Rally against new operator at Civicorps charter school

Students and teachers held a rally at Civicorps Learning Academy, a charter school in West Oakland Wednesday evening.
They're protesting against a possible change in management of the academy.
The school serves mostly Latinx and Black students get their high school diplomas and learn job skills.
Many in the school community fear what a new operator could bring.
Students and teachers say it's crucial that the Civicorps Academy does not change. They say it's a unique school serving those who need a second chance.
The Academy is run by Civicorps, a nonprofit. Its board of directors is considering whether to bring in a larger charter school to run the school. 
"A lot of the teachers here see hope in us and a lot of people don't," says Luis Benitez, a student at the Academy.
If Civicorps partners with an outside provider, it says it will mean changes in the teaching staff.
Critics say the entire teaching staff of seven will lose their jobs.
"They provided resources to their students," says Marquise Andrews, a graduate of the Academy. 
The single mom credits the teachers and other staff for helping her get her high school diploma.
"When I got that, it was a huge accomplishment for me," says Andrews.
Staff says current programs are tailored to meet students' individual needs.
They say that will not be the case if another charter school takes over.
"They offer largely a curriculum that's based on computers, not the same type of one on one," says Aaron Smith, a case counselor with the Academy.  
Staff says there are currently 70 students enrolled. They range in age from 18 to 26.
"We have many formerly incarcerated students. We have many former foster youth students. This is the one place they can get that one on one support," says Avery Moore who's taught at the school for nine years.
Civicorps says it is considering the change in part due to financial pressures and that it has seen an increasing number of people who already have high school diplomas looking for access to its job training center. 
The board of directors will be voting on the proposed change. In a statement to KTVU, the nonprofit wrote in part, "The vote is based on a series of recommendations from an ad hoc committee of the board, which conducted an exhaustive review of options that would allow Civicorps to preserve its mission."
"Why replace a school that is actually making a difference," says one former student who spoke at the rally.  
The board of directors  is scheduled to vote on January 20.
If it decides in favor of another charter school taking over, it would be effective July 1.
Civicorps Learning Academy is a year round school.