Teacher’s Union Sues LAUSD Over Plan for Charter Schools

UTLA says District plan violates state Education Code.

By EGP News Service

The union representing Los Angeles Unified School District teachers announced the filing of a lawsuit Monday accusing the district of failing to comply with state requirements before converting schools to charter campuses.

At a news conference at Garfield High School, members of United Teachers Los Angeles said the state Education Code requires the approval of a majority of permanent teachers before schools like Garfield and the new Esteban Torres High School can be turned into charters.

The petition asks for a court order directing the LAUSD to comply with the Education Code.

The plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit were UTLA and a group of LAUSD teachers from Garfield as well as 28th Street Elementary School, Pio Pico Span School and Foshay Learning Center.

“Public schools belong to the community,” UTLA President A.J. Duffy said. “Especially at new schools, it is important for parents, teachers and the community to see stability in the form of teachers who they know are committed to their school and community.”

Garfield and Torres high schools are among 36 new and existing schools included in a Public School Choice Resolution passed by the Board of Education for the 2010-11 school year that puts their operations out to bid by third parties, according to the suit.

Monica Garcia, president of the LAUSD Board of Education, said the School Choice program is designed to provide options for the operation of low-performing campuses. She said no schools will be automatically converted to charters as the result of the program.

“We are facing a crisis in our classrooms and in our district,” Garcia said. “We need adults to work together for our students. The status quo is not working for too many young people. That is why I am so excited about the Public School Choice Program.”

Final applications from organizations interested in operating schools are due in January, with a vote expected by the school board in February.

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December 28, 2009  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


2 Responses to “Teacher’s Union Sues LAUSD Over Plan for Charter Schools”

  1. Stephen C on December 29th, 2009 5:46 am

    Someone needs to step in. I hear the board whine, then approve every charter school they see. I don’t get it. The board always says they have no choice. If the charter qualifies, they MUST approve it. Then why even have a vote? Why not make every school a charter? Yeah! That’s solve everything. The school board has never seen a charter school they didn’t like. How about if the school board takes a stand, and says no more charters? Let people sue. Get it done and done, once and for all. If not, the gap between “good” and “bad” schools will be forever wider.

  2. Frank Simpkins on January 10th, 2010 12:54 pm

    School transformation projects like the one at Locke High are professing to be the cure-all solution for eliminating the nation’s horrendous Academic Achievement Gap between the mainstream and non-mainstream, Black and Latino inner-city school populations. These charter schools are required to accept all students within the school’s service area. What happens to a large percentage of these students who are, at-risk, low-achievers. The policy of charter schools seems to be “keep the best and get rid of the rest”. Those students who, according to the latest data from the National Assesment of Education (NAEP) test, which indicate that 63% of Black , inner-city 4th graders and 58% of urban Latino 4th graders are unable to demonstrate a basic proficiency in reading. Additional data from NAEP, shows that the average 12th grade Black and hispanic student;’s proficiency and basic skill is roughly the same as the average White 8th grader. These students will become charter school throwaways, lost in the shuffle! This dramatic difference between achievement levels between Black /Latino Students and white students can be interpreted as the end results of the cumulative deficit. The most critical educational problem confronting educators, researchers and policy makers today is how to break the vicious cycle of the cumulative deficit–how to to close the Black/ Latino and White test score gap! (” Between the Rhetoric and Reality”, Lauriat Press, 2009).

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