Yesterday hundreds of parents and students from Green Dot Public Schools joined thousands more from across the city to demand that Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board members vote “no” on a resolution to call for a statewide moratorium on authorizing new charter schools. Although the school board was ultimately not responsive to the cries of those parents and passed the resolution 5-1, we will not give up on being part of a movement to serve all students who are vulnerable of slipping through the cracks of the traditional system.
Parents and charter supporters chanted, “Kids not politics!” and “Let our kids learn!” outside of LAUSD’s headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.
“I’m a parent of students at two Green Dot schools, Ánimo Pat Brown and Ánimo Florence-Firestone. My daughter at Pat Brown got a full scholarship to go to UC Berkeley,” said Aggy Barbero. “These charter school focus on academics and help students have the opportunity to attend any university they want to attend, so I’m here to support all the parents because I want them to be able to come to charters too. I don’t want anyone to prevent charter schools from opening because we need them!”
The Alain LeRoy Locke College Preparatory Academy marching band played onstage outside of LAUSD’s headquarters to help rally advocates.
Students joined the rally as well, including three freshmen from Oscar De La Hoya Ánimo Charter High School. “I’m here because I think charters serve as a better option,” said Emely Salas, who attended a traditional middle school in Boyle Heights. Her peer Nataly Perez, shared her concerns: “I think we deserve to learn and not to be fighting for our education.”
“We want [the board members] to know that we are here to ask them to not stop the growth of our schools, and to ask that they don’t use our schools for politics,” said one parent from Ánimo Jefferson Charter Middle School.
“Despite the fact that today’s vote did not land where thousands of parents and community members citywide had hoped, I end today filled with hope and inspiration,” said Dr. Cristina de Jesus, Green Dot California’s Chief Executive Officer. “Today’s rally helped to amplify the voices of parents. Today’s rally was a reminder of just how much parents and the city of Los Angeles care about education. Today’s rally was a reminder that the parents of the 11,500 students we serve in Green Dot California schools entrust us with their children and expect us to deliver on our promise to prepare them for college, leadership and life. Today’s rally was a beautiful expression of civic engagement and of social justice in action.”