December 7, 2015Press Release
LAUSD School Board to pass motion opposing Broad-Walmart charter expansion plan
Where: LAUSD Board of Education, 333 S. Beaudry Ave., 90017
When: Tuesday, December 8
**Speakers available for media interviews after**
At the December 8 LAUSD Board of Education meeting, parents, students, educators, and community groups will urge School Board members to take a stand against the “Great Public Schools Now” plan by Eli Broad and his wealthy allies to greatly expand unregulated charter schools at the expense of neighborhood public schools. (See also the attached letters from community groups and labor union leaders calling on the board to oppose the Broad-Walmart plan.)
The School Board has in front of it the “Excellent Public Education for Every Student” resolution, authored by Board Member Scott Schmerelson, that would put the board on record as opposing all market-driven education reforms such as the Broad-Walmart initiative. The Broad-Walmart plan leaked to the press in September contains numerous references to students and schools as “market share” and labels teachers as “human capital.” If implemented, the Broad-Walmart plan would trigger a race to the bottom by forcing schools to compete for resources, threaten LAUSD’s financial viability by draining the district’s budget, and create an unregulated education system that would leave high-needs students behind.
“At its heart, the Broad-Walmart plan is a comprehensive attack on our historic national commitment to public education and the democratic principles of transparency, accountability, and equity,” UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl says. “Deregulation schemes in other parts of the country, such as New Orleans, have led to massive inequities and civil rights violations for students, with special education and higher-needs students falling through the cracks because unregulated charters will not serve them.”
In response to the growing coalition against the Broad-Walmart initiative, proponents of the plan now claim they are not focusing solely on the expansion of unregulated charter schools—yet Great Public Schools Now, the new organization formed to push the campaign, is being led by executives from ExED. Funded by a banker and other billionaires, ExED helps charter schools manage their business operations and offers start-up services to new charter schools. Great Public Schools Now released a list today of “the kinds of schools” the organization intends to replicate, and the majority of them are charters.
In sharp contrast to the Broad-Walmart plan to defund and deregulate neighborhood schools, UTLA is working with parents, students, and community members for investment in Sustainable Neighborhood Community Schools. These are schools that are accessible and equitable for all, have a well-rounded curriculum, involve parents and educators deeply, are connected to the community, and have well-resourced wrap-around services and restorative justice programs. More than 50 leaders of innovative school-based programs convened at UTLA today to discuss specific aspects of their work and how to expand success models across the district.
For media inquiries, contact UTLA Director of Communications, Anna Bakalis at firstname.lastname@example.org