LAUSD Board Votes Down Resolution to Limit Parent Choice
November 13, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board voted 2 - 4 to reject a resolution proposed by Board Member Steve Zimmer seeking to limit parent choice by curtailing the growth of charter public schools. More than 1,500 parents representing dozens of charter schools from across Los Angeles rallied in front of the LAUSD board room this morning to oppose the resolution.
Monica Garcia, President of the LAUSD board and Boardmember Tamar Galatzan addressed parents at the morning rally, affirming their commitment to parent choice and to supporting high-quality schools. Both voted against the resolution, as did Nury Martinez and Dr. Richard Vladovic. Zimmer and Bennett Kayser voted for the resolution and Marguerite LaMotte was absent during the vote.
"We're proud that the LAUSD board responded favorably to the parents who have shown the need and urgency in ensuring all families have access to high-quality school options," said Jed Wallace, president and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association.
Parents have submitted more than 2,000 signatures against this resolution since LAUSD board member Zimmer first introduced it in September and hundreds attended LAUSD board meetings in September and October to speak out against it.
"This should be about the kids and this resolution isn't about the kids," said Katrina George, a parent from Magnolia Science Academy, one of several parents who addressed the board.
"No child should be left behind," said Celia Galvan, a parent from Animo Western who said that before the school opened near her, she was prepared to get to the bus stop at 5:45 a.m. and take two busses each way to take her child to a another school. "That was my only choice."
Since introducing the resolution in September, Board member Zimmer made many revisions, including changing a moratorium on new charter schools to asking charter school leaders to voluntarily not submit any petitions for new charter schools. He also removed a proposed oversight committee and added language requesting a plan for how charter schools and district schools can share best practices.
Irene Sumida, executive director of Fenton Avenue Charter School told that board that charter leaders will not stop submitting petitions.
"As educators we have been called to open charters in response to the parents in our communities," said Sumida. "If this resolution were truly constructive, and offered with the best interests of all students in mind, we would be all for it. We have championed accountability and knowledge-sharing and best practices."
"Our existence benefits all students whether they attend district schools or charter schools," said Joe Lucente, a long-time charter school leader. "Don't fear us - embrace us."
Currently, more than 10,000 students are on wait lists for charter schools in Los Angeles. Charter schools have been growing in response to demand from parents for high-quality school options and have been making a difference in closing the achievement gap.
About the California Charter Schools Association
The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving 982 charter public schools and more than 412,000 students in the state of California. The Vision of the California Charter Schools Association is to usher in a new era in public education so all students attend independent, innovative, accountable schools of choice. The Mission of the California Charter Schools Association is to influence the legislative and policy environments, leverage collective advocacy, and provide resources to support our members in developing and operating high quality, charter schools reflective of California's student population. For more information, please visit www.ccsa.org.
About Families That Can
Families That Can is a statewide organization of charter school parents united to fight for high-quality public education choices and to be the voice for the children of California. Families that Can educates, empowers and mobilizes parents to hold our leaders accountable for ensuring every child has access to a high-quality public education. We advocate for quality public school choices, equitable treatment and resources for charter public schools, and the advancement and growth of successful charter schools. Learn more at www.familiesthatcan.org.
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