Since the Burbank Unified Board of Education approved the application for Giligia Charter Academy on June 5, several concerned citizens in the the Burbank community have spoken out against the decision. Many people turned out in support of the petition at the June 5 meeting.
BUSD will hold a special board meeting to address community concerns on Monday, June 30, at 6:00 p.m. at the Burbank Adult School Auditorium located at 3811 W. Allan Avenue.
In an announcement posted on the district website, BUSD acknowledges “concerns in the community and we plan to work with stakeholders to address those concerns… in order to provide accurate information on charter schools and to address concerns regarding the charter school petition recently approved.”
At the school board meeting on June 5, the head of Giligia Charter Academy, Julia Yeranossian-Aghisian addressed the board on the need for a charter school aimed towards recent Armenian immigrants. (See video of the meeting here.)
Because so many new Armenian immigrants come to the area, she said, there is a need for this charter school to support the Armenian community. Parents are struggling to pay private school tuition and have their children in a protected environment, Yeranossian-Aghisian added.
A charter school functions like a public school in that tuition is not charged, but the school is funded by Average Daily Attendance (ADA) funds from the state. If students leave BUSD to attend the charter school, BUSD loses the ADA funds from the state.
One BUSD teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed frustration with the decision, saying, “We get kids at all levels who are new to the country from many countries and support them to become part of their new home. Diversity, not segregation, makes for a stronger community and country.”
Many families with students from surrounding communities and not just Burbank, including Glendale, La Cresecenta, Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, North Hollywood have expressed interest in attending the Academy.
The Board of Education will consider the application for final approval on July 17. If approved, Giligia Charter Academy will open in September on the 3900 block of W. Burbank Boulevard, near Hollywood Way.