there so publically that I am not welcome at Franklin because I am nothing more than a burden. Do you think this is okay? I read your statements and feel antagonized. You’re claiming that I would be a “burden.” I’m reading your statements Ms Whalen as well as all of the hostile, rude, disrespectful threats and arguments on facebook. I hope you realize that your words have cut deep and are affecting innocent children who know little about what the big guys are negotiating. You put my safety in danger and took my peace of mind; I would hope that you do not allow for it to go any further. ...Continuation Beneath
Krystal Selina Gutierrez March 29, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Furthermore, Franklin isn’t handing us anything. If LAICHS chooses the move to Franklin nothing is going to be free; don’t give Franklin student body the impression that we are in need of foster or hand outs. LAICHS is doing something right if you see us as a threat. This whole deal has become bureaucracy, dollar bills are now motive and not the children. Ms. Whalen you chose to become a teacher and not a politician. Classrooms are built to be filled with eager students ready to learn and not with some broken desks and outdated books accumulating dust. Franklin students have been given the impression that Franklin staff is going to lose their job “LAICHS is seriously not a good school your school is just gonna mess Franklin up.” “The thing is they are firing a lot of our teachers and u guys are just taking advantage.”Please enlighten your student body so the fighting between students can stop now. You’ve caused enough harm and uneasiness with your obvious thought out statements to reporters. I truly hope you read this Monica Whalen so you can begin damage control. Respectfully, Krystal Gutierrez
Jon March 29, 2012 at 05:03 AM
In theory, I support the academic competition that Charter schools provide, especially if the end result is improved academic enrichment and API outcomes. However, the concept of co-location seems to be a short-sided idea conceived in a political vacuum. Case in point, the relationship between the LAUSD Pilot Schools and the Charters at Sonia Sotomayor is tense and flawed. It is not tense due to a clash of cultures as you would imagine. It is tense from an administrative and logistical standpoint. Apparently, the terms and conditions of the site agreement provides the Charters too much flexibility with their funding obligations. For example, they refuse to pay for essential shared resources and staff such as a nurse, custodial staff, and an athletic coordinator to name a few. Their plan for addressing routine student injuries or illnesses is quote “we will call 911.” Their refusal to pay their fair share places an added strain on the already stretched Pilot School budgets. This is an issue that hurts the Pilot Schools’ ability to operate efficiently and effectively and adds tension to the site dynamics; issues that Franklin may soon share in common. The agreement should clearly delineate the financial responsibilities of both sides to equally fund shared resources. It should also have provisions in place to hold accountable any deviations from it. Again, the concept of co-location is viable in theory, but the reality is troublesome. Food for thought Franklin.
Rene Diedrich April 22, 2012 at 09:39 AM
I appreciate your approach to this but have to wonder is these charters are really just Lausd ringers placed to appease laws he philanthropists moved into place toninsurevprovatization took hold. They never intended to allow charters any permanent stature and that's inherent in the spirit of sharing space. While I am a teacher and parent in another area of LAUSD , I was very appallled baby the cavalier attitude everyone took with student's facing the displacement of their SLC , these kids clearly feel connected to that and isn't that what we want to see? Yet time and time again Lausd stomps all over success and our students to serve an agenda that has nothing to do with either. Ps which is true? The space is unused or it vbelongs to an academybfromnFtankllin?


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