LAUSD votes in favor of asking state for temporary moratorium on charter schools

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- During the LAUSD teachers strike so much was said about the growth of charter schools and the union's fears of privatization.

On Tuesday, a few thousand supporters of charter schools rallied outside LAUSD headquarters to urge the school board not to pass a resolution asking the state to cap them.

"We don't have an excess of high achievement in Los Angeles and in the communities that need our help the most. We should have a conversation about how we can work together and better - but a cap or moratoria doesn't solve that problem," said Myrna Castrejon, CEO of California Charter Schools.

But the board of education voted 5-1 in favor of asking the state to put an eight to 10 month moratorium on building new charter schools. It's a win for United Teachers Los Angeles, but it doesn't mean the state will move forward.

The board also approved last week's contract with UTLA, but not without new questions regarding how LAUSD will pay for it. A county oversight office looking at education released a statement saying their financial analysis of the agreement shows the district doesn't have enough money in their reserves.

"Anytime someone said you're hiding money, I went through the budget with them. So it confirms what I've said all along, which is it's not an issue of values, it's an issue of finances," said Nick Melvoin, vice president on the board.

But Melvoin said this isn't a time to say "I told you so" because it won't help students get a better education.

"We now have to do those tough things that we've neglected for too long - pensions, healthcare, district bureaucracy and looking at increased revenue," he said.

One of the ideas put forward to help LAUSD find extra money to pay for the agreement is a parcel tax. The school board will discuss it at their next meeting.
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