Co-locations like Catskill’s are 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.
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.
LA Times in-depth series of investigative articles on charter schools published after our historic strike in January 2019.
This divide-and-conquer strategy is pushed by the corporate lobby group California Charter Schools Association (CCSA). CCSA and local charter companies are funded by billionaire privatizers like the Walmart family, Eli Broad, and Reed Hastings and politically supported by Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump. Their agenda is to drain our schools of resources, say they are failing, and then privatize them. Privatization creates a two-tiered education system that does not benefit all students. Co-location is a threat to our children’s right to free and quality public education.
Classrooms at your school that do not have a register-carrying teacher is space that is considered “vacant” and available for co-location per Prop 39.
Rule of thumb: If your school currently has four vacant classrooms, your site may be a target for charter co-location, especially if you expect your enrollment to decrease next school year.
Your rights: We encourage all chapter chairs to be involved with your principal in developing the E-CAR (Electronic Capacity Assessment Review) on a yearly basis. If you principal refuses to provide you information or work with you in the E-CAR process, which is public information, contact your UTLA area representative immediately
The purpose of the E-CAR is to verify the number of classrooms at each school and how they are used, to calculate school operating capacities, and to identify available classrooms for future use. If your school is not a target now, this doesn’t mean your site will be a target in the future. This process is very fluid and evolving.
This report will let your school community know officially how many classrooms are available and vulnerable to possible charter school co-location. Know the allocation of space to charters begin as soon as August or September of each school year. The first preliminary proposals are made to charter operators on or by Feb. 1. Final offers of space on targeted schools sites are made to operators on or by April 1. Charter operators accept or decline district’s offers on or by May 1.