UTLA Press Release | http://bit.ly/6Uxeqq
21 December -- At a press conference today, UTLA announced that the union is filing a lawsuit that challenges a part of LAUSD’s implementation of the Public School Choice Resolution. The lawsuit asserts that LAUSD is not complying with the State Education Code, which requires majority permanent teacher approval before a school can be converted to a charter.
Attorneys for UTLA will file the petition on behalf of UTLA and a group of Garfield High teachers and parents who are slated to move to Esteban Torres High, a new school to be opened next year to relieve overcrowding at Garfield. Teachers who will move to new sites from other similarly impacted schools, including 28th Street, Foshay, and Pio Pico, will also join the suit. The lawsuit focuses on new schools because LAUSD has already acknowledged that it must follow state ed code for existing schools.
Education Code Section 47605 (a) (2) requires that a public school charter conversion—whether involving a partial or total conversion of an existing school—can be accomplished only if a petition is signed by 50% of the permanent status teachers at the school to be converted.
“We support positive school change, driven by teachers, parents, and other stakeholders at the school sites, but we will stand up against violations of the law and our members’ rights,” UTLA President A.J. Duffy says. “Effective school reform can’t begin by breaking the law.”
With key deadlines fast approaching, UTLA will seek a court decision before any final decisions are made on the Public School Choice applications. Applications to run the schools up for bid are due in January, and the School Board is scheduled to make selections in February.
UTLA could not file the lawsuit until after LAUSD established the parameters for the school choice process. UTLA continues to explore other legal avenues, including filing a grievance under Article 11 of the UTLA-LAUSD contract, which governs how teachers are transferred to new schools from their current sites.
CALIFORNIA ED CODE 47605.| http://bit.ly/6yJab0 (a) (1) Except as set forth in paragraph (2), a petition for the establishment of a charter school within a school district may be circulated by one or more persons seeking to establish the charter school. A petition for the establishment of a charter school shall identify a single charter school that will operate within the geographic boundaries of that school district. A charter school may propose to operate at multiple sites within the school district, as long as each location is identified in the charter school petition. The petition may be submitted to the governing board of the school district for review after either of the following conditions are met:
(A) The petition has been signed by a number of parents or legal guardians of pupils that is equivalent to at least one-half of the number of pupils that the charter school estimates will enroll in the school for its first year of operation.
(B) The petition has been signed by a number of teachers that is equivalent to at least one-half of the number of teachers that the charter school estimates will be employed at the school during its first year of operation.
(2) A petition that proposes to convert an existing public school to a charter school that would not be eligible for a loan pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 41365 may be circulated by one or more persons seeking to establish the charter school. The petition may be submitted to the governing board of the school district for review after the petition has been signed by not less than 50 percent of the permanent status teachers currently employed at the public school to be converted.
(3) A petition shall include a prominent statement that a signature on the petition means that the parent or legal guardian is meaningfully interested in having his or her child or ward attend the charter school, or in the case of a teacher's signature, means that the teacher is meaningfully interested in teaching at the charter school. The proposed charter shall be attached to the petition.
smf: for the sake of argument…
 'a single charter school' is not a list of 24..
 'either' is a killer word here, dividing parents from teachers.
 If these are conversion charter schools (see footnote #4) why aren't parent signatures required?
 Whether or not the charter law applies at all to the Public School Choice schools is arguable; LAUSD's interpretation seems to be one that it does where it's convenient and doesn't when it isn't - always tenuous legal grounds but great make-work for attorneys. UTLA's lawsuit seems to concede that the charter law applies - but is violated. UTLA may find themselves thrown out of court because the law doesn't apply - these are NOT charter schools - they are local neighborhood schools with (yet to be designed) attendance area maps! Whatever the courts decide - it appears that PSC schools do not qualify for the loans stipulated in this subsection …does this really mean that the opinion of parents is moot? Was that the legislative intent? smf
 'may' allows, it does not require. The question becomes whether the school board is bound by this permitted petition.