Los Angeles School District Shuts Down Two Successful Charter Schools... Why?

The problem with government schools is that their focus is not on education. Their focus is on politics and keeping their paychecks.

And that's a problem because their paychecks are paid directly by you and me... the hard working parents.

This may sound harsh, but the reality comes up all the time.

Here's a recent example from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second largest in the country.

Reading the story just lends more weight to why parents should consider home school, and why those who already do it made that decision.

What's going on here?

Just a few weeks ago the LAUSD School Board (which is made up of only eight people, including the Superintendent of Schools) denied the renewal of two high-performing charter public schools.

Did you get that?

A group of less than ten, shut down two high-performing schools and affected the lives and academic progress for a couple hundred families and their children.

Too much power in too few hands, don't you think?

What's a Charter School?

If you're not familiar, charter schools (which are also government schools, but with supposedly more independence from the local school district) were created to be one answer to failing public schools around the country. They function as a parallel school system that's part of the school reform movement.

And it looks like these two schools were doing a great job.

The Los Angeles Times reported that over 90% of their student population is poor and on subsidized lunches, and nearly half can't speak English.

Yet, these schools still were able to score above 800 on its Academic Performance Index (this is a proficiency target for all schools set by the state of California).

In other words, with the odds against them, they still beat expectations.

What did they do to get shut down?

They saved taxpayers (that's you and me) money. And maintained or increased quality!

Only a government run bureaucracy would find fault in that; and then choose to hand down a cold and mean punishment by forcing them out of business.

According to the L.A. Times, the schools contracted outside the L.A. school district for special education services. This upset the board because it meant the money for these services were leaving the district's coffers. The Board wants all charters to contract directly "with L.A. Unified for special-ed services" writes the Times.

Yet the service provider the charter schools hired offered better services for less money than what L.A. Unified could provide.

Free market competition is good for the community...

The charter schools are currently appealing the decision.

What's the lesson for concerned parents?

Government school reform is not going to happen overnight.

No matter how much money we throw at public schools, no matter how many new and unproven trends we follow, no matter how many new shiny buildings are built, and no matter what is promised to parents.

Public school administration is dysfunctional on many levels. That's what happens when too much power sits with too few people.

Charter schools, although they try, aren't enough to turn the tide. Plus, they are still part of the government school system and not as independent as parents would like.

Adopting home school in your family is the fastest and surest way to step off the merry-go-round and give your child the education she deserves.

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