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Creating a win-win for urban, Inyo students

August 14, 2013

Owens Valley community leaders met with students from the Boyle Heights charter school, a partnership between YouthBuild and Inyo County Office of Education. The students shared some of their experiences and explained how the schools impacted their lives. Photo by Tom Hallenbeck

By 2014, the Inyo County Office of Education will be overseeing more than 4,000 students: 2,400 of them live in the county; the other 2,000 will be enrolled in charter schools primarily in the Los Angeles basin. When asked why the COE has involved itself with at-risk students some 250 miles south of its office, board member Chris Langley called on the often-quoted phrase “why not,” adding, “we’re saving lives.”
In addition to providing what County Superintendent of Schools Terry McAteer describes as banking services to charter programs in some of the toughest areas of Southern California, the office has been able to place iPads in the hands of Inyo’s K-2 students, laptops for grades 3-5 with similar technology on the way to middle and high school students. That is part of the “why not.”
It’s simple math. “The county office charges 7 percent for business services (to Youth Build charter schools),” said McAteer. “We have a good, streamlined business office. What we don’t spend providing business services for the charters, we funnel into our own schools. Today, you have to be entrepreneurial to figure out how to provide for your own students.”
(Read more in the Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 edition of The Inyo Register.)

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