School Choice & Charters

Parents at Los Angeles Elementary School to Vote on Charter Proposal

By Michele Molnar — April 05, 2013 2 min read
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Parents at 24th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles will decide Tuesday, April 9 whether to approve a hybrid “Los Angeles Unified School District-independent charter” model of change to improve the struggling school, after their successful filing of a “parent trigger” petition on Jan. 17.

Under the proposal, endorsed by parent leaders at 24th Street Elementary, the Los Angeles district would continue to operate the school from kindergarten through 4th grade. Fifth through 8th graders would attend Crown Academy Preparatory, an independent charter that has been operating a middle school in excess space on the same campus for the past three years.

According to the Los Angeles Times’ story, the district has agreed to require all current staff members who work at 24th Street Elementary to reapply for their jobs. Parents will serve on the hiring committee.

The 68 percent of parents who signed the petition will have a say in the vote. They need not support the hybrid model. Other options on the ballot will be:

  • Letting LA Unified operate the school on its own;
  • Giving Crown the power to operate the entire school on its own; or,
  • Accepting the proposal submitted by Academia Moderna, another charter.

Located in the historic West Adams District of Los Angeles, 24th Street Elementary has approximately 650 students in a primarily Spanish-speaking neighborhood.

Parent Revolution, an organization that was instrumental in the passage of California’s parent-trigger law in 2010, will manage the election. Interestingly, the organizaton recently blogged about its appreciation for how the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) has conducted itself.

“From the beginning of the 24th Street Parents Unions campaign, UTLA has treated the parents, the process, and the law with respect. They deserve real credit for their actions in this regard, and we recognize and appreciate the professional nature in which they have approached this important effort,” the Parent Revolution blogger wrote. (No name is attached to the blog post.)

At the same time, the parents experienced no resistance from the Los Angeles school district administration, which met them with open arms when they delivered the petition.

This scenario contrasts with the protracted battles in Compton, Calif., where the trigger petition was tossed out on a technicality, and Adelanto, Calif., where Desert Trails Elementary parents ultimately chose a charter operator in October 2012.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the K-12 Parents and the Public blog.