February 11, 2014 Jed Wallace, president and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA), issued the following statement today:
LAUSD school board denied two high performing Aspire charter public schools (Aspire Antonio Maria Lugo Academy and Aspire Ollin University Preparatory Academy - schools with APIs of 835 and 803 educating traditionally underserved students for example over 95% of the students qualify for Free & Reduced Lunch) today (Tuesday, February 11, 2014) at their regularly scheduled board meeting.
CCSA believes that the LAUSD school board failed to comply with the law in their decision to deny these schools.
Although the board members indicated that the schools were high performing and there was nothing wrong with their petition or the schools' ability to serve their students well; they chose to deny the schools using a fabricated oversight matter raised by board members that was clearly addressed by LAUSD staff at the meeting as not being an issue. Specifically, the board denied the schools due to their participation in a non-LAUSD Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA), an arrangement made available in January 2010 and utilized by 382 charter public schools around the state.
We trust that the LA County Office of Education (LACOE) will use better judgment and approve these schools on appeal so that the students attending them may continue to be served by these high performing schools.