The Los Angeles Times has a love affair with the privatization of public schools; it is wild about the idea of outsourcing control of students and funding to private management. Just a few days ago, the LAUSD surprised everyone by voting 7-0 to reject billionaire Eli Broad’s plan to take control of half the students in the district by putting them in charters. It sounded a little fishy because even the board’s charter faction voted against Eli’s power grab.


Now we see the game is still on. Eli’s front-group called Great Schools Now is staffing up.


Today the Los Angeles Times published an editorial in support of the Broad plan that was breathtaking for its audacity. It echoed the charter lobby’s contention that any resistance to their drive for power was divisive. The editorial proposed that the district’s new superintendent should ask for a place at the charter lobby’s table so she could help shape their plans for a takeover. Say what?


What arrogance! What happened to the democratic process? Has Eli already purchased the district? Is Superintendent Michelle King his employee?


Here are some good comments by public school activists in LA.


Karen Wolfe warns King to stay away and reminds Eli that he is a citizen with one vote only. He should go to board meetings like everyone else with an idea.


She writes:


“In its ongoing effort to convince the city that a huge public entity should be handed over to a private group of titans, the LA Times now suggests inviting the public official to the table to give the effort some credibility. This is the superintendent, who was appointed by the democratically elected board, to lead the public entity the titans seek to control.


“As Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis has said, “You can’t have a seat at the table when you’re on the menu.”


Ellen Lubic wrote the following article:
Another Coffin Nail in Public Education…if Eli Broad Can Get Away With It


As we continue to see, the highly biased LA Times is under the thrall of Eli Broad and his cohorts to take over public education in Los Angeles and convert it to free market profiteering. Almost daily, the Times runs what is loosely called journalism, lauding charter schools, and defaming public schools, They add a disclosure announcement at the end of these articles admitting they are paid for by Broad and the non profits like United Way where he calls all the shots.
Here is the operant paragraph of Sunday’s editorial from the LA Times, which is paid for by Eli Broad and his claque of pretenders (see their full disclosure which appears repeatedly with most of the education issues on which they report). It is all about the new Broad-concieved 501c3 Great Public Schools Now, a permutation of Eli’s leaked plan to take over all of LAUSD.
“A better move would be to call on Great Public Schools Now to provide a place at the table for the district’s new superintendent, Michelle King, to participate in the planning process. If the new nonprofit organization hopes to overcome resistance in the community, it needs to be more open about its planning and it needs to open the process to public discussion — after all, whether charter schools or not, these are all public schools.”
“The Times receives funding for its digital initiative, Education Matters, from the California Endowment, the Wasserman Foundation and the Baxter Family Foundation. The California Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Los Angeles