Monday, January 14, 2019

LA Strike: Charters are on the table

So far the press and public seem to be on the side of the union - though I wish they would make it very clear that the Supt, Austin Beutner, has no background in education, is a hedge hog, and was installed by the Eli Broad forces on the LA school board. The hedge hogs in the battle for that school board put a lot of money on the table to win a narrow majority.

This article in the NYT points out:
Unlike other states where teachers struck last year, California is firmly controlled by Democrats, for whom organized labor is a key ally. And the California teachers unions are among the most powerful lobbying force in Sacramento..... NYT
Yes, the Democrats are up against a wall.

The article also focuses on the charter issue - this is the NY Times after all --- who expected this?

What’s Really at Stake in the Los Angeles Teachers’ Strike

Can California provide sufficient resources to support an effective public education system? Or will charter schools cripple it?
Miriam Pawel
By Miriam Pawel
Ms. Pawel, a contributing opinion writer, is the author of “The Browns of California: The Family Dynasty That Transformed a State and Shaped a Nation.”


NYT - Jan. 14, 2019

Unlike other states where teachers struck last year, California is firmly controlled by Democrats, for whom organized labor is a key ally. And the California teachers unions are among the most powerful lobbying force in Sacramento.
On paper, negotiations between the 31,000-member United Teachers of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Unified School District center on traditional issues: salaries that have not kept pace, classes of more than 40 students, counselors and nurses with staggering caseloads. But the most potent and divisive issue is not directly on the bargaining table: the future of charter schools, which now enroll more than 112,000 students, almost one-fifth of all K-through-12 students in the district. They take their state aid with them, siphoning off $600 million a year from the district. The 224 independent charters operate free from many regulations, and all but a few are nonunion.
When California authorized the first charter schools in 1992 as a small experiment, no one envisioned that they would grow into an industry, now educating 10 percent of public school students in the state. To counter demands for greater regulation and transparency, charter advocates have in recent years poured millions into political campaigns. Last year, charter school lobbies spent $54 million on losing candidates for governor and state superintendent of education.

In Los Angeles, they have had more success. After his plan to move half of the Los Angeles district students into charter schools failed to get traction, the billionaire and charter school supporter Eli Broad and a group of allies spent almost $10 million in 2017 to win a majority on the school board. The board rammed through the appointment of a superintendent, Austin Beutner, with no educational background. Mr. Beutner, a former investment banker, is the seventh in 10 years and has proposed dividing the district into 32 “networks,” a so-called portfolio plan designed in part by the consultant who engineered the radical restructuring of Newark schools.
“In my 17 years working with labor unions, I have been called on to help settle countless bargaining disputes in mediation,” wrote Vern Gates, the union-appointed member of the fact-finding panel called in to help mediate the Los Angeles stalemate last month. “I have never seen an employer that was intent on its own demise.”
It’s a vicious cycle: The more overcrowded and burdened the regular schools, the easier for charters to recruit students. The more students the district loses, the less money, and the worse its finances. The more the district gives charters space in traditional schools, the more overcrowded the regular classrooms.

Read the entire article here.

1 comment:

  1. Build more schools,hire more teachers,or control the flow of illegals.

    ReplyDelete

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