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Opinion

Opinion: Don’t call charters public schools

Protesters from Magnolia charter schools
Students, parents and staff at Magnolia Public Schools protest the L.A. Board of Education’s vote last week to close their campuses.
(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Public schools belong to the taxpaying public. The campus across the street from me belongs to the residents of the community. (“L.A. Unified takes a harder look at its charter schools. Critics blame politics,” Oct. 24)

Although I no longer have children at the school, I am still welcome to participate in its programs. If I’m not happy with the school, I can attend board meetings and voice my complaints. I can vote for the board member of my choice and advocate for the defeat of another.

If this school becomes a charter, I will still pay my share of the taxes to support it but no longer have a voice in its governance. It would become a perfect example of taxation without representation.

If citizens want charter schools, they should have them, but these schools should be strictly accountable to the people who pay for them. Anyone who wants a school with total autonomy needs to raise his or her own money, because those schools are called private schools.

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Linda Mele Johnson, Long Beach

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To the editor: Last week, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education voted to shut down several charter schools for reasons that, according to an Oct. 18 Times article, “have nothing to do with academics and may not be made public.” 

Teachers unions have school boards in their pockets, and the boards march to the tune of union bosses. Our children are poorer for it.

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John Jaeger, Irvine

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