CCSA Responds to LA Times Story on Charter Growth Plan

September 22, 2015

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The following is CCSA's response to the September 21st L.A. Times story discussing a plan for charter school expansion in Los Angeles.

Charter schools should be evaluated based on facts, not the misinformation spread by a few relentless critics. The fact, according to publicly available district data, is that independent charter schools in LAUSD serve a nearly identical student population to that in traditional schools. Independent charters actually serve a higher percentage of English leaders (1% more) and a slightly lower percentage of students with special needs (2% less). There's simply no basis for the accusation that charters in LAUSD enroll students who are somehow easier to teach or more willing to learn. In neighborhoods across Los Angeles, students seek out charters because the local traditional school hasn't been able to help them learn.

Opponents of school choice will continue to focus attention on money, because it's a powerful rallying cry. Again, this rhetoric ignores the facts. Critics complain that the district is losing resources, while ignoring the fact that when students move to charters, the district has fewer students to educate -- and that means fewer expenses for the district. In addition, the state's new education funding formula, LCFF, provides significant additional revenue to LAUSD, allowing for greater local control of funding, while targeting schools serving high percentages of English learners and low-income students.

The bottom line is that opponents of charter schools would rather protect an institution, regardless of its performance or its impact on students, than support the types of schools that yield superior results for students and provide parents the choices they so desperately want and deserve.