FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The LAUSD’s Charter School Division claims to provide “proactive and responsive” oversight. The facts show otherwise.
Last Thursday, with the unanimous passage of the following resolution, the North Valley Democratic Club became the latest organization to express concern about the enrollment practices at Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS):
The North Valley Democratic Club expresses concern with the following discrepancies in demographics between Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) and Northridge Academy High School (NAHS): Special Education (2012-13) GHCHS 6%, NAHS 14%; English Learners (2012-13) GHCHS 3%, NAHS 8%; Homeless Students (2015-16) GHCHS 0, NAHS 7; Free and Reduced Price Lunch (2012-13) GHCHS 49%, NAHS 65%. We ask that the LAUSD report on what steps the Charter School Division has taken to ensure that GHCHS is properly following the rules governing enrollment.
This follows an LAUSD School Board meeting where evidence of cherry-picking was presented during public comment along with the data showing its effect on enrollment. At the conclusion of these comments, the Board called up the Director of the Charter School Division (CSD) for questions. At this time, José Cole-Gutiérrez stated that “his charge on this one is the first time I’ve heard of it.” He also maintained that the CSD provides oversight that is “proactive and responsive.” Unfortunately, both statements are contradicted by the facts.
At Tuesday’s 8:30 Board Meeting, I will present emails both to and from the CSD division that provide proof that, on several occasions, they were made aware of the problems with GHCHS’ enrollment practices. Additionally, I will provide screen captures that show that this is not a new problem and should have been caught by the CSD during routine oversight. Finally, I will show that these problems are not limited to GHCHS by presenting information from both El Camino Charter High School and Alliance Collins Family College Ready High School.
This lack of oversight provides proof that the system of holding charters accountable for the public funds that they receive needs to be improved. With new Board members being seated who are in the pocket of the charter industry, the task of pushing for these changes will become more difficult on July 1. The students of the LAUSD need us to continue the fight.
Carl Petersen is a parent and special education advocate and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD’s District 2 School Board race. He was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a “strong supporter of public schools.” His past blogs can be found at www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com.