December 2, 2010
For Immediate Release
December 2, 2010
Contact: Vicky Waters, CCSA
LOS ANGELES, California (December 2, 2010)
Jed Wallace, President and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA), released the following statement regarding the Los Angeles Superior Court Decision on CCSA's motion for summary adjudication in the CCSA vs. LAUSD Proposition 39 lawsuit.
"We are very pleased to announce that the Court found in favor of CCSA and the Los Angeles charter school community yesterday afternoon. For years the Los Angeles Unified School District has violated the law by refusing to make facilities offers to charter schools. Today, the court found that LAUSD's failure to provide facilities offers violates Proposition 39 and ordered LAUSD to make offers as required by law."
"When voters approved Proposition 39 in 2000, they intended for districts to provide charter schools with equitable access to space and facilities, and to be treated fairly as part of the public school system."
"Unfortunately, over the last decade, LAUSD has refused to comply with the law, including last year, when 81 charter schools applied for facilities under Proposition 39, with LAUSD making only 45 purported offers. However, none of the 45 purported offers were compliant, or even sufficient, to meet classroom and student needs."
"Today's court ruling will require LAUSD to make facilities offers compliant with Proposition 39 to all eligible charter schools."
"Families throughout California are choosing to enroll their children in public charter schools at an unparalleled pace, and with that growth, there are legitimate facilities needs that must be met. This year alone 115 new charter schools opened up in the State of California. Charter schools and charter school students rely on resources such as those offered by Prop. 39 and they are vested in the outcome of cases like this one."
"This year, the number of applications for Prop. 39 facilities is even greater than last year."
"We will continue to work diligently to ensure LAUSD complies with the law, and offers charter schools and students fair and equal treatment."
- CCSA, on behalf of the charter schools in LAUSD, filed a lawsuit in May to enforce LAUSD's compliance with Prop. 39 and a 2008 Settlement Agreement, the result of a previous lawsuit filed by CCSA and certain charter school operators against LAUSD.
- LAUSD has issued over $10 Billion in bonds - most of which - over $6 Billion - was earmarked for new construction -- to build 180,000 new classroom seats despite declining district enrollment of 16%.
- Proposition 39 was approved by the voters in 2000 with the intent of forcing districts to provide equitable and adequate facilities to charter school students. In exchange for equal access to facilities, charter schools and their proponents agreed to support a measure to lower the voter threshold that districts need in order to pass school bonds (to 55%). LAUSD's three bond measures--K, R, and Y--were approved post-Prop. 39 as a result of the bargain.
About the California Charter Schools Association
The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving 912 charter public schools in the state of California. The Vision of the California Charter Schools Association is to usher in a new era in public education so all students attend independent, innovative, accountable schools of choice. The Mission of the California Charter Schools Association is to influence the legislative and policy environments, leverage collective advocacy, and provide resources to support our members in developing and operating high quality, charter schools reflective of California's student population. For more information, please visit www.calcharters.org.