Thursday, August 13, 2020
Home News GANAS Academy and Catskill Elementary: Why Co-location Would Never Have Succeeded

GANAS Academy and Catskill Elementary: Why Co-location Would Never Have Succeeded

By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor

Early this month a charter school, GANAS Academy, abandoned its plan to share the campus of Catskill Elementary in Carson, a campaign that turned into a fight in December 2018 when Catskill teachers and parents reacted to the news by organizing against the co-location.

Catskill has a student body of 522 children, 30 percent of them English language learners and 90 percent of them federally subsidized under the U.S. Department of Education’s Title I program. According to the California Department of Education Dashboard ratings, Catskill Elementary has been below standards but has been improving by leaps and bounds over the past two years.

Catskill Elementary also has what the Los Angeles Unified School District categorizes as “underutilized”classroom space — space that Catskill teachers say was used for  computer labs, mental and emotional health services, intervention, science lab and art. If Catskill had not been identified as a possible site for co-location, LAUSD would have chosen another school in order to comply with Proposition 39 — a law passed in 2000 that requires California school districts to share space with charter schools.

Every year school districts must use their best judgement to decide which campuses have sufficient available space. This annual review takes into account the number of classrooms on campus and how they are being used to support the school.

The review also notes classrooms set aside for elective course work and safety and health programs. Teachers are not assigned to these classrooms. As a result, these classrooms are deemed available for co-location with charter schools.

Random Lengths News reached out to Dr. Silke Bradford, a respected authority on laws as they apply to charter schools and needed reforms. Bradford has worked as a charter school authorizer at the Los Angeles County Office of Education and both Oakland and Compton Unified School Districts.

Bradford represents the Association of California Administrators’ (ACSA) Charter Task Force in its larger legislative policy committee body. The following are her responses to a series of questions posed to her in general about the application of co-location and how it could be reformed.

 

Random Lengths News:  Prop. 39 has been law since 2000, and a number of schools have undergone co-location. Results from the process are largely described as a mixed bag with as many successes as failures. Is this an accurate description of the results of co-location?

Dr. Silke Bradford:  I think defining a district/charter co-location as successful is a stretch. It may be the two school communities made such an arrangement work, but I know from first-hand experience that it takes an inordinate amount of time from school leaders’ schedules to collaborate and coordinate school operations, systems and cultures for a smoother co-existence. These co-location logistic responsibilities fall on education leaders that already have limited bandwidth for their regular duties. Some of these additional responsibilities that provide the supporting conditions for ‘successful’ co-locations include:

  • Shared space meetings on a biweekly basis with key administrative and support staff to address new issues and planning to prevent future issues
  • Shared space calendars to schedule each school’s time in libraries, auditoriums and gyms for during and after-school meetings and activities
  • A shared ownership of students on both ‘sides’ of the campus with some alignment in culture and expectations
  • Occasional joint meetings or events to build relationships across the two schools on one site

RLN: What conditions led to successful outcomes and what conditions led to failed co-location efforts?

SB: Less successful co-locations often end up this way from the start when:

  • Co-location assignments have two or more schools with competing grade levels that often results in toxic competition; unduly and negatively impacting the district-run school.
  • District formulas to identify underutilized space in district schools are not widely shared or understood, so often the identification of a district school as a potential co-location site comes as a very unwelcome and abrupt surprise
  • Some charters, particularly those that are newly operating, over-project their in-district enrollment numbers in an attempt to be granted more space. These over-projections cause district-run schools to lose auxiliary space that has become integral to the culture and academics of a school (i.e. counseling rooms, after school program rooms, STEAM labs/makers spaces etc

RLN: What made Prop. 39 so flawed from the get-go?

SB: The biggest flaw in Prop 39 is that its premise is only accurate in theory, not in practice. The law assumes that charter school students who live in LAUSD and would have otherwise attend an LAUSD school, have freed up seats/space at district run schools by enrolling in a charter. Being that these LAUSD resident charter students’ families pay taxes and are in theory entitled to the space they freed up, hence the charter school they ended up at is able to apply for that space. The problem is this, the charter school is not serving 400 kids from one or two district schools that these students left, they are serving kids from 10, 20 or 30 district schools. This means that there is not going to be 400 empty seats that magically freed up at one school suitable for a co-location. It will mean that district school programming will have to be unfairly altered or eliminated in order to make room for the charter co-location. So therein lies the problem, hundreds of seats vacated by charter students going to charter schools does not play out cleanly in practice when identifying a consolidated amount of underutilized district space.

The other issue, is that a charter school fundamentally has opted out of the district. Other than Green Dot public schools that are unionized by design, all charters have explicitly opted out of a school district’s union, and in recent years have entirely opted out of the District SELPA (Special Education Services). The latter is especially concerning because charters that left the district Selpa, did not take with them their fair share of students with moderate to severe disabilities. So in opting out of allowing employees to be adequately represented/compensated and opting out of serving some of the most costly to serve student populations, most charters should not be able to opt into a public district resource like facilities. Lawmakers should have created qualifying criteria for charters to be entitled to district facilities beyond serving a child with an address in the area.

RLN: Why hasn’t there been more resistance to Prop. 39 since 2000?

