Green Dot Public Schools, a leading charter school operator, is shutting down a campus because of low enrollment, financial pressures and subpar performance, officials confirmed Monday.
The action prompted a daylong student protest Monday at Animo Justice Charter High School, south of downtown Los Angeles.
The closure marks a first for locally based and nationally recognized Green Dot, which has 19 area campuses and one in New York City.
The nonprofit Green Dot opened five independently run, publicly funded charters, including Animo Justice, four years ago, near long-struggling Jefferson High School in South Los Angeles.
Green Dot founder Steve Barr first sought to take over Jefferson itself in the wake of racially tinged brawls in 2005.
Rebuffed by the Los Angeles Unified School District, he opted to compete for Jefferson students.
Jefferson's enrollment has stabilized, and its smaller, more manageable enrollment is contributing to improved student achievement. . . . .
. . . . The school will close at the end of the academic year.
The five Green Dot charters have registered higher test scores than Jefferson, but now they face enrollment competition from other charter schools as well as from a new district high school nearby. And another L.A. Unified high school is under construction.
Green Dot's financial model relies on philanthropic subsidies until it can build enrollment, one grade at a time, to 560 students. Animo Justice never quite hit its annual enrollment targets, accumulating a $1 million deficit, said chief executive Marco Petruzzi.
Shrinking state funding also tightened the financial problems. . . .
"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Green Dot Flameout in L.A.
At Green Dot Public Schools, Inc., the only things public are the public dollars that go, without public oversight, to feed the corporate welfare scammers who intend to bleed out public schools. From Howard Blume at the LATimes: