Community members feel marginalized by Baldwin Hills Charter School New LA Elementary

BALDWIN HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Staff, parents and community members have expressed growing concern about Baldwin Hills Elementary School’s cohabitation with the New LA Elementary Charter School. They said it was a drain on resources and are calling for the charter school to be relocated.

“This isn’t a new charter school, but you want to take the easy route. ‘Oh, we just come here’ because they think we’re just a neighborhood school. Our children deserve the same rights as any other school and we should have,” said Rita Richard, a parent and graduate of Baldwin Hills Elementary.

Community members say that Baldwin Hills Elementary serves a student body that is primarily composed of children of color. Since the charter school moved in, community members said they have lost eight classrooms and have to share the only bathroom along with other common areas. They said they felt left out and blamed the district. Parents have shared their concerns with us.

“I went to this school, my brother went to this school, my son went to this school,” said one parent. “There are many of us in the third, fourth, fifth generation in this church. School was never a problem. It’s the district.”

In addition to limited resources, a parent described an incident where her niece was bullied. She said staff and programs such as music and speech therapy have been cut.

“We don’t like it. We don’t like the charter school on our campus,” said another parent. “When I came here, we had a really big garden and stuff. Now they don’t have him because of the many bungalows for the charter school. The children cannot have a real garden. They can’t play outside before they have.”

“We shouldn’t have to be out here because there’s no longer a speech therapist on campus,” Richard said. “We’re not fully staffed.”

The parents are calling for the charter school to be relocated and said they sent a letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District. ABC7 reached out to LAUSD and they declined to comment at this time.

New LA Elementary initially declined to comment, but later issued this statement:

“New Los Angeles Charter Elementary School has been allocated space on the campus of Baldwin Hills Elementary School through the Prop 39 program. Each day, NEW LA students and staff, committed to the school’s mission of respect for self and others, emerge with the expectation of a quality public school education. In attempting to find solutions that benefit all students, New LA has worked tirelessly to find a permanent home that is not on LAUSD school premises. We hope to be able to move away from this campus and into our own premises in the near future. We know that everyone has student interests at heart and we strive to find solutions that benefit everyone.”

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Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. Community members feel marginalized by Baldwin Hills Charter School New LA Elementary

Laura Coffey

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