SB: Resistance to Prop 39 has been pervasive in all districts that have been subject to it or sued over it. This includes LAUSD and Oakland USD where I worked as the district director over charter oversight and accountability.

RLN: What changes can be made policy-wise to make Prop. 39 work if overturning it is not an option?

SB: Prop 39 charter policy reform:

  1. Establish eligibility requirements to apply for Prop 39. Charters should not get a share of a major public resource (district facilities) if they do not contribute to serving their fair share of all students (Mod/Severe Sped, Foster Youth, Etc). The same applies if they do not want to uphold the hiring of represented public employees to staff their publicly funded charter school.

Most Popular

Funding For The Arts Proposal

A substantial percentage of the county’s arts organizations are in danger of permanently closing, leaving the long-term health of this sector in doubt and setting back hard-earned progress in making arts opportunities more accessible to disadvantaged communities.

A Look At COVID-19 Case Numbers And Rates Of Infection In Younger Adults Requires Distance Learning At Institutions

Colleges and universities may continue their essential operations, but most academic instruction must continue to be done via distance-learning

Rep. Barragán’s Annual Older Adults Health Fair and Legislative Briefing

Constituents can join by computer or by phone, for a morning of entertainment from local performers, informative presentations, and updates from Congress

New Long Beach Fire Station Site Approved

The city purchased the property for $2.35 million, and the new station will be built there. It is within a few blocks of the previous site used for the station, which is more than 80 years old.

Recent Comments

Randomly Lengthly Walt on Republicans’ Revolt
Antifa are the real fascists on The Truth About Antifa
Artemis Gordon on The Truth About Antifa
Vicky Palesa Adam on Lung Health Tips for COVID-19
J.S on Icarus Falls
Ghost from your past! on Icarus Falls
Lisa Bennett on The Truth About Antifa
Dave on Icarus Falls
Kevin on Icarus Falls
DAVID J LEE on Think: George Floyd
M Mackey on Think: George Floyd
Michael S. Motta on Think: George Floyd
Thomas "HOUSE" Houchens on Think: George Floyd
Eliath Mena on Think: George Floyd
Deidre Powell on Think: George Floyd
Marcia Ladymgirl on Think: George Floyd
Jennifer L on Think: George Floyd
Carlos Fisher on Think: George Floyd
Jose "cheMMa" Rodriguz on Think: George Floyd
Aniza Thomas on Think: George Floyd
David Seay on Think: George Floyd
Marc LJ on Think: George Floyd
andre edwards on Think: George Floyd
Terelle Jerricks on From Pop Culture to Cop Culture
Sharon Hislop on Think: George Floyd
Fetteroff on Think: George Floyd
Raul Acevedo Jr. on Think: George Floyd
Mel Grayson on Think: George Floyd
Terelle Jerricks on A Virtual World of Events 
Alice r. Knoop on Lung Health Tips for COVID-19
Melina Paris on Take me to Sardine
Joshua E Chambers on Take me to Sardine
Chad Dorchester on Take me to Sardine
Terelle Jerricks on Change Won’t Be Televised
Melina Paris on Take me to Sardine
Melina Paris on Take me to Sardine
Melina Paris on Take me to Sardine
Bob Kohler on About
Judie M Barker on About
Kim Kaufman on Staff
Kim Kaufman on Staff
Vivian Morales on From War to Lowrider
Robin Doyno on Staff
Publisher on About
Joe Stackhouse on Advertise
Marshariki Haylock on A Stabbing in San Pedro
CARRIE MENDOZA on A Stabbing in San Pedro
Martin Palmiere EMC(SW) ret. on Trouble on the Iowa
Martin A.Palmiere EMC(SW) USN(ret.) on Trouble on the Iowa
John H Winkler on Frequently Asked Questions
J. McVey on Staff
Malou Mariano on Tampering and Collusion
Terrell Williams on The New Gap Band Fills The Gap
Alton C . Thompson, Ph. D. on About
Harold Ericsson on Letters to the Editor
Hillbinkel on Trouble on the Iowa
Ian Gordon on KKJZ Leaves CSULB Campus
larry lebedin on KKJZ Leaves CSULB Campus
Joseph Bianco on Frequently Asked Questions
Deborah Steed on Zerby Family Finds Solace
Don Griffin on Rosenberg
Pete on About
Anne Marie Knudsen on Clem Pennington is the Whole Package
Terelle Jerricks on About
Lyn Jensen on Go Retro with Records
Steven R. Heldt on Fig Trees Are Like Democracies
Joanne Sims on Peacocks, Paseo, Politics
Dave Borst-Smith on Peacocks, Paseo, Politics
Charles Traupmann on The Buscaino Report:
james P. Allen on Across the Great Divide
Allyson Vought on Across the Great Divide
PBinLostAngeles on RL NEWS Roundups: June 14, 2016
davehall on Voter Guide
Chris formica Gringos Tacos on Food Truck Blues
Random Lengths News on Iowa Fever
Tinisha Rodrique on IMG_1761
polos fred perry on Less Than a Side Show
cheap soccer jersey on Less Than a Side Show
le mahjong gratuit on The Surrealness of Knives and Breast
Harry and the Gang on Sherlock Holmes at the LB Playhouse
neufert architect s data pdf on IMG_1761
sewing machine reviews on Annie at the Warner Grand