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ROUND-N-ROUND FEAT. PAC DIVL.A.U.S.D.
L.A.U.S.D. - ROUND-N-ROUND FEAT. PAC DIV - L.A.U.S.D. presents… Curly Tops and Nautica Jackets
this project mayneeeee is a classic!
Mibbs verse on Round-N-Round
"But it's a lottery - it's open to everyone!"
This is one of the most frequent responses I hear when someone accuses charter schools of being too exclusive and enrolling only comparatively privileged kids while locking out low income, special needs, immigrant or otherwise disadvantaged kids.
Today, someone passed along a link to an article in which charter applications are decried for requiring long essays, social security numbers and other items that leave many disadvantaged families out in the cold for one reason or another (see http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/15/us-usa-charters-admissions-idUSBRE91E0HF20130215 ). Such articles usually result in protests from people I know here in LA, who claim - correctly - that LAUSD charters do not have such onerous requirements and that our charters are open to everyone. Which is technically true. In Los Angeles, charter school enrollment is by lottery, and lottery forms are very simple and take only seconds to complete - there are no essays, SSNs, etc. required.
BUT - and this is a huge “but” - there are still many nearly insurmountable barriers to many, especially low-income, families, when it comes to charters in Los Angeles (and, my guess is, elsewhere), which have nothing to do with entrance exams or essays.
1. The applications are almost always exclusively online, and many low income and immigrant families do not have computers at home. They may also feel awkward asking for help at a library, especially if they’re not sure what they’re looking for.
2. Every charter has a different application deadline, so it’s hard to research and keep track of all of them, especially - again - if you don’t have ready computer access or aren’t fairly computer-literate.
3. Charters don’t provide transportation, so people who don’t live within a few blocks of their chosen school have to be able to provide reliable transportation - which usually means a working car. It also means parents have to be available to physically drop off and pick up their child at the required times, which may not be realistic since many blue collar jobs require people to be on site from 8 to 5 - with no running out to drive 5-10 miles and back again to pick up their child in the middle of the afternoon…especially on early-release days. Also, even if you do live within a few easy blocks of your chosen school, charters most often do not have permanent homes for their first few years. A school that was convenient to you this year may move several miles away next year, putting you back to square one in your search for a workable school.
4. While many charters do offer after-care programs (another requirement for working parents), many do not offer free or reduced cost options, and many do not offer breakfast, free or otherwise (another couple of requirements for many low-income parents).
5. Charters - like private schools - are in constant fundraising mode. Every week, there’s another item offered for sale or a straight-up donation plea…often accompanied by big posters everywhere showing progress toward the fundraising goal. This is intimidating to low-income parents, who feel bad if they can’t contribute, even if they would like to…and it’s demoralizing for their kids, too, to be told, “No, sorry, we can’t afford that” week after week after week, when new fundraising items or events are offered.
When you put these five items together, they add up to some very serious de facto barriers to charter schools for low-income and immigrant families…and some good ammunition to use the next time someone tells you that “charters are open to everyone - it’s all just a lottery and everyone has the same opportunity.”
Take Me HighPac Div
Pac Div - Take Me High
Yeah she looks good/and yeah she thinks I’m handsome/got me feeling good/let’s do something random…