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Confusion Surrounds Co-Location at Franklin

The district on Tuesday approved spending more than $10 million for 51 charter school renovation projects, one of which would create classroom space for California Academy of Liberal Studies at Franklin High school.

It appears that a charter school could be moving on 's campus after all, according to a report released by the Los Angeles Unified School District on Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education on Tuesday approved allocating more than $10 million in Measures K, R and Y funds to pay for 51 co-location renovation projects, which would provide facilities for charter school students on LAUSD campuses.

Among the projects approved was $450,000 to create eight new classrooms and a new office on Franklin's campus for students from California Academy of Liberal Studies (CALS), which is currently located near Downtown.

The board approved the motion 8-0, with five members abstaining.

According to the board report, CALS currently enrolls 227 students.

As of Thursday afternoon, teachers and administrators at both Franklin High School and CALS were reacting with a mixture of surprise and confusion the board's action. 

Los Angeles International Charter School (LAICHS), located in on Coleman Avenue in nearby Hermon, had originally applied to operate on Franklin's campus through California Prop. 39, which states that "district facilities should be shared fairly among all public school students, including those in charter schools."

Prop. 39 also requires that the facilities provided to charter school students be roughly equivalent to those used by public school students.

LAICHS turned down the offer to move to Franklin due to fears that the campus would provide a

According to CALS founder Ref Rodriguez, the charter school had listed Franklin as a potential co-location destination on its Prop. 39 application, but had never received a formal offer from LAUSD.

"Franklin was named, but the last thing we heard from LAUSD was an offer to move onto a campus in the Pacoima area, which we refused," Rodriguez said. "Communications with the district on Proposition 39 isn't very clear."

Monica Whalen, the United Teachers of Los Angeles Representative at Franklin High School and the most vocal opponent of LAICHS co-location effort, said nobody, including Principal Joseph Nacorda had been informed of LAUSD's offer to CALS until Thursday afternoon.

"I had no idea this was happening, I got this from a union person," Whalen said, referring to LAUSD motion authorizing fund to prepare district campuses for charter schools. "And my principal had never seen this. There's  no communication."

Rodriquez, who lives in Northeast L.A., said he was aware of the tension between LAICHS and Franklin, and had not desire to repeat it with CALS.

"We in no way want to be perceived as if we are taking away things the community wants or needs," he said. "We know the perception in the community. Our position is that we want great schools for all kids, whether they come from a LAUSD school or a charter school. If Franklin's campus is one that makes sense for us and the community, then we would be happy to be engaged and on that campus, but if its perceived that we're taking away facilities that are  things the schools need, we don't want to have any part of that."

Alice M. May 11, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Looks like for the local UTLA "mafia" this is now going to become a game of "whack-a-mole" ... knock one charter down, and LAUSD will move another one into its place. There are about a dozen within the Franklin service area. One way or the other, the Beaudry bosses are going to fill up those empty spaces. Get used to it.
Shawn Richardson May 11, 2012 at 03:44 PM
It sounds like LAUSD principals are learning that the schools aren't their personal kingdoms, just minor baronies.
X&4PAC May 11, 2012 at 05:18 PM
My child attends LAICHS and I was very disgusted at LAUSD students, their parents and now I find out the UTLA was in on this protest; to see their negativity and display of hate toward our students. I am a product of LAUSD and times have changed; but regardless, it's supposed to be about the kids. Thank you Franklin and it's community for showing their negative nature; bullying technique to intimidate the students at LAICHS. I am a proud taxpayer to public schools and very much upset at this outburst; the public's money is supporting the schools and it's faculty not this Monica character who doesn't see "it's for the children"; and not for her personally. Very arrogant and ignorant person in my view!!!
JRuiz May 31, 2012 at 06:38 AM
No, i am a junior at franklin, I would not appreciate a new school wanting to come to my school. Many people would suffer, many clubs would have to move locations on campus. In my solar cup club, we could have to carry a 200+ boat across the bridge to a new room, if we get one. This is bad luck! Someone school leaves out of fear and another comes to try and commit new tension. Franklin is improving, it has been since the arrival of Mr. Nacorda, who I have not had a chance to speak with, but i am extremely grateful for, he is the best we have ever had. This charter moving in would cause tension between students, causing fight and what not. i highly disagree with Lausd's choice to do this without faculty, staff, and especially student notification. After all, it is my and my peers education, this is not a game but it sure is being treated and handled as if it were a game.
JRuiz May 31, 2012 at 06:48 AM
madness, how would you feel if Franklin was trying to come to your child's school, especially with a lot of new changes coming ahead? Hatred? No, it is just that this new moving in is not appreciated, not in a time when we dont have sufficient teachers, and where teachers get fire and we have to have subs day in and day out. How would your school benefit me in my education at Franklin? Our problems have to be solved first to be able to help other schools, such as LAICHS. Monica is a wholesome person and educator. She is doing this to help out our school and increase performance by my peers.

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