Employees of Charter Group Raided By FBI Among Funders of Mónica García's Campaign

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Federal agents raided the offices of a network of Los Angeles charter schools Wednesday as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of fraud and fiscal mismanagement.

- Los Angeles Times, 1/25/17


Exempting charters “from many of the regulations that govern traditional schools” was supposed to be a way to remove barriers to innovation. Unfortunately, this also provided a way unscrupulous operators to profit from education funds. As an example, the principal of El Camino Real Charter High School got caught charging “first-class airfare and luxury hotel rooms” and personal charges on his school credit card was “punished” with a $215k severance payout. Granada Hills Charter High School made unauthorized transfers from its Associated Student Body bank account. The latest example may be the Celerity Educational Group, which was raided today by federal agents.

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PRESS RELEASE: Once Again, Mónica García Fails to Get a Democratic Endorsement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 23, 2017
Contact: Carl Petersen
(818) 869-0309

The Stonewall Democratic Club voted tonight to provide “No Endorsement” in the LAUSD District 2 Board Race

A week after failing to secure the endorsement of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, incumbent Mónica García was rejected tonight by the Stonewall Democratic Club. Instead of supporting her re-election, the club, one of “the largest Democratic Clubs in California”, voted to provide “No Endorsement” in the race.

“While Mónica García is spending thousands of dollars to include herself on voter guides that claim that they represent Democrats, the truth is she has yet to show that she has the support of the grassroots activists of the Democratic party”, said Carl Petersen, one of García’s opponents in the March election. “The Stonewall Democratic Club is a strong voice against discrimination and I applaud the membership for not rewarding a candidate who has a history of attacking students who are in the special needs community.

In comparison, Petersen has included keeping the special education centers open as part of his proposals to Improve Special Education within the LAUSD. He is endorsed by Scott Gerber, the former Special Education Representative for UTLA, Network for Public Education (NPE) Action, the North Valley Democratic Club and Nancy Pearlman, a Los Angeles Community College District Trustee.

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I am a parent, special education advocate and a candidate in LAUSD’s District 2. I am endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action and Diane Ravitch called me a “strong supporter of public schools.” For additional information, please visit www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com

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PRESS RELEASE: LAUSD Incumbent Fails to Get the Endorsement of Her Party

Los Angeles County Democratic Party voted tonight to provide “No Endorsement” in the LAUSD District 2 Board Race

Incumbents can usually expect the support of their party when they run for reelection. However, after ten years on the LAUSD Board, Mónica García was unable to inspire the confidence of her fellow Los Angeles County Democrats. Tonight the party delegates accepted on a consensus vote the Endorsement Committee’s recommendation of “No Endorsement”.

“If Democrats learn one thing from the November election it should be that when we abandon Democratic values, the voters will abandon us”, said Carl Petersen, one of García’s opponents in the March election. “Mónica García’s support of the privatization of education is almost identical to the policies of Trump and DeVos. I applaud the LACDP delegates for not rewarding a candidate who threatens the future of public education with an unquestioning support of charters, even ones that are failing their students.”

In comparison, Petersen supports the NAACP’s resolution calling for a “moratorium on charter school expansion and for the strengthening of oversight”. He is endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action and the North Valley Democratic Club.

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I am a parent, special education advocate and a candidate in LAUSD’s District 2. I am endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action and Diane Ravitch called me a “strong supporter of public schools.” For additional information, please visit www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com


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A Failing Charter Gets a Pass

 

We cannot truly have the impact charters were intended to have - to reinvent public education - if we do not close those charters that have demonstrated an inability to meet the challenge of excellence and chronically underperform.

