Campus takeover applications begin flowing in to L.A. Unified
The Los Angeles city school district on Monday began receiving applications from inside and outside groups seeking to take over 30 new or struggling campuses.
Groups that filed letters of intent to apply for the schools in the fall had to file their requests electronically before midnight tonight. The district is scheduled to announce how many applications they received today.
The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education voted in August to allow outside operators, including charter schools, to apply for control of 18 new and 12 low-performing campuses. Groups of teachers have prepared applications for some schools, and United Teachers Los Angeles has filed a from taking over the new campuses.
Several outside groups, including some charter organizations and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s nonprofit Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, had said they would submit applications. Supt. Ramon C. Cortines will review the applications before making recommendations to the school board in February.
A.J. Duffy, the teachers union president, said his members have the best chance at turning around struggling campuses.
“These are people who know their school and community like no one else,” he said at a news conference in front of Hillcrest Drive Elementary on Monday.
Teachers and parents at the campus in the Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw neighborhood worked over the holidays to prepare their application, said Sonia Martin-Solis, a second-grade teacher and union representative.
Fewer than a fourth of the students outside of Hillcrest’s magnet program are proficient in either math or English, according to state standardized test scores, but many parents at the news conference said they did not want an outside charter organization to take over the campus.
“We are defending our children,” said Jsané Tyler, who has a daughter in the third grade. “We deserve the right to reform our own school.”