Los Angeles community schools frustrated over co-location
Correction: A previous version of this story inaccurately described Proposition 39’s requirement for districts to provide space to charter schools.
Six of 30 community schools within Los Angeles Unified are co-located with charter schools, which teachers and parents have said has limited the resources that they’ve been able to provide for the community. Under Proposition 39, districts are required to provide sufficient space to charter schools, but they say that’s hindered their ability to provide necessary resources.
At Logan Academy of Global Ecology in Echo Park, second grade teacher Ivonne Cachú said the school had to hold a dental clinic last fall in the library since the auditorium had been occupied. The community school coordinator’s office at the school also serves as a space for the speech therapist, after-school tutoring and more, she said. The school, she added, has been hoping to add a wellness center and more enrichment activities, but the limited space has made that difficult.
“To that point of how are we gonna do it? We’re going to do it,” Cachú said of the school’s effort to offer more resources to the community. “This is what we know that our students need.”
It’s been a similar frustration at Baldwin Hills Elementary in South L.A., which had trouble hosting a food pantry because the space available wasn’t big enough to have the refrigerator and shelves needed for food and clothing, according to teacher Marie Germaine.
At Trinity Street Elementary in South L.A., two second grade classes are currently hosted on a different campus. Other classes are held in the library and the auditorium, according to second second grade teacher Tanya Flores, who teaches in the library. The school hopes to eventually host English courses, health services and more, but those efforts have been impacted by the lack of space.
“It has hindered our efforts to be able to provide the way it should be done as a community school,” said Flores, who is also a parent at the school.
New LA Elementary charter, which shares space with Baldwin Hills Elementary, told ABC7 that it has worked “tirelessly” to find a permanent space that is not co-located. The California Charter School Association has also acknowledged that co-location is not an “ideal situation.”