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Parents, administrators rally in support of charter schools

About 1,000 parents and administrators from charter schools flooded Beaudry Avenue in front of Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters on Tuesday in opposition to a motion the school board was to consider at its meeting inside.

"They want to take away our right to have our children in the schools of our choice," said Linda Sauceda, whose two children attend Alliance Charter schools.

Standing in front of a group of parents, all wearing green T-shirts, Sauceda said she was under the impression that the resolution would close charter schools. Several parents nodded in agreement.

The resolution, introduced by board member Steve Zimmer in September, proposes to ask charter operators to voluntarily delay applications for new schools.

Zimmer's original resolution asked for a mandatory moratorium.

Despite the changes in his proposal, the message was the same, said charter supporters.

"The whole spirit of the resolution is off the mark," said Jed Wallace, chief executive of the California Charter Schools Assn. "The parents will remain engaged until the school district fully embraces charter schools and allows them to grow and thrive."

School officials and parent groups were notified of changes to the resolution by the charter schools group, Wallace said, but some parents acknowledged that they were still in the dark.

"I don't know what this is all about, but I'm supporting the charter schools," said Janet Obonkor, whose son is an eighth-grader at Nueva Esperanza, a PUC charter.

The parents gathered outside the board room, many of them dispersing after it was announced that the vote on the proposal was scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

As they left, many chanted, "Los padres unidos jamas seran vencidos," or "The parents united will never be defeated."


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