February 29, 2012 9 Comments
I’ve received numerous questions in the last few weeks regarding the term “affiliated charter.” Last year several schools converted to an affiliated charter, and this year, there are quite a few more schools in the pipeline to convert.
Affiliated charters only exist in LAUSD. They are essentially a hybrid between a typical school and a true charter. Affiliated charters get their money directly from the state, and get to make decisions at the school site, but they are still LAUSD schools. They receive their Title I funding directly for their students (whether they make the 50% threshold or not), and there are less categorical restrictions (such as money required to go for professional development). They can make curriculum decisions such as which texts to use and they can decide how to test students (and in some cases how often). Teachers are still hired through LAUSD and keep their benefits and seniority. There is more work, more governance at the local site, and more self-determination. The reward for the extra work is keeping programs that work.
As many parents are starting to tour for SAS , open enrollment and even kindergarten registrations, it’s important to understand these schools still have boundaries. They may have open enrollment. They might have SAS openings. But they still must accept every student in their boundaries.
I’m trying to find a link to an actual article on affiliated charter, with no luck so far. In the meantime, the easiest way to relate to it, is it’s an accounting/accountability decision. The schools going (or have gone) affiliated charter are nearly all non-Title I schools in the West Valley. The schools that are going this year are doing it to save their programs in this era of budget cuts.