October 17, 2011 In response to LA Weekly's recent piece, "Charter Schools: Getting your child on the list:"
Your reporter looked at all 183 charter schools in LAUSD and only found one that needed to correct its policies. It seems that the much bigger story here is how passionately Los Angeles parents are looking for high-quality public school options. That holds true whether you're talking about West Hollywood, East LA or Compton and regardless of a family's means. To answer the reporter's rhetorical question, charter schools are absolutely public schools, tuition-free, open to all students and committed to serving LA's diverse communities.
There is so much demand from parents that many charters have long waiting lists so they must hold lotteries for their limited seats. Charter schools don't want to turn parents away for lack of space and the answer to this isn't more regulation - it's expanding successful schools. For instance, KIPP, which has nearly 500 students on its waiting lists for schools in south and east LA just received a federal grant to help them open three more schools based on their proven model. The charter community is part of the public school system and we work in partnership with LAUSD towards our collective goal of ensuring every student in Los Angeles receives a high-quality public education.
Managing Regional Director, Los Angeles
California Charter Schools Association