FAQ: What Are Some of the Problems?

FACT: Charter industry in LA has grown by 287% since 2005

LAUSD has more charter schools than any other school district nationwide and the number has more than tripled since 2005, when there were 58 charter schools in the district. Now there are 221 — a 287% growth in 10 years.

Charter schools currently enroll 16% of all students in the district. Per Prop. 39, there are also 56 charter schools that are operating rent-free on district campuses.

FACT: Walton family of Walmart big contributor to privatization

The Walton Family Foundation recently announced it will commit an additional $250 million nationwide to support charter schools. The heirs to the Walmart fortune already loom large over America’s kids—one in every four charter schools have received their foundation’s support—but they want to see 250,000 more children in charter schools in the next decade.

The Walton Family Foundation spent more than $80 million to “shape public policy,” according to its 2014 grant report.

FACT: Charter schools have a higher suspension rate

An UCLA report that Daniel Losen [Director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies] co-authored found national suspension rates at charter schools were 16 percent higher than those of public schools (“Charter Schools, Civil Rights, and School Discipline: A Comprehensive Review” report, March 2016).

FACT: We need equitably funded schools

Poverty and school finance do matter in schools, especially for immigrant students. Equitably funded schools ensure, as the U.S. Department of Education has said, that a “child’s critical opportunities are not a function of his or her ZIP code” (The Equity and Excellence Commission’s “For Each and Every Child” report, February 2013).

FACT: High stakes tests are not the answer

Top-down accountability policies inspired by George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind law did not deliver on their goal to make all students academically proficient by 2014. Why? Because we need an accountability system that doesn’t stigmatize schools for students who score poorly on only one measure of success—high-stakes tests (“At-risk student averse: Risk management and accountability” from the Journal of Education Administration, 2012).

FACT: Unregulated charter school growth can create a two-tiered educational system

According to an Americans for Civil Liberties Union report: Through admissions policies that exclude vulnerable students by erecting various barriers to entry, charter schools have the potential to create a two-tiered system of public education. We believe charter schools are viable only if they are open to all students.