- California Charter School Association (CCSA)

According to the statistics provided by the CCSA, View Park Middle School (VPMS) appears to be accelerating towards failure. In 2015, the charter’s Similar Students Rank was a mediocre four out of ten. Last year, it dropped to a one out of ten. Included in a “Findings of Fact” dated January 10, 2017, the LAUSD Charter School Division (CSD) noted that, on the 2014-15 SBAC assessment, only 5% of VPMS’ students met or exceeded the performance standards in math. In 2015-2016, this dropped to 3%. In both years, 0% of students with disabilities met or exceeded these standards. These statistics are part of the reason that the CSD found that VPMS “has presented an unsound educational program” and recommended that the LAUSD Board deny its renewal petition. With a 4-3-0 vote, the Board ignored this recommendation and the charter will continue to operate.

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LA’s special ed challenge: Integrating students at younger ages without putting special education centers at risk

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PRESS RELEASE: LAUSD Candidate Earns Key Endorsement

Carl Petersen called “well qualified” and “committed to the ideals of NPE Action.”

Carl J. Petersen, a candidate for LAUSD District 2 has received one of the endorsements from Network for Public Education (NPE) Action. NPE Action is a national advocacy group that was co-founded by Diane Ravitch, a former Assistant Secretary of Education, and Anthony Cody “to fight to preserve, promote, improve and strengthen our public school system, an essential institution in a democratic society.”

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The Long Shadow of John Deasy

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

- George Santayana

It has been more than two years since LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy was forced to resign in disgrace. Unfortunately, the legacy that he has left for the District’s students echoes into the present day. After spending at least $189 million on the “disastrous” MiSiS computer system, there are still reports of problems with its functionality. His $1.3 billion failed iPad program wasted scarce education dollars as the District faces bankruptcy. The culture of bullying that Deasy propagated may end up costing the District $1 billion and the opportunity for outside lawyers to rack up plenty of billable hours.

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LAUSD Schools Face Bankruptcy While Charters Cheat on Admissions

Through admissions policies that exclude vulnerable students by erecting various barriers to entry, charter schools have the potential to create a two-tiered system of public education.

- ACLU and Public Advocates

The LAUSD Charter School Division (CSD) says that “a review of charter school pre- and post-enrollment forms is part of our oversight process”.  It is, therefore, unclear how these regulators missed the fact that both Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) and El Camino Real Charter High School (ECRCHS) have admission requirements that appear to violate LAUSD policy, their respective charters, the California Education Code and federal law. These organizations rely on public funds to operate but appear to be screening out students who should have a right to attend. Some examples of this cherry-picking are as follows:

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2017 is an Election Year in Los Angeles

Bad officials are the ones elected by good citizens who do not vote.”

- George Jean Nathan

The March 7, election covers the offices of Mayor, City Controller and City Attorney, odd-numbered City Council seats, and even-numbered seats on the LAUSD School Board Community College Board of Trustees. In the 2013 first-round municipal election in Los Angeles, only 21 percent of the registered voters turned out. Will you make sure that your voice is heard on March 7?

The first step in fulfilling your civic responsibility is making sure that you are registered to vote. Remember, if you have moved or changed your name since you last registered, you will have to register again. You can complete this process online at http://registertovote.ca.gov/.

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PRESS RELEASE:Carl Petersen is a Candidate for LAUSD's District 2 in the March 7,2017, Election

As the father of two daughters who are on the autism spectrum, I was astonished while I sat in the LAUSD Board meeting on March 8, 2016, and heard Mónica García declare that she did not represent children with special education needs:

When we say $1.4 billion for special ed and we only have $700 million from the federal government and the other $700 million are coming from every child in this district, I’m not about defunding special ed. I just know that we have a serious issue to how can we serve our own kids?

Knowing that all children deserve to be represented on the LAUSD’s Board, including the 12.7% that are enrolled in special education programs, my decision to run against García in the election on March 7, 2017, became finalized. Unlike the incumbent, I will not declare that there are “people I represent most” or vote to continue fighting parents in court. I understand that all children are unique and they all have a right to meet their full potential. I have not lost sight that a student in need of vocational training is just as important to the District as the student who will go on to college after graduation or that a well-rounded education requires access to art and music classes along with the academic subjects.

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