Los Angeles Unified Limits Charter Schools Sharing Campuses With District Schools

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Los Angeles Unified Limits Charter Schools Sharing Campuses With District Schools

A Los Angeles Unified School District bus in Los Angeles on Sept. 29, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

9/28/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

The Los Angeles Unified School District has approved a new resolution that would place limits on charter schools sharing campuses with the district’s public schools.
District schools are required to share campuses with charter schools under Proposition 39, a law passed in 2000.
However, citing concerns that sharing a campus with a charter school takes away resources from the district’s schools, the district’s school board approved a resolution on Sept. 26 that would ban charter schools from co-locating on campuses with large numbers of high-needs students—including those who are a part of the district’s Black Student Achievement Plan.
The resolution directs Superintendent Alberto Carvalho to develop a report within 45 days that proposes a policy that is consistent with Proposition 39’s legal obligations.
“At its core, this resolution is simply directing the district to develop a clear, accountable and transparent charter school co-location policy,” school board member Rocío Rivas said in a Sept. 26 statement. “Increased clarity and transparency about the co-location process is the first step toward equitable distribution of resources for all students.”
In the same statement, district officials expressed concern that co-location of charter schools created a “charter school pipeline” that encourages students to leave the district’s public schools to enroll in them.
There are currently more than 270 active charter schools with more than 112,000 students enrolled in LAUSD, according to the state’s Education Department.
In addition, charter schools in the district have seen an enrollment increase of about 1 percent per year since 2018, according to education database EdData.
The new resolution will not affect any existing charter schools, according to district officials, but only new charter schools applying for co-locations going forward.
However, the California Charter Schools Association pointed out that the resolution doesn’t mention any provisions for existing charter schools that must reapply for their locations each year.
Students on their lunch break at Hollywood High School in Los Angeles on April 27, 2021. (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Students on their lunch break at Hollywood High School in Los Angeles on April 27, 2021. (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

“Even though the board members say that this will not have an impact on current schools, the resolution does not explicitly protect charter public schools that have to reapply for space with the district each year,” the association’s president, Myrna Castrejón, said in a Sept. 26 statement.
She added that the resolution “could have a devastating impact on thousands of charter public school students enrolled on campuses across Los Angeles Unified.”
Ms. Castrejón said the association will reach out to Mr. Carvalho to “work collaboratively on solutions that support inclusivity and educational excellence across Los Angeles Unified.”
“We need to improve district policies collaboratively, ensuring that we make informed decisions that truly serve our students’ best interests,” she said. “This misguided attempt to place a blanket exclusion on public school campuses severely limits the ability of Superintendent Carvalho to enact policies that take into account the specific needs of a community. Rather than limit options, the focus must be on enhancing the quality and breadth of public education opportunities.”
Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

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Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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