L.A. Times Response: "This schools tax is a bargain"

May 19, 2010

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In response to Steve Lopez's editorial, "This School Tax is a Bargain", the writer fails to mention the fact that this proposed parcel tax, Measure E, has purposely left out charter schools: students, teachers, and parents.

Just like other public schools, charters are also being affected by the persistent budget crisis and looming cuts. Leaving them out of any potential revenue benefit is inequitable, particularly since charter parents, communities, and supporters are taxpayers.

Mr. Lopez makes the point of including the point of view of "a child who attends an LA Unified school" in this debate. But, why leave out charter students in LAUSD? Why not ask them and their parents what's at stake? Charter parents are some of the most committed in public education, and their voices are being shut out and silenced. Their schools and children will have no access to funds, leaving them to deal with budgetary issues on their own, and without any relief.

Currently there are over 67,000 charter students in LAUSD alone. That's enough to fill the Staples Center more than three times, and still need hundreds of additional seats.

If districts ask voters to make sacrifices for public education, then every public school child--including charter students--should benefit.

Jed Wallace
President and CEO
California Charter Schools Association

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