Jul 30, 2014

Confusion Surrounds Co-Location at Franklin

The district on Tuesday approved spending more than $10 million for 51 charter school renovation projects, one of which would create classroom space for California Academy of Liberal Studies at Franklin High school.

Confusion Surrounds Co-Location at Franklin

It appears that a charter school could be moving on 's campus after all, according to a report released by the Los Angeles Unified School District on Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education on Tuesday approved allocating more than $10 million in Measures K, R and Y funds to pay for 51 co-location renovation projects, which would provide facilities for charter school students on LAUSD campuses.

Among the projects approved was $450,000 to create eight new classrooms and a new office on Franklin's campus for students from California Academy of Liberal Studies (CALS), which is currently located near Downtown.

The board approved the motion 8-0, with five members abstaining.

According to the board report, CALS currently enrolls 227 students.

As of Thursday afternoon, teachers and administrators at both Franklin High School and CALS were reacting with a mixture of surprise and confusion the board's action. 

Los Angeles International Charter School (LAICHS), located in on Coleman Avenue in nearby Hermon, had originally applied to operate on Franklin's campus through California Prop. 39, which states that "district facilities should be shared fairly among all public school students, including those in charter schools."

Prop. 39 also requires that the facilities provided to charter school students be roughly equivalent to those used by public school students.

LAICHS turned down the offer to move to Franklin due to fears that the campus would provide a

According to CALS founder Ref Rodriguez, the charter school had listed Franklin as a potential co-location destination on its Prop. 39 application, but had never received a formal offer from LAUSD.

"Franklin was named, but the last thing we heard from LAUSD was an offer to move onto a campus in the Pacoima area, which we refused," Rodriguez said. "Communications with the district on Proposition 39 isn't very clear."

Monica Whalen, the United Teachers of Los Angeles Representative at Franklin High School and the most vocal opponent of LAICHS co-location effort, said nobody, including Principal Joseph Nacorda had been informed of LAUSD's offer to CALS until Thursday afternoon.

"I had no idea this was happening, I got this from a union person," Whalen said, referring to LAUSD motion authorizing fund to prepare district campuses for charter schools. "And my principal had never seen this. There's  no communication."

Rodriquez, who lives in Northeast L.A., said he was aware of the tension between LAICHS and Franklin, and had not desire to repeat it with CALS.

"We in no way want to be perceived as if we are taking away things the community wants or needs," he said. "We know the perception in the community. Our position is that we want great schools for all kids, whether they come from a LAUSD school or a charter school. If Franklin's campus is one that makes sense for us and the community, then we would be happy to be engaged and on that campus, but if its perceived that we're taking away facilities that are  things the schools need, we don't want to have any part of that."

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