Families That Can delivers 5,300 parent letters to the LAUSD school board

March 2, 2011

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For Immediate Release


Sierra Jenkins



(March 2, 2011) LOS ANGELES - Dozens of parents went to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board meeting on Tuesday to deliver 5,300 letters from public school parents across the city, asking the board to support charter school applicants when they vote on the second round of the Public School Choice initiative.

Public School Choice is a historic reform initiative passed by LAUSD in August 2009, that allows other school operators - like charter schools, teacher teams, and community groups- the opportunity to apply to run both new schools and existing schools that are chronically underperforming. Four out of the 13 charter applicants were selected in the first round last year and their schools are now serving an estimated 2,000 students.

This second round includes 10 new schools and three existing schools, with the Board set to make a final decision on March 15, 2011.

"It's very simple - these parents want the best for their children and ask the members of the LAUSD board to pick the applicants with the strongest track record and the best ability to implement an ambitious plan to boost student achievement," said Antwaune Goode, Executive Director of Families That Can, during Tuesday's board meeting.

Three LAUSD parents- Chan McCreary, Eugenia Henriquez and Claudia Clemens - shared their own stories and perspectives and asked the board to support charter school applicants.

This round of Public School Choice included Clay Middle School, which has had low test scores over many years. Chan McCreary, a parent of eight who herself graduated from Henry Clay Middle School, has had several of her children go through the school. Her oldest are currently attending a Green Dot charter high school and her three youngest attend an LAUSD elementary school that feeds into Clay.

"I grew up in the community and I want to see a change for our area. I want to see Henry Clay become a better school," McCreary told the board, asking them to support Green Dot's application to run the school. "Let's turn it over, let's do something, let's remodel education for Henry Clay because we have some young scholars out there. I want Henry Clay to be turned around."

Eugenia Henriquez is a parent who lives near Central Region Elementary School #14, a new K-8 that will open in Echo Park this fall. Two of her children currently attend an LAUSD pilot school.

"We need more middle and high schools that have strong academic results, that really involve the parents in their children's education," said Henriquez. "Please support Camino Nuevo to be the school operator - I've heard great things, that 97% of students graduate and that they prepare them for the university. I want the best for my kids."

Claudia Clemens, a parent from the Eagle Rock area, has two children, one in an LAUSD middle school and the other in a charter high school run by Alliance College-Ready Public Schools.

"Alliance has proven themselves to be an academically high-scoring school. Our children deserve an award-winning school. We don't want to limit the success of our kids," said Clemens. "I'm here as a concerned parent, not just for my kids, but for all the children in our neighborhood. Please elect Alliance - it really would make a huge difference for our community."

Seven high-performing charter schools have applied to operate eight different school sites as part of Round Two of the Public School Choice initiative. The charter applicants are: Aspire Public Schools, Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, Camino Nuevo, Granada Hills Charter High School, Green Dot, Partnerships to Uplift Communities and Synergy Charter.

Find out more about Public School Choice at www.familiesthatcan.org.

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About Families That Can

*Families That Can is a community-based network of parents united to fight for high-quality public education choices and to be the voice for the children of California. Families that Can educates, empowers and mobilizes parents to hold our leaders accountable for ensuring every child has access to a high-quality public education. We advocate for quality public school choices, equitable treatment and resources for charter public schools, and the advancement and growth of successful charter schools. *