Move Follows Delivery of Petitions to Los Angeles Unified School District
Los Angeles, Calif. – January 18, 2013 – Just one day after delivering Parent Trigger petitions representing over 68% of their school to Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent John Deasy, the 24th Street Elementary School Parents Union is moving quickly to formally solicit proposals to transform their school for the upcoming 2013-14 school year.
In a comprehensive six-page set of guidelines released today (attached), the Parents Union says it is seeking “letters of interest from prospective partners for the transformation“ of the school. The transformation of the school would begin during the 2013-2014 school year.
The 24th Street Elementary School Parents Union is asking potential partners to submit a “Letter of Interest” (LOI) by 12 Noon PST on Friday, January 25, 2013. Respondents whose LOI meets the criteria laid out in the guidelines released today will be notified on Monday, January 28, 2013 of their inclusion in the next stage of the process: a “Request for Proposal” (RFP). Details of the RFP requirements will then be released the same day.
Respondents to the RFP will then have until Friday, March 8 – 39 days – in which to submit their full proposal. The final selection will ultimately be made by a vote of the parents who signed the “Parent Trigger Petition.” This is in accordance with California’s Parent Trigger law, regulations, and documents handed to each parent who signed the petition.
“As 24th Street Elementary School parents, we have become increasingly frustrated with the unacceptable academic situation and the broken culture at our school,” said Amabilia Villeda, the 24th Street Elementary School Parents Union chapter coordinator.
“We hope Superintendent Deasy and the LAUSD School Board will now move quickly and collaborate with us on transforming our school. We were very encouraged by Superintendent Deasy’s supportive words to us yesterday when he received our petitions, and we are glad that UTLA President Warren Fletcher has also indicated an interest in finding a collaborative solution. At the same time, we have a heightened sense of urgency to radically transform our school – one of the worst in the district – in time for the next school year which begins this coming August. And so while we will be working hard to negotiate a collaborative in-district solution, we cannot know today whether that attempt will ultimately succeed, giving us a moral obligation to our children to explore all possible options, including bringing in a high-quality non-profit charter operator. Our children have waited for so long to receive a quality education. Now we finally an opportunity to make it a reality, and we must seize it.”
“To the credit of the educators at the school, even they admit that the status quo is unacceptable. In a recent Public School Choice proposal to turn their school around – which was rejected by the district as inadequate -- they state that: ‘Parents are indignant, and rightfully so, because their children continue to suffer in a school that has flat-lined academically,’” Villeda said.
According to Ben Austin, executive director of non-profit Parent Revolution, which has been assisting the Parents Union in its efforts, today’s guidelines release is the next major step in bringing change to a school consistently ranked as one of the worst in the state.
“At Parent Revolution, we are honored to be working with a group of parents so focused on transforming their school through community organizing and so committed to taking back power over the educational destiny of their children,” Austin said.
“In addition, we very much appreciated the warm welcome Superintendent Deasy provided the 24th Street Parents Union today. He treated them with respect and made them feel welcome. We look forward to collaborating with the superintendent and his team to transform this tragically failing school.”
“The parents want thoughtful, focused proposals rooted making every single decision about 24th Street Elementary School rooted in what’s good for the children of that school,” Austin added.
Note to media: The 24th Street Elementary School Parents Union and Parent Revolution will provide regular updates at each stage of the process outlined in the guidelines released today.