In the effort of saving time today, I’ve posted over at “Ask A Magnet Yenta” to explain what an affiliated charter is as compared to an independent charter.  Several schools are in the midst of this process, thanks in large part due to the change in Title I funding, and the loss of the $85,000 “grants” that non-Title I schools have been provided the last couple of years to keep those schools afloat.  The blog post appears here.   If your school is in the midst of the meetings, or is in the process of voting, let us know what you’re going through.

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  • Zzybalubah

    I can tell you I think the teacher’s union is definitely NOT behind the charter status movement.  My child attends Balboa Magnet, we have previously attended charter school.  Child came home to tell me that teacher told them they would have a class size of 39:1 in fourth grade if the school goes charter.  The union seems to be feeding the teachers lines. 

    Carpenter seems to be doing just fine as an affiliated charter school, and regular charter schools have a lot more leeway because they don’t have to haggle with teacher’s union.  Charter school teachers generally act vested in the school in which they work; they seem to work with the administration, and the administration has a difficult job of protecting them and serving the parents.  Even though there’s a higher turnover rate (teachers leave charters because the union gigs are a lot more appealing…full benefits, full pension – even if you are a convicted pedophile!), full charter schools are attractive because they can have a ‘focus’ or a ‘theme’ (e.g., following a specific educational model or philosophy, a current fad such as technology, or something like a traditionalist school, or offering a special course of education such as art, music, classical language, science focus, or farm based).  Affiliated charters tend to remain loyal to the traditional LAUSD model (whether by choice or by union force I am not sure).  Schools are still bound to hire union teachers.  Which means God help them if they need to or want to get rid of those teachers.   The school gets say on how they spend their funds, generally.  If they want to move dollars from one area to another, they have the ability to do that.  That’s the big advantage to the school.  To make a long story short, affiliated charter means the teachers run the school.  A full charter school is a real collaboration where there is a board composed of parents, community members, teachers and administrators.  It is not run by dictatorship, but by consensus.  Everything, from curriculum, to teacher hiring, school start date and time, the hours of the school day, the number of school days,  school holidays, professional development, everything is negotiated by committee composed of stakeholders.   As you can tell, I’m definitely biased.  I have seen both sides now, to paraphrase Judy Collins, and I can tell you — there is a difference.  And full charter wins hands down, even though it’s a lot more work for the parents and the community, because it’s better for the kids.  In an affiliated charter, parents are still on the outside.  Just my two cents.

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