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Independent charter schools are dominating in City Section sports

Independent charter schools are dominating in City Section sports
Birmingham became the latest charter school to win a City title on Saturday, beating another charter school, Palisades, in the Open Division baseball final at Dodger Stadium. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Call it the rise of the independent charter schools.

At the highest level of City Section sports, charter schools Birmingham, Palisades, Granada Hills and El Camino Real have become so dominant with championships that it’s almost like they’re creating a private schools versus public schools dynamic found in the Southern Section.

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Of the 13 team titles in boys this school year, charter schools won 11. Palisades had titles in tennis, volleyball, water polo, lacrosse, swimming and track.

Of the 12 team titles in girls, charter schools won nine. Palisades won in tennis, volleyball, water polo, lacrosse and swimming. Granada Hills won in basketball, cross-country and soccer.

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And it’s not only winning championships. In boys, the runner-up was a charter school in nine of the 13 championships. In girls, the runner-up was a charter school in 10 of the 12 championships.

That’s a big problem for the Los Angeles Unified School District high schools seeking to attract students. There are 67 charters and 88 LAUSD high schools in the City Section.

Those successful independent charter schools have used financial freedom from the district to improve sports facilities and most importantly, hire coaches who are also full-time teachers.

It should be pointed out, though, that El Camino Real and Palisades were pretty successful before becoming charters.

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This is a trend that’s not going away any time soon.

Boys upper division team champions

Baseball: Birmingham over Palisades

Basketball: Fairfax over Westchester

Football: Narbonne over Garfield

Golf: Granada Hills over Palisades

Tennis: Palisades over Granada Hills

Volleyball: Palisades over El Camino Real

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Water polo: Palisades over Birmingham

Cross country: Granada Hills over El Camino Real

Lacrosse: Palisades over El Camino Real

Soccer: Birmingham over San Fernando

Swimming: Palisades over Granada Hills

Track: Palisades over Granada Hills

Wrestling: Birmingham over San Fernando

Girls upper division champions

Basketball: Granada Hills over Westchester

Cross-country: Granada Hills over Palisades

Golf: Cleveland over Granada Hills

Tennis: Palisades over Granada Hills

Volleyball: Palisades over Taft

Water polo: Palisades over Birmingham

Lacrosse: Palisades over Birmingham

Soccer: Granada Hills over El Camino Real

Softball: El Camino Real over Granada Hills

Swimming: Palisades over Granada Hills

Track: Carson over Granada Hills

Wrestling: San Fernando over Birmingham

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