May 21, 2020News
Today, parents, teachers and students from LAUSD public schools facing co-location will hold a car caravan to the houses of three board members of charter schools seeking to co-locate public schools for the 2020-21 school year. They are demanding that the charter school board members of Gabriella Charter School revoke their application for the $1.3 million loan and that all three charter companies do the right thing by prioritizing health and safety by revoking their applications to co-locate.
The car caravan will take place from cars and feature signs, chants, and honking. At the end of the caravan, a group of teachers and parents will gather for a socially-distanced press conference.
A state law known as Prop. 39 allows charter companies to take so-called “unused” space from neighborhood public schools in a process called “co-location.” Co-location results in a charter school occupying rooms in a public school, and sharing libraries, cafeterias, bathrooms, hallways, and entrances with that public school. New charter co-locations would crowd school buildings and prevent schools from taking these necessary steps. If the charter schools proceed with their planned co-locations, they will jeopardize the health of all involved – of public and charter school students, educators, and their families.
With the governor's May Revise projecting a $54 billion deficit and over 13% in cuts to public education, it is unconscionable that a small charter company like Gabriella, with only two small schools, is set to receive an estimated $1.3 million (https://app2.boardontrack.com/publicPortal/viewAgenda?uid=null&eventId=32015) through the Paycheck Protection Program small business loan, with no strings attached.
“I’m here today because if Gabriella Charter co-locates our school in the fall, everyone’s health will be at risk,” said Maria Sanchez, a teacher from
Lizarraga Elementary. “I can’t believe that Gabriella is receiving $1.3 million from the federal government, and still planning to endanger our health by taking over space in our school. It’s not fair that a charter company is getting bailed out, while our students are facing budget cuts. We are asking that Gabriella put the health of their students and our students first, and not co-locate at our school.”
The car caravan will be the second that the parents and teachers have held, and comes after the parents and teachers held a socially-distanced protest at the LAUSD headquarters on May 7th to demand that LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner and the LAUSD School Board enact a moratorium on new charter co-locations for the 2020-21 school year. Thousands of parents, teachers, and students have signed onto a petition calling on Superintendent Beutner to prioritize their health and enact the moratorium.