Response to San Diego Union Tribune article, "Charter school expansion, financing raises questions"

February 1, 2016

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Below is CCSA's response to the article, "Charter school expansion, financing raises questions" posted on January 31, 3016 in the San Diego Union Tribune.

This reads more like a story written by a district afraid of competition from a high-performing middle school, instead of a balanced news story about a charter public school and its challenges getting authorized by its competitor, building a facility with limited resources, and educating kids.

There is no negative impact on the district by College Prep's decision to seek alternative facilities solutions. On the contrary, La Mesa/Spring Valley School District found it appropriate to make money from College Prep by providing their students food services. Perhaps the district is having a difficult time determining the role it wants to play with the school.   There is nothing out of the ordinary with College Prep's approach to finding and funding a facility. In fact, it is no different from how it is done in the traditional district system. School districts also use private construction firms to build their facilities, no different than the private firms used to provide text books and professional development services.

Furthermore, the cost to build a traditional public middle school serving 500 students would average $20-$30 million of taxpayer dollars, versus the $8 million facilities solution being sought by College Prep. If the district doesn't like the private facilities options College Prep is exploring, why don't they offer College Prep space at a district owned facility?

It's a shame we continue to suggest two separate scenarios for public school students - those who attend traditional schools and those in charter schools. It is time to put the school model aside and recognize they are all public school kids, all deserve great schools and none should be denied access to a quality learning facility.