Monday, May 9, 2016

Los Angeles starts to discuss common enrollment school choice

The LA Times has the story:
How realistic is L.A. Unified's common enrollment application plan?

"According to a report that district employees prepared for the board of education in October and obtained by The Times in April, the district would favor a website like that of Boston Unified School District, in which parents can come to one website, enter their preferences for their child and receive suggestions on schools that fit the criteria. The information technology department recommended hiring a vendor to create this "search engine," according to the report.

The paper also suggests moving the application timeline to the fall semester, and creating one common application for all L.A. Unified schools. This would allow the district to compete with charter schools that have their lotteries early in the school year.

Unlike some other districts that have adopted this kind of process, L.A. Unified would not include independent charters. During a budget meeting in March, superintendent Michelle King told board members this single enrollment system would be a way to keep students, and the revenues they bring, in traditional public schools.

The discussions come as more students abandon district schools in favor of charter schools.

Right now there are about 10 kinds of public school options for families, including neighborhood schools, magnets, open enrollment, and zones of choice. Even if parents know that they have options and figure out what the alphabet soup of words means, the enrollment and application dates are at different times of the year, from October through March."

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