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Letters: Charters, private schools and choice

August 31, 2012

Re "Costly migration to charters," Aug. 28

Someone needs to officially diagnose the Los Angeles Unified School District with bipolar disorder.

Instead of celebrating the fact that, because of the proliferation of charter schools within the district, "parents of means" are regaining enough confidence in public education to re-enroll their children in public schools, L.A. Board of Education members like Steve Zimmer are complaining that the influx of these students is putting a financial burden on the district. Huh? Isn't this the same school district that once complained that because these parents were putting their kids into private schools, the district was receiving less state funding?

Zimmer's comments symbolize why "parents of means" such as myself are proud that their children are attending a thriving L.A. Unified charter school in spite of certain board members' barely-unspoken disdain for charters and the impediments they routinely place in the paths of charter schools' roads to success.

Eric Deyerl

Culver City

When I went to L.A. public schools during the Great Depression, they were considered some of the best in the country. There were very few alternatives. Now I read that L.A. Unified charter schools are taking more and more students from private schools.

Does this mean charter schools are as good or better than private ones? What if all L.A. Unified schools were better than private schools? Wouldn't that be a shame.

Lee Soskin

Studio City

Prior to Proposition 13's passage in 1978, California public school districts had more control over their money. All educational staff were involved in decision making that best served the needs of the students. We always had parental involvement, which was very empowering.

We had excellent schools before funding authority went to Sacramento, a transition that turned the educational system upside down.

Now union-unfriendly charter schools are the big trend. Another trend is to demonize unions as the culprit for this educational and economic disaster. As in everything, there needs to be a balance, but teachers' unions are an important cog in the educational machine.

Dee White

Capistrano Beach

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