Tag Archives: Proposition 39

It Appears That Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin Revealed Confidential Attorney Client Information From LAUSD’s Office Of The General Counsel To The California Charter School Association In A Secret Meeting In February 2018 — Having To Do With A January 2016 CCSA Lawsuit Against LAUSD Over Prop 39 Access To Facilities — In February 2018 CCSA Met With Melvoin About LAUSD Facilities Policy — At This Meeting Melvoin Told CCSA — The Adverse Parties In The Freaking Lawsuit — That LAUSD’s General Counsel Was “Confident In Lawsuit Position” — And Therefore Was Disinclined To Settle — Two Months Later CCSA Conceded And Dropped The Suit Without A Settlement — Perhaps Their Decision To Pursue This Course Was Informed By Confidential Information Obtained From Melvoin — It’s Hard To Imagine It Could Be Otherwise

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about an episode in January 2018 when the California Charter School Association actually drafted a resolution for then newly elected, then and now bought and paid for, LAUSD board member Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin,1 to present to his colleagues on the school board. It was and is a complicated story, and I promised at the time to lay it on you in increments.2 That first post was about the CCSA-drafted resolution and how they passed it on to Nicky in January 2018.

Today we’re moving along to February 20, 2018. On that date Nick Melvoin, his senior advisor Allison Holdorff Polhill, and his policy director Danielle Tenner met with Cristina de Jesus of Green Dot Private Schools, Emilio Pack of STEM Preparatory Schools, Caprice Young of the creepiest cultiest charter chain, that is Magnolia Charter Schools, and Cassy Horton, Ebony Wheaton, and Jason Rudolph, all the last three from CCSA, all met to discuss the resolution.3

Also at that time, explained below, CCSA was suing LAUSD. And, amazingly, it seems that in this meeting Melvoin passed on a great deal of privileged information about LAUSD’s legal strategy to the charter advocates. He also agreed to intervene with LAUSD’s lawyers to further CCSA’s interests. This is on its face appalling behavior from an elected official, sworn by oath to faithfully execute the duties of his office, a violation of which oath this behavior pretty clearly is.4 As always, the details are complicated.

We know about this meeting from an email sent the next day, February 21, 2018, by the aforementioned Jason Rudolph to his co-conspirators de Jesus, Pack, Young, Horton, and Wheaton. This email is interesting in itself, and it is reproduced below in full. Much, much, muchmuchmuch more interesting, though, is the attachment to the email, consisting of Rudolph’s notes on the previous day’s meeting.5 This document is endlessly complex. I expect that the next four or five posts in this series will be on this document.6
Continue reading It Appears That Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin Revealed Confidential Attorney Client Information From LAUSD’s Office Of The General Counsel To The California Charter School Association In A Secret Meeting In February 2018 — Having To Do With A January 2016 CCSA Lawsuit Against LAUSD Over Prop 39 Access To Facilities — In February 2018 CCSA Met With Melvoin About LAUSD Facilities Policy — At This Meeting Melvoin Told CCSA — The Adverse Parties In The Freaking Lawsuit — That LAUSD’s General Counsel Was “Confident In Lawsuit Position” — And Therefore Was Disinclined To Settle — Two Months Later CCSA Conceded And Dropped The Suit Without A Settlement — Perhaps Their Decision To Pursue This Course Was Informed By Confidential Information Obtained From Melvoin — It’s Hard To Imagine It Could Be Otherwise

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New Los Angeles Charter Elementary School To Continue To Co-Locate At Baldwin Hills Elementary School For The 2019-2020 School Year Even Though Everyone Is Unhappy About It — LAUSD Gave NLA No Other Choice According To Executive Director Brooke Rios — But In Order To Assuage Tension New LA Will Not Use Any Additional Classroom Space — Will Be Forced To Increase Class Size To Accomplish This — Desperate Search For New Site Continues With Formation Of Board Committee

You may recall that the recent UTLA strike inspired me to spend a little time using the public records act to look into the state of charter schools in Los Angeles, and one of the ones I’m looking into a little is New Los Angeles Charter Schools. After a little of the usual nonsense I was able to obtain a bunch of emails relating to the strike.

The story behind the story, well-told in LA Taco by Daniel Hernandez, is that the public Baldwin Hills Elementary School is forced by state law to cede part of its campus to New Los Angeles Charter Elementary School, a process called co-location. It’s never been a comfortable arrangement but the strike brought everything to the surface, and the emails revealed that New Los Angeles executive director Brooke Rios didn’t think it was possible to continue co-locating there given that everyone hated them:

It is clear that the strike gave voice to the mounting tension between Baldwin Hills and New LA. To be frank—we are not welcomed there. Our Prop 39 offer will be issued on February 1, and it is likely that we will be offered one more classroom at Baldwin for 18-19. It is difficult to imagine another year on that campus after this week, and I am eager to consider other solutions.

Proposition 39 created this co-location system, and the Prop 39 offer that Rios talks about there is a formal offer from LAUSD allocating public school space to a charter school. And given that the offer would issue on February 1, I made plans to attend the next meeting of the board of directors to see what was going to happen. And if I’m going to attend, I’m going to film, of course.

So last night they held the meeting out at their secret headquarters on Washington Blvd. just east of Hauser. I rode the bus all the way out there and taped the whole damn thing. So behold! Eighty four minutes of mind-numbing mumbling with a few really interesting things interspersed. Watch it at your peril, but also take a look here where Brooke Rios discusses the Prop 39 offer. To everyone’s dismay New Los Angeles was offered space at Baldwin Hills Elementary School and given no choice at all in the matter.

And Rios announces that New Los Angeles will seek not to exacerbate the tension any further by not taking up any more classroom space than they have been taking. So they’re not leaving, but they’re not expanding into more classrooms. This is going to require a significant increase in class size, which Rios and some board members anticipate will make parents pretty unhappy and might even induce some of them to move their kids to another school. How does Rios propose to deal with this desperate situation? Like any good bureaucrat, she’s forming a committee of the board! The committee will be looking for affordable privately-owned space that doesn’t involve co-location, which has turned out to be unreliable.

It was interesting but not surprising that throughout the discussion at the board meeting, no one on the primarily white board of directors or staff even mentioned the racial aspects of the situation, well explained by Hernandez, which is that the charter school is taking up space that could be used to serve the primarily African-American student body at Baldwin Hills.

It’s heartening to see that protests, shunning, and similar social action1 can actually lead to charters leaving co-located schools, or at least really trying their best to leave! There really aren’t other tools available to the parents of public school children to rid their campuses of privatizers, forced on them by state law. Nothing got settled at last night’s meeting, but I will continue to follow the story. Turn the page for a transcription of some of the discussion.
Continue reading New Los Angeles Charter Elementary School To Continue To Co-Locate At Baldwin Hills Elementary School For The 2019-2020 School Year Even Though Everyone Is Unhappy About It — LAUSD Gave NLA No Other Choice According To Executive Director Brooke Rios — But In Order To Assuage Tension New LA Will Not Use Any Additional Classroom Space — Will Be Forced To Increase Class Size To Accomplish This — Desperate Search For New Site Continues With Formation Of Board Committee

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