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After mixup, West Valley charters facing anxiety over bills

Vanessa Romo | May 2, 2014

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images-1A bureaucratic mistake at LA Unified has led to a degree of anxiety among affiliated charter schools in the West Valley, which will begin paying for classroom basics they had previously gotten for free from the district.

A lack of oversight and confusion among several departments with little experience in understanding how affiliated charter school should operate, including school operations, school management services and budget services, lead the district to purchase textbooks, classroom furniture and other supplies for years on behalf of the autonomous schools.

“It wasn’t until the last two years, when you had this explosion of 43 affiliated charter schools in the Valley alone, where the district started to take notice and say, ‘Oh my goodness, they should be responsible for paying for this,’ ” Joe Martinez, president of the Valley Affiliated Charter Schools, told LA School Report.

“When schools found out that some had been paying for these things, and others were not getting charged, that created some animosity” Martinez said.

It has also created some worry for those schools whose budget for the 2014-15 school year will remain the same under the state’s new Local Control Funding Formula, but will now have to dip into their pockets for classroom necessities.

About the dilemma Martinez said, “Even though they’re not losing money in the LCFF, they will, in a way have less moving forward.”

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