Community members protest charter school on Baldwin Hills Elementary School campus

Since the charter school has moved in, community members said they've lost eight classrooms along with other common spaces.
Thursday, October 20, 2022
BALDWIN HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Staff, parents and community members voiced growing concerns about the co-habitation of Baldwin Hills Elementary School with the New LA Elementary charter school. They said it's a drain on resources and are demanding the charter school be relocated.

"This isn't a new charter school, but you want to go the easy route. 'Oh, we'll just come over here,' because they think we're just a neighborhood school. Our kids deserve the same rights as any other school and we should have that," said Rita Richard, a parent and alum of Baldwin Hills Elementary.

Community members say Baldwin Hills Elementary serves a student body made up of predominately kids of color. Since the charter school has moved in, community members said they've lost eight classrooms and have to share the only bathroom along with other common spaces. They said they feel pushed out and blame the district.

"I went to this school, my brother went to this school, my son went to this school," said a parent. "There's many of us that's third, fourth, fifth generation in this community. The school has never been an issue. It's the district."

Along with limited resources, one parent described an incident where her niece was bullied. She said staffing, along with programs such as music and speech therapy, have been cut.

"We don't like it. We don't like the charter school on our campus," said another parent. "When I went here, we had a whole big yard and stuff. Now, they don't have it because of all the bungalows for the charter school. The kids can't have a proper yard. They can't play outside like they used to."

"We shouldn't have to be out here because there's not a speech therapist that's here anymore on the campus," Richard said. "We're not fully staffed."

Parents are demanding the charter school be relocated and they said they've sent a letter to Los Angeles Unified School District. ABC7 reached out to LAUSD, but the district declined to give a comment at this time.

New LA Elementary initially declined to comment, but later issued the following statement:

"New Los Angeles Charter Elementary School was assigned space on the Baldwin Hills Elementary School campus through the Prop 39 program. Every day, NEW LA students and staff show up committed to the school's mission of respect for self and others, with the expectation of a high-quality public school education. While attempting to find solutions that benefit all students, New LA has worked tirelessly to find a permanent home that is not co-located on an LAUSD school site. We hope we will be able to move off of this campus and into our own space in the near future. We know that everyone has students' best interests at heart, and we are committed to finding solutions that benefit all."

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