WOODLAND HILLS—El Camino Real High School has been unanimously approved for a Charter Conversion.

Over the previous years, El Camino, a part of the Los Angeles United School District (LAUSD), had to lay off many employees because of budget cuts and lack of funding. By becoming a charter school, El Camino Real is now sponsored by the state board and can qualify for additional state funding, enabling it to keep employees as well as its nationally recognized athletic and academic programs in place.

Charters are held accountable by their sponsor, usually a state or local board, to show positive academic results and are under a performance contract that details the school’s mission, program, goals, students served, methods of assessment and ways to measure success. The length of time a charter is granted is, on average, three to five years.

According to the National Study of Charter Schools, the three main reasons for charter creation or conversion are autonomy, serving a special population and realizing an educational vision.

California’s Charter School Law was passed in 1992 and, according to the Center for Education Reform, is ranked the third strongest in the country with an overall A grade.

One basis for which the LAUSD gets its funding is the volume of student enrollment. Losing El Camino Real drops the student population and can affect the amount of funds allotted to the district.

El Camino Real High School was in the headlines over a month ago when Jeff Stenroos, an LAUSD officer, claimed he had been shot by a man he confronted while breaking into cars near the high school. The school was on lockdown for several hours.

Stenroos later confessed that he fabricated the story. He now faces possible felony charges for filing a false police report.