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Black and Latino parents, students and teachers rally to protest charter schools’ money grab

By staff

Parents, educators blast charter schools at LA press conference.

Los Angeles, CA – Black and Latino parents, teachers, students and Centro CSO: Community Service Organization held a press conference, June 14, to denounce money grabbing by the charter school industry and to defend public education. The press conference was held in front of the California Charter Schools Association office (CCSA) to protest their role in funding candidates and legislation that are pro-privatization.

Event organizer Lupe Torres, a Los Angeles teacher, United Teachers Los Angeles leader and Centro CSO member, spoke about how charters hurt our Black and Latino communities. She pointed out how charters are publicly funded but privately operated, with highly paid executives. Torres explained that while the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) already has plenty of schools, the CCSA continues to push the opening of new charters and ‘co-locations’, where a charter occupies classrooms within pre-existing public schools.

During the pandemic, charters have received money for COVID-19 relief while not fully opening. Antonia Montes, a teacher in East Los Angeles Eastman Avenue school, talked about how Extera Charter Schools and others have not paid the rent they owe to LAUSD but have continued to take classroom space and funds.

Extera currently co-locates on four campuses, stealing classroom spaces and other resources from public schools. Extera Public School 2, co-located on the campus of Eastman Elementary School, currently owes LAUSD over-allocation reimbursement payments totaling $231,374.80. The charter school has not committed to a plan to repay the amount. Therefore, the district has initiated a formal dispute resolution process to compel the charter school to pay. By taking in PPE loans meant for small businesses, charters show that they primarily serve private interests.

Charters take money, classroom space and students from public elementary schools in Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles, Montebello and Southwest Los Angeles communities. They are run by outsiders without community input, contribute to gentrification, and disregard environmental conditions.

Participants at the press conference included people from Cudahy United, Montebello Unified School District United, Wilmington Community, Baldwin Hills School, and Eastside Parents Against Privatization. The participants demanded: “Stop the money grab,” “No more permits for charters,” “No co-locations of public schools,” “Evict Extera” and “Charters, pay what you owe!”

Centro CSO will continue to fight to promote and defend public education and stop privatization attacks. Join Centro CSO.

#LosAngelesCA #StudentMovement #PeoplesStruggles #CentroCSO #TeachersUnions