Thursday, December 15, 2005

Playing Space Games In San Diego

You know things are not good when two of a city's mostly minority-serving charter schools have to sue their own district to get enough instructional space:
The operators of two San Diego charter schools sued the school district on Wednesday for failing to give them classroom space under a state law that says charter school students should be treated the same as other public school students.

The lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court is partly funded by the California Charter Schools Association, which said the suit is a warning to other school districts.

"All these schools are asking for is that their students be treated the same as all other public school students, as the law requires," said the association's president and CEO, Caprice Young.

The suit by Fanno Academy and KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy claims the San Diego Unified school board repeatedly ignored the schools' requests to lease space, but continues to rent to wealthier private schools.

The two charter schools serve mostly poor, minority students in areas where the district has seen significant declines in attendance in recent years, according to the lawsuit.

Fanno Academy opened this year in a Baptist church with 70 students in kindergarten through 6th grade - about 100 fewer than it had hoped to serve, because of the space constraints, McGlawn said.

KIPP, which is part of a national chain of college preparatory schools using the Knowledge is Power Program, is operating in a commercial building with 180 students in grades 5 through 7. Students attend classes from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day and every other Saturday.
I wonder if the district would be so stringy with its support if the two charters were serving students from mostly higher-income backgrounds?

Of couse when a school district's adults are playing these kinds of "games," there are no winners, only losers, and those are usually the kids.
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