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L.A. school board to decide who will run 13 campuses [Updated]

March 15, 2011 |  8:05 am

LAUSD
Parents lined up outside the Los Angeles Board of Education offices Tuesday morning in expectation of a big decision: who will run seven new high schools and six other campuses.

The much-watched experiment is a bid to improve academic achievement. Under the 2009 Public School Choice Initiative, new and underperforming schools can opt to have outside companies come in and run them.

Parents backing the charter plan were camped out outside the LAUSD's headquarters in downtown L.A. early Tuesday morning, along with some who would like to see the schools remain under the control of the LAUSD.

Sierra Jenkins of the California Charter Schools Assn. helped organize the camp-out.

She told KTLA Channel 5 the purpose of the event was "just to show how much parents care about this ... and to emphasize again and again ... that we have to put the kids first and not the politics in this situation."

"We're talking about 20,000 kids and what school they're going to attend and who's going to run their school for decades to come," Jenkins said.

But not everyone wants to see the schools handed over to charter companies.

A woman who identified herself only as Wendy, who said she represents the Echo Park community, said she believes that in her situation, the community school plan is the best option. She told KTLA Channel 5 the community school plan developed by teachers includes a curriculum focused on the arts and environmental science, and offers a dual-language option with English and Spanish.

[Updated at 11:50 p.m.: An earlier version of this post misidentified Sierra Jenkins as an L.A. Unified parent.] 

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-- Howard Blume

Photo: Micki Curtis, left, and Windy O'Malley rush back home after after spending the night to get their tickets to attend the Board of Education meeting to be held at LAUSD headquarters Tuesday afternoon. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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