May 17, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact: Vicky Waters, CCSA
Jed Wallace, president and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association, released the following statement on the Proposition 39 facilities offers made to charter schools by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) :
"We are pleased that the December 7, 2010 court order has served as a catalyst for change and are glad to see the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) making efforts to meet the terms of Prop. 39 by increasing the number of offers to provide district facilities to charter schools, particularly after years of not complying with the legal requirements of Proposition 39. Up until this year LAUSD had a clear history of non-compliance with Prop. 39. Based on this history of failures, CCSA filed a lawsuit in May 2010 against LAUSD seeking an order compelling the district to provide every charter school applicant with a Prop. 39 compliant offer, so that all LAUSD public school students -- whether traditional district, charter or otherwise -- could have equal access to facilities, and so that charter schools could meet with the demand of increased enrollments."
"Despite the increase in the quantity of offers, we continue to have several concerns in regards to the quality of the offers and the critical legal terms of Prop. 39 that LAUSD still is not meeting. Indeed, the flaws in the final offers have palpable consequences and negative impact on charter schools and LAUSD's students who have elected to take the charter option. There are several examples of these flaws and the district's failures to follow the law in the final offers. For example, almost all of the final offers inappropriately assessed charges on charter schools for services the charter schools are authorized to provide on their own under the law. As another example, almost all of the final offers failed to meet the legal requirement of identifying what spaces would be shared with the charter schools (e.g., cafeterias, computer rooms, libraries, bathrooms, and playgrounds, etc.) in the colocation situations.
"When voters approved Proposition 39 in 2000, they intended for districts to provide charter schools with reasonably equivalent facilities, and to be treated fairly as part of the public school system. We will continue to work with the district and the courts to advocate for minimal impact to all students and families, and to ensure that our public school students needs are being met."
About the California Charter Schools Association
The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving 912 charter public schools and more than 365,000 students 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.