Green Dot Public Schools

Green Dot Public Schools

Green Dot Public Schools is a fast-growing charter management organization specializing in turning around under-performing schools. It was founded in 1999 as a response to the education crisis unfolding in Los Angeles. While largely supported by local, state, and federal funds, Green Dot has also relied on philanthropic funding to build up its school facilities and infrastructure. Green Dot currently operates 17 high schools and one middle school in the Los Angeles area serving impoverished and underserved communities. Additionally, in 2008, Green Dot New York Charter School in the Bronx opened in partnership with the United Federation of Teachers.

In working to bring about systemic change within the city, Green Dot's teachers and management worked with the California Teachers Association to develop a contract for its teaching staff that is aligned with the mission of Green Dot and supports a professional environment for teachers. Green Dot also worked with Randi Weingarten, now president of AFT, and the United Federation of Teachers to create the labor contract for Green Dot New York Charter School. Green Dot offers a collaborative decision-making environment, structured within clear parameters of autonomy and accountability, to support school-site staff in achieving the ambitious promise of college, leadership, and life readiness for all students.

Similarly, Green Dot works closely with parents, asking them to contribute 35 hours per year at the school site. Green Dot also created the Parent Revolution—a grassroots organization that empowers parents at historically low-performing schools to advocate for equity and change.

As Green Dot brings new schools into the fold, the improvement of student performance measures for its schools overall temporarily slows. Disaggregated performance measures, especially of Green Dot's first five campuses, show steady, relatively rapid growth in graduation and proficiency rates, outperforming comparable sites in Los Angeles.

student achievement graph

Data at a glance:
Total students 8,312
Total certified teachers407
Total full-time staff701
Number of schools19
Enrollment, by race/ethnicity
—Black: 18%
—Other: 2%
—Asian: <1%
—White: <1%
Students eligible for free and reduced-price meals95%
English learners25%
Graduation rate 78%


Marlene Canter, former board member, Los Angeles Unified School District
Ted Mitchell, Board member, Green Dot Public Schools
Marco Petruzzi, President and CEO, Green Dot Public Schools
Penny Upton, UniServ Director, California Teachers Association
Arielle Zurzolo, Acting President, Asociación de Maestro Unidos


District Website:
District Contract: