Response to LA School Report "LAUSD board denies renewal for two high-performing charter schools"

February 13, 2014

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Read CCSA's response to the LA School Report article, "LAUSD board denies renewal for two high-performing charter schools."

When the LAUSD School Board decided to deny the renewals of two high-performing charter public schools, CCSA believes that the Board ignored the input of parents and families, ignored the data that clearly demonstrated success, and ignored the high quality services these schools provide. In addition, CCSA believes that the Board failed to comply with California Education law when they based their decision for denial solely on the schools' special education arrangement.

Furthermore, to suggest that LAUSD would somehow be deprived of special education funds is inaccurate. The intent of special education law, as expressed under the Individuals with Disability in Education Act, is to ensure quality services to children in need, not to create a funding stream for any particular organization or agency. Funding should follow the students receiving the services, or the entity providing the services, and should not be thought of as district funds.

Charter schools are addressing the expressed desires of families, and the California State Board of Education, by offering greater flexibility and autonomy. Designed to offer innovative educational strategies, these two charters, in particular, have a proven track record of success for all students.

Overall, we applaud LAUSD for working with charters to find innovative and creative ways to serve students with special needs. But 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.

Gina Plate
Senior Advisor for Special Education
California Charter Schools Association