February 6, 2020Press Release
Los Angeles— United Teachers Los Angeles has launched a new phase of the “We Are Public Schools” campaign that includes more than 75 billboards across LA. One billboard features Donald Trump and posted the same day he attacked teachers and called public schools “failed government schools” in his State of the Union speech.
The billboard, overlooks Highway 5 heading into downtown LA – one of the most viewed billboards in the country. It shines a light on Trump and those who are trying to buy our elections, divide our schools into winners and losers, and take important funding away from our neighborhood public schools.
“Billionaires and corporate special interests are not a part of our school communities, yet they have an undue influence on our elections and the direction of our neighborhood public schools,” said Kimberly Hinkston, an early childhood educator at Wilton Place Early Education Center. “It’s time to stand up against privatization and vote for the needs of our communities over the politics of fear and hate.”
Dozens of other billboards highlight the needs of our students and real-life stories of UTLA members — including classroom teachers, arts teachers, teacher librarians, nurses, counselors, psychiatric social workers, pupil services and attendance counselors, academic counselors as well as adult and bilingual education professionals. Read more at www.WeArePublicSchools.org
UTLA is also calling on our communities to elect truly pro-public education candidates on March 3 to the LAUSD School Board and support Jackie Goldberg in BD5, Patricia Castellanos in BD7, Scott Schmerelson in BD5 and George McKenna in BD1. These candidates will stand with L.A. students, parents and educators to defend our schools against the corporate charter industry.
We know that 40 years of privatization schemes and disinvestment in public education cannot be fixed overnight or with one strike. That’s why UTLA is back at the bargaining table now for more special education staffing and support, including lower caseloads and more school psychologists; more resources for bilingual education; a fair and competitive salary for educators; and increased mental health staffing and resources for all students. California is the wealthiest state in the nation yet ranks 39th out of 50 in per-pupil funding.
Those who are trying to attack public education and who are featured in the Trump billboard are:
Donald Trump: Most dangerous President in modern history. In his State of the Union on Feb. 4, Trump declared war on public schools and says he wants more taxpayer money to fund privatization and voucher schemes. He continues his destructive, racist polices and attacks on women, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ+ and our most vulnerable communities.
Betsy DeVos: In her role as the secretary of the Department of Education, she calls American public schools a “dead end.” In 2018 DeVos cut federal funding of public education by $9 billion, at the same time, allocating $440 million to the Charter Schools Program which also subsidizes school vouchers.
Rob Walton: The 17th richest person in the world and has an estimated net worth of $53 billion. The Walton Foundation is the single largest private funder of charter schools and vouchers in the US. In just 2018 alone, the Walton Foundation spent $210 million to fight unions and promote privatization of our public schools.
Ben Austin: Lead strategist in the war against public education in LA and lobbyist for California Charter Schools Association. In a leaked confidential memo, sent 6 days after UTLA’s successful strike, Austin lays out a plan to buy the LAUSD School Board election, sue LAUSD in order to “trump district policy and even UTLA contract rights” and “rebrand education reform as progressive” by “funding Black and Latino civil rights and community groups.”
Bill Bloomfield. Conservative businessman has funneled more than $500,000 in a smear campaign against Jackie Goldberg in BD 5. Bloomfield, also supporting CCSA candidates in BD 3 and BD 7. He also funneled $3.5 million into a failed campaign to elect Marshall Tuck as State Superintendent.
Robert Gutierrez: In his role as the president & CEO of the California Taxpayers Association, has funneled $139,000 to oppose the ballot initiative Schools and Communities First which would bring in much-needed funding to our public schools; continues to spread lies and misinformation about SCF in order to protect wealthy corporations from paying their fair share in taxes.
Maria Salinas: In her role as the president & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, vehemently opposed Measure EE, which would have brought in $500 million in much-needed money to our classrooms.
Ad paid for by Students, Parents and Educators in Support of Castellanos, Goldberg, McKenna, and Schmerelson for School Board 2020, Sponsored by Teachers Unions, Including United Teachers Los Angeles. Committee major funding from:
Political Action Council of Educators – United Teachers Los Angeles
American Federation of Teachers Solidarity Committee
National Education Association Advocacy Fund
This ad was not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.