City of Cudahy Against KIPP Charter School Co-Location At Teresa Hughes Elementary

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City of Cudahy Against KIPP Charter School Co-Location At Teresa Hughes Elementary

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Victor Frias started this petition to LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner and

Members of the KIPP SoCal Board of Directors & Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner:

In February 2020, the staff of Teresa Hughes Elementary School was informed of the potential co-location from the charter network known as KIPP, on our campus. A co-location means that KIPP will be situated in the same buildings and facilities as Teresa Hughes Elementary. The practice of co-locations is happening all over California. In Los Angeles, there are more than 70 public schools that are co-located by unregulated charter companies, which destabilizes the public school and the surrounding communities. Parents and educators are fighting back against billionaire privatizers and the destructive tactic of co-location DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC.

Under a flawed state law known as Prop 39, neighborhood public schools can be forced to give away “unused” space to charter operators. In reality, that “unused” space is not unused at all — it houses arts and music classrooms, science centers, parent centers, and other resources that contribute to a rich, vibrant educational program. And just because a charter operator can co-locate does not mean that they have to. This invasion is a choice that charter operators make — a choice that hurts students in neighborhood public schools.

In general, charter schools are known to attract and select the high-achieving students and leaving historically disadvantaged students such as students with disabilities or English Language Learners, behind in impoverished public schools. Charter schools have a lower retention rate for teachers. They lose about 24% of their teachers every year, which is double the rate of traditional public schools. They are known to continuously recruit recent college graduates and burnout young teachers. This perpetuates the nationwide teacher shortage, with less individuals committed to teaching as a career. Over time, high turnover tends to diminish student achievement. 

KIPP does not need to co-locate on our campus. It is a conscious choice that they made, which is invasive and harmful to the learning experience of our students at Teresa Hughes Elementary. KIPP’s effort to co-locate on our campus is a step towards privatization within Los Angeles Unified School District. 

The parents & families of Teresa Hughes Elementary School and the community members in the city of Cudahy, strongly oppose the co-location of KIPP on our campus, for the following reasons:

  • KIPP has long term plans to privatize education and turn public education into a for profit business.
  • KIPP will defund and take away resources from our students, which will ultimately eliminate the positions from the teachers and staff members of Teresa Hughes Elementary.
  • KIPP will take up space in the Multipurpose Room, Cafeteria, Parking Lot, Library, Restrooms, Playground Space, Computer Lab, Special Education Itinerant Rooms (Occupational Therapy Adaptive PE, Language & Speech, Counseling), Arts/Dance/Music/Theater Rooms, Reading Den, and After School Program Rooms.
  • KIPP will cause increased traffic congestion due to drop off and pick up times.
  • KIPP will have a different bell schedule which will be disruptive and confusing.
  • KIPP will create two sets of staff, administrators, parents, and students which will increase the possibility of inter-conflict among LAUSD employees/families and KIPP employees/families.
  • KIPP’s plan to occupy the same space where our children learn and grow will create increased conflict in addressing student behaviors/concerns, which will make the co-location absolutely detrimental to the learning experience of ALL students.
  • KIPP is prioritizing their expansion over the health and safety of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The teachers of Teresa Hughes Elementary care immensely about our students' learning experience. We continuously strive in delivering best quality of education possible for our students. Many of us currently live in the community, grew up in the community, and/or have taught at Teresa Hughes Elementary for years. Collectively, we have established, maintained, and fostered positive relationships with the families of our students for decades. As UTLA members, the teachers of Teresa Hughes Elementary will continue advocating for public school education and the rights of our students by addressing issues that are currently impacting our students such as large class sizes, inadequate support staffs of nurses and librarians, and the proliferation of charter schools. This includes preventing the co-location from charter schools such as KIPP, from disrupting the vibrant learning environment that we have worked hard to establish on our campus.

UPDATE: Given our current circumstances with the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, the health and safety of all community members must be our top concern. At this moment, there are 27 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Cudahy. The city of Cudahy has one of the highest population densities and one of the smallest cities in Los Angeles County, which makes community members in Cudahy more susceptible to the virus. 

Please sign this petition if you agree that LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner and Members of KIPP SoCal Board of Directors need to take action in preventing the co-location of KIPP on Teresa Hughes Elementary. They must stand in solidarity with the parents, families, and staff of Teresa Hughes Elementary School and the community members in the city of Cudahy. As teachers at Teresa Hughes Elementary, we need to work together with the entire community to protect the future of public school education for ALL students.

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