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New Rules Will Require Schools to Offer More Space to Charters

The new rules will require public schools to consider supplemental facilities when offering classroom space to charter schools.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is prepared to fight a decision handed down Superior Court on Wednesday requiring them to set aside more classroom space and facilities for charter school students, the Los Angeles Times reports.

According to the Times, the decision by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Terry Green would require traditional public schools to take into account computer labs, special education classrooms, parent centers and other supplemental facilities when determining how much space they can offer to charter schools.

"On Tuesday, the district asked the court to reconsider its decision. The school system is also preparing an appeal," according to The Times.

California's Proposition 39 requires public school districts to provide charter schools with facilities roughly equivalent to those of public schools. Among its provisions is one that requires districts to offer unused public school campus space to charters.

Currently, public schools determine how much space they can offer to charters based only on how much classroom space they have to offer.

Charter school co-location became a hot topic in Highland Park during the spring when Los Angeles International Charter High School (LAICHS) in Hermon on the campus of .

According to teachers at Franklin, students in the high school's Arroyo Seco Academy magnet to charter students in LAICHS accepted LAUSD's co-location offer.

Monica Whalen, teachers union representative at Franklin, 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.

LAICS eventually , however, citing fears that protests by Franklin students and teachers leading up to the decision portended a hostile environment for charter school students.

While charters are technically public schools, they operate with much greater independence form LAUSD rules and regulations compared to traditional public schools.

According to the Times, Wednesday's decision is unlikely to have an immediate impact on LAUSD campuses, as only five charter schools are likely to reconsider offers based on the newer, more generous formula.

However, as charter school enrollment expands in the coming years, it is likely that more co-location battles loom.

When Whalen learned that no charters would be moving to the school in 2012/13 she heralded it as a victory, albeit a short-lived one.

At the time of the decision, LAICHS Director of Planning and Development Tony Torres said the school was likely to apply for space at Franklin again next year.

"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," Torres said.

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.

Elijah H July 13, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Just as an example, try to contemplate the existence of the "Corporation for Public Broadcasting". Is it a Corporation? Yes. Is it a non-profit? Yes. Does it operate under governmental control? Yes. Is it Public? If not, someone needs to sue them for false advertising!
Shawn Richardson July 13, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Actually Elijah, the Corporation for Public Broadcast is a private entity that was created by an act of Congress. It is almost entirely funded by congress but it is still a private entity. Charter schools are also private entities that are funded by government. But just like a private non-profit can promote public broadcasting, a private non-profit can promote public education. Either way, the whole argument is a red herring trying to associate charters not with public education, which they are providing, but with private education and its elitist associations.
Elijah H July 14, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Agree that it's a complete non-issue, but even you're conceding that it is somehow a "private entity", which is not the case. It is a "public-benefit nonprofit corporation", completely dependent on and controlled by the government agency that created it.
Elijah H July 14, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Other examples of nonprofit public benefit corporations: The USPS, and MTA. Hardly "private entities" in any reasonable interpretation of the term "private", and neither are charters.
Anonymous Net. July 24, 2012 at 08:00 AM
All of the above sounds like the heckles of bullies and opportunists trying to justify their cause and line their pockets! ... It's all about the money...right? Of course it is, that why parents want better schools for their kids; and that is why this privatization movement is heated. $$$$$ ... It doesn't matter where it comes from, we all need it. $$$$$ . Let's not lie about... Everyone has a mortgage, expenses, and a duty to provide for themselves or their family!!! No rhetoric needed!!!

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