May 24, 2011 For immediate release
Contact: Vicky Waters
LOS ANGELES, California (May 24, 2011).--
Statement from Jed Wallace, President and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA), on the Los Angeles Superior Court Decision on CCSA vs. LAUSD Proposition 39 Lawsuit:
"Today, the court ruled that charter schools are entitled to more detailed final offers of facilities from Los Angeles Unified School District. LAUSD is now required by court order to identify the arrangements for charter schools' use of ancillary space on offered campuses, such as libraries, cafeterias, science labs and play fields. LAUSD has historically failed to provide charter schools with the specifics about whether and how schools could access such space, making it difficult for charter schools to evaluate LAUSD's offers of facilities. Today's ruling forces LAUSD to provide these details, as is required by Proposition 39."
"Proposition 39 requires districts to make charter schools offers of facilities of both classroom space and non-classroom space, and to specifically identify the specific classroom and non-classroom spaces offered on each campus. If a campus is to be shared by a charter school and a district program, the offers must spell out arrangements for sharing those spaces. 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."
"This year, although LAUSD made more offers of facilities to charter schools than in past years, those offers failed to spell out how charter schools would access specialized classroom space and non-classroom space on the offered campuses. Since many charter schools will be sharing space with LAUSD-run schools, this type of information is critical to charter schools deciding whether or not to accept LAUSD's facilities offers."
"We will continue to work diligently to ensure that LAUSD complies with the law. In keeping with this goal, we also sought a court ruling today allowing charter schools to perform their own custodial services on their portions of district campuses, as provided by Prop. 39. While the Court denied this portion of the motion as to CCSA, the ruling left the door open for charter schools themselves to bring this challenge."
CCSA, on behalf of the charter schools in LAUSD, filed a lawsuit in May 2010, 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.
On December 7, 2010, the court found that LAUSD's failure to provide facilities offers violates Proposition 39 and ordered LAUSD to make offers as required by law. That court ruling required LAUSD to make facilities offers compliant with Proposition 39 to all eligible charter schools.
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.