Aug 31 2009

LAUSD Opened Up to Charters and Private Institutions

Feature Stories | Published 31 Aug 2009, 9:57 am | Comments Off on LAUSD Opened Up to Charters and Private Institutions -

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Last week the Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District voted 6-1 to turn over 200 existing schools and 50 schools yet to be built, into the hands of charter organizations and private non-profit institutions. The drastic move which is seen as the strongest push so far by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to take control of the school district, shocked teachers, and also many parents. The 200 existing schools in question are those that did not reach federal standards for state test scores. The United Teachers of Los Angeles is vehemently against the resolution saying it opens the door to privatizing LA’s public education system. School Superintendent Ramon Cortines has 60 days to come up with a plan to implement the resolution. LAUSD schools have been rapidly losing students and come under public criticism for being dictated by an overfunded bureaucracy and so-called special interests. The resolution comes at a time when President Obama has made a strong push in favor of charter schools a requirement to states to compete for federal educational funding. Until last week’s resolution, LA schools had been transformed into charter schools mostly on an ad-hoc basis, through the efforts of parents, teachers, and non-profit institutions. Those in favor of last week’s resolution say that the district will now have more control over the selection of charters and measures to hold those schools accountable.

GUEST: A. J. Duffy, President of the UTLA, Theresa Montano, NEA Board of Directors, at large-higher education CFA Board of Directors, Affirmative Action rep, Professor at Cal State Northridge

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