Generating Support for Public School Choice in LAUSD

 

Situation:


The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is suffering from low student achievement in many of its schools, coupled with a high dropout rate. Despite this, many charter schools are succeeding well beyond previous expectations. Members of the school board, in the midst of heavy political opposition, proposed a resolution allowing charter school organizations to submit proposals to turn around LAUSD’s low performers and operate several new campuses.

 

Strategy:


Positioning charter schools as ready to partner with the school district to solve its challenges, while positioning LAUSD as the epicenter for nationwide reform. Organize parents and advocacy organizations to encourage the school board to approve the measure in light of strong opposition.

 

Solution:


The Larson Communications team worked with the California Charter Schools Association and Families That Can to position the reform community as ready to take on these challenges.  Larson:

  • Developed tight messaging around why charter schools are best positioned to partner with the school district.
  • Crafted talking points for parents and speakers who would address the school board prior to its vote.
  • Created the tag line, “My Child, My Choice” to be used by supportive parents.
  • Encouraged the California Charter Schools Association to announce the fact that charter school organizations interested in expanding are significantly outperforming their district peers.
  • Coordinated a petition drive for parents that resulted in over 3,000 parents and supporters signing and encouraging the school board to pass this resolution.

Armed with momentum, charter school parents and supporters orchestrated a rally prior to the school board consisting of over 3,000 parents. The strategy worked, as the LAUSD board passed the resolution 6 to 1, potentially positioning high-quality charter schools to serve an additional 60,000 students over the next several years.

 

News placements:


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