Alex Caputo-Pearl, the head of the United Teachers of Los Angeles, announced that teachers would fight Eli Broad’s plan to expand the number of privately managed charter schools to include half the children in the city. The plan was announced recently and has the support of the rightwing Walton Family Foundation and the Keck Foundation.

The first point to be made about the Broad plan is that it is a direct affront to democracy. Who elected Eli Broad to decide what the shape of the LAUSD should be? Who gave him the power to redirect public funds to private entrepreneurs?

The second is that the union is a natural antagonist to the charter expansion because charters are almost always non-union schools. Their teachers have no job protections, work long hours, and can be fired at will. Of course, this is not an incidental feature of charter schools; it is central to their purpose to disempower teachers. That is why the charter movement is supported by the staunchly anti-union Walton Family Foundation of Bentonville, Arkansas.

The third is that the expansion will cripple public education, leaving the public schools with the students unwanted by the charters and removing resources and the best students.

““We’re going to make every effort that we can to organize against the expansion of what are essentially unregulated non-union schools that don’t play by the rules as everybody else,” Caputo-Pearl told LA School Report. “So we’re going to take that on in the public, take that on in the media, engage the school board on it. We’re going to try to engage Eli Broad. We’re going to try to engage John Deasy because we understand he’s the architect of it. It will be a major effort. It is a major concern.”