Recently, teachers from the CAVA Organizing Committee visited almost every corner of our great state of California! Our travels had a clear purpose. Over the past six weeks, we met with Superintendents from six of the ten school districts that authorize CAVA to operate. The purpose of these meetings was to educate Superintendents about the issues we’re facing at our school and to ask them to make sure CAVA is adhering to their charter as well as CA state laws. According to California’s Ed Code, authorizing districts are responsible for making sure a charter school is doing everything they said they would do when chartered. Not surprisingly, we have found that there is often a big difference between what CAVA administration does and what they said they were going to do. That is why we have asked the Superintendents to help.
All of the Superintendents we met with expressed serious concerns about how CAVA administration is treating both its students and its teachers, and assured us they will look into the issues we raised. Many of the districts that authorize CAVA’s charters are very small rural districts that seem to have minimal capacity to make sure our schools follow our charter. Many of them also receive a percentage of the ADA that goes to CAVA based on student enrollment. We also made clear to the Superintendents that if the authorizing districts fail to hold CAVA accountable, we’ll have no choice but to ask the State to intervene.
In the meantime, our meetings have already yielded some positive results! When we met with Meridian School District, we told the Superintendent how CAVA teachers are often pressured by administration to back date ISMAs. The Superintendent agreed that this practice was unacceptable and said he would look into it. And lo and behold, two days after our meeting with Meridian, CAVA sent an all staff email teachers that the practice of back dating ISMAs would no longer happen.
In the coming weeks, we will be meeting with the remaining four districts to share our story and ask the districts to take action. If you’re interested in being part of that process, contact the Organizing Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org