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Zimmer on a Tightrope: Charter Groups Watch

LA School Report | October 16, 2012



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Capping charter school growth seemed to have been a priority for LAUSD Board Member Steve Zimmer until recently, when he twice postponed, then watered down, his controversial proposal that would have banned new charter schools.

Direct mail sent by charter advocacy group

The motivation behind his hedging has been something of a mystery. One answer could be he’s listening: California Charter Schools Association Advocates (CCSA) makes no secret that it is activating its members on this issue, packing board meetings and sending out direct mail (see graphic). The mailer states, “over 10,000 L.A. parents are waiting for a chance to enroll their children in charter schools” and directs parents to call Zimmer’s office. CCSA advocate Gary Borden says the public wants opportunity: “For any board member who is trying to curtail parent choice for their kids, we’ll continue to raise awareness.”

But another explanation could be timing. So far, Zimmer is running unopposed for the District 4 board seat. The filing deadline for a potential candidate to oppose him is November 10; his revised charter oversight proposal is slated for discussion at the LAUSD board meeting just after that – on November 13.

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