The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is being sued by the union that represents teachers within that school system. The lawsuit, filed on December 28, 2009 claims that the school district failed to comply with state requirements before converting a school to a charter campus.
According to teachers, the California Education Code requires the approval of a majority of permanent teachers before schools can be turned into charter schools. In a news conference held at Garfield High School, the teachers claimed that schools like Garfield and Esteban Torres High School fall into this category.
The lawsuit specifically wants the LAUSD to comply with the Education Code, and hopes a court order will force this to happen.
The plaintiffs in the case are UTLA, and LAUSD teachers from Garfield High School, 28th Street Elementary School, Foshay Learning Center and Pio Pico Span School.
While Esteban Torres High School (charter) should relieve some of the overcrowding from the nearby (non charter) Garfield High School, LAUSD’s position is that a vote of the teachers was not required since Esteban Torres High School is a brand new school, and not a conversion of an existing school.
The two high schools, Garfield and Torres are part of the 36 new and existing schools in the Public School Choice Resolution passed by the Board of Education for the 2010 and 2011 school year. This plan allows for operations of the school to be put out to bid by third parties. The goal of the program is to help provide options for the operation of schools considered low performing campuses. Monica Garcia, who is the president of the LAUSD Board of Education, says that no schools will automatically be converted to charters as a result of the program.
This lawsuit is expected to be just the first in a series that will be filed by the UTLA in opposition to the LAUSD’s plans to reform. It is also important to note that charter schools are not required to hire union teachers.
If you are a school administrator with a question or problem related to student/teacher safety, special education, accommodations, student rights, free speech or discipline, feel free to call Richard Oppenheim at 818-461-8500. There is never a charge for an initial consultation and we can help you choose the best direction to resolve any school district issue.