Friday, November 26, 2010

Charter School is Re-Renamed for the Ex-Governator.

Photo by I Heiniger
Outgoing Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has finally earned the greatest honor of his career: having a charter school renamed after him, again. “It doesn’t matter how many Mr. Universes or Mr. Worlds you win. . . it is a very different kind of honor to have a school named after you,” said Schwarzenegger at the re-renaming ceremony.

The CHIME Institute elementary school, in Woodland Hills, California, opened in 2001, and was named for Schwarzenegger the first time in 2007. However, after merging with the CHIME Institute’s middle school this year, it had to be re-renamed for the Governator.

CHIME is touted as a charter success story. While other Los Angeles schools were firing teachers and cutting programs, CHIME managed retain faculty and programs. "I didn't have to come down with edicts," said Principal, Julie Fabrocini. "I gave them the parameters, and they came up with the solutions. . . In the end, the entire work force - teachers, administrators, staff - opted for a 7 percent pay cut and a freeze on raises, which is just now beginning to be unfrozen partially, three years later. Others, like their librarian, Heidi Mark, chose to work for free.

From JM3
Not surprisingly, CHIME’s board has several members who are well-connected to union-busting, pro-business organizations. Fabrocini, currently holds the position of Senior Program Officer, for the U.S. Program Education, at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Interim CFO, Joshua Mark moonlights as the Executive Director, Special Event Production, Creative Services for FOX Broadcasting Company. Director Deborah Cours was the founding director of the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business and Entrepreneurship and has served as a member of the North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce since 2004.

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