'"We have no say in what sort of fences they raise between us and them. I don't think it's right that charter students will eat a catered organic lunch, while our students receive reheated foods wrapped in plastic. What signs they place on the walls, what field trips they go on, that will be different than our kids' field trips. There is no standard, no explanation. It's chaotic because nobody really devised a plan. It's just a sign of the gradual advance of corporate America into our public schools," states parent Jordan Crane.' — Lulu Wilson
Citizens of the World Charter Corporation (CWC) was founded by a number of school privatization veterans with an existing track record of scandals and malfeasance. From J. Kristean Dragon's "double-dealing" at her Wonder of Reading project, to segregation scoundrel Eric Grannis, to I tell racist jokes to my employees Mark Gordon, CWC's board members and executives are a microcosm of how the charter school industry attracts all sorts of duplicitous types. A local parent who has been intimately involved with CWC has released a mother load of emails and documents to LA Schools Matter that they said the corporate media wouldn't write about. We will be releasing this information as time permits in hopes that criminal investigations will be lodged and these unscrupulous individuals find long vacations as guests of the California Department of Corrections.
email regarding CWC's Free and Reduced Lunch Eligible student scam
California Education Law says charter schools have to admit everyone who wants in, and use a lottery if there's more interest than space available. California Education Law does not say that filling quotas for Free and Reduced Lunch Eligible students (FRL) is more important than admitting all students who want in.
Citizens of the World Charter Corporation (CWC) had a charter approved over a year ago to open a school in Mar Vista. They already have a $575,000 Public Charter Schools Grant Program ( PCSGP) grant in place. They already applied for a $300,000 California Revolving Fund loan and got it, they already have an open $150,000 line of credit to cover disbursement delays, and they already have $450,000 start up loan available from their "national" entity. Money is not a problem.
CWC applied for Prop 39 space from both Braddock Elementary School, and Stoner Elementary School (a 100% FRL school). They got approved to occupy both spaces for 2013-2014, fulfilling their needs to open according to their enrollment mission/vision as a full K-3. (Described in their charter).
CWC went in front of the School Board April 19, 2013 and was granted a lottery preference for FRL students, to "fulfill their socio-economic diversity goals, in accordance with their charter." They got the preference by only one vote, Zimmer, who waited til the end to cast his vote, if I remember correctly. Galatzan chastised CWC, saying that quotas are wrong and that she suspected they were using FRL's to strategize for funding. You can see this in the video.
It was widely known that CWC had failed to do adequate outreach at the low income housing centers around the two co-locating sites. They were very worried that they did not have sufficient applications for full enrollment as it was envisioned in their charter, nor did they have adequate numbers of FRL applicants.
CWC held its lottery for Mar Vista after the April 19, 2013 Board meeting, weighing FRL's 4:1. But because they had done such an awful job of outreach to FRLs, and couldn't get enough interest in the school, they declined the Prop 39 offer on May 1, 2013, deciding that they would not open the site at Braddock, even though they had all the elements in place to do it. They had everything they needed but denied Mar Vista hopefuls the chance for a spot at CWC.
- They had the funding, plenty of it
- They had key staff already in place
- They had Prop 39 classrooms they needed to open at both sites as a full k-3
- They had more than 500 applicants wanting to attend
- They chose to deny entry to students who wanted in just to serve CWC's own interests
- They declined the 5 classrooms confirmed at Braddock to "open smaller" and get a higher number of FRL students
- They should have let everyone in who wanted in, even if it meant having more Kindergarten and 1st grade classes
- This same scenario happened last year at Silverlake, and they had to open with 5 Kindergarten classes
Instead, CWC broke the law. They opened smaller to ensure the FRL quota, instead of following California laws.
A Braddock Elementary School PTA member has documentation and witness sources from the housing projects in the area. CWC failed in their outreach efforts to this community and used the LAUSD lottery preferences to get themselves the quotas they were looking for to qualify for Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) dollars. If they had actually let in all the Kindergarteners who wanted spots, they would be much farther from the FRL quota and its bonus money.