We Must Fight Against Charter Schools In San Pedro!

We Must Fight Against Charter Schools In San Pedro!

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Carrie Merrihew started this petition to Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education; San Pedro Community of Schools

KIPP, one of the largest charter school organizations in Southern California, is working to open a facility at the former Baxter High School location (also a charter school) in San Pedro.  Baxter opened in 2014 and quickly failed, as do so many charter schools.  KIPP (as well as Baxter) are not unionized and have a high teacher turnover with a significant percentage of novice and often unqualified staff, leading to instability in the school; while our LAUSD public schools have been established, reliable community partners for decades. The International Journal of Leadership in Education, (volume 22, 2019 - issue 4) noted that US charter schools experience higher rates of teacher turnover than traditional public schools.


KIPP is not needed, not wanted, and represents an unwarranted drain on local, state and federal educational funding resources.  KIPP does not offer anything that our community of schools in San Pedro do not already offer.  San Pedro has 13 elementary magnet schools excelling in the following categories: all areas of the arts, STEAM, STEM, dual language, and Marine Studies.  Additionally, we have strong partnerships with community organizations such as Angel’s Gate, San Pedro Ballet, Press Friends, Cabrillo & and Long Beach Aquarium, and the LA Philharmonic to name a few.  


LAUSD’s school staffing includes school nurses and offers a robust range of special education instructors as well as psychiatric social workers, school psychologists, and special day classes.  KIPP has a very poor track record for motivating, instructing, disciplining, and rewarding students with special needs, including those with ADHD, behavior disorders, autism, and specific learning disabilities, while LAUSD excels in meeting the needs of these challenging students in their own local community schools with highly qualified and exceptionally well-trained staff.  


LAUSD has met the challenges of providing education and family support to its nearly 575,000 students during this pandemic, and has demonstrated that it has the will, the capacity and the resources to provide outstanding services in an extraordinary time.  KIPP offers nothing to LAUSD or its students that our district is not already providing.  


LAUSD still faces great fiscal challenges due to the pandemic and this is not the time to add the physical or administrative burden of an unwanted and unnecessary charter school to our community.   LAUSD is already coping with lower census numbers associated with attrition, family relocation to areas with more affordable housing, declining birth rates, and competition from private and charter schools.  This is not the time, and San Pedro is not the place for an unnecessary charter school to fragment our student population or place further demands on strained resources.  


Furthermore, San Pedro is a port town, with a high proportion of unionized jobs.   It is an insult and an offense to expect hardworking union parents to literally cross the non-union threshold of a charter school when excellent local neighborhood public schools are readily available.  


LAUSD should reject KIPP’s charter school application for San Pedro. 

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At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!