School Choice

Proposed Business-Focused Incubator School Causes Outcry

One parent upset it may "indoctrinate" children into supporting the free market

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Sujata Bhatt uses online games to encourage her students at Grand View Boulevard Elementary School to aim higher: "Don't just play games, make them."

Now Bhatt will get the chance to teach middle school students how to launch their own businesses at a new campus approved this week by the Los Angeles school board. The Incubator School marks the latest effort in L.A. Unified to spark innovation through "pilot" schools, where district educators are given autonomy over their curriculum, budget, staffing, training and other elements.

Despite enthusiasm for the school's concept, however, the plan became entangled in disputes over its location, union concerns over job placement rules and political tensions.