LA charter schools win policy changes that streamline the approval process

LA Unified officials and school board members put politics aside Tuesday, agreeing to long-sought policy changes for charter schools and paving the way for unanimous board votes that ended up saving about a dozen independent charter schools from denials.

The changes to the rules that govern charter schools and who can make those changes will impact all future charter school petitions in the district, which oversees more charters than any in the nation.

In the past, district staff have drawn up the rules for charters — and maintained the right to change them at any time. The requirement that charters agree to the district’s ability to change rules the charters had already agreed to was one of the issues that prompted charter leaders to call for reforms.

The school board will now to get to vote on specific policies that charters must follow. The district’s charter division will draw up recommendations, and the board is expected to vote on them in April.

The district’s non-negotiables that charters agreed to be subject to are: inquires from the Office of Inspector General, compliance with the district’s modified federal consent decree regarding special education services, and that charter schools follow the district’s discipline policies.

In return, the charter schools will likely be able to enter into multi-year lease agreements at co-locations and will have the ability to go outside the district for special education services if they choose. Click here to read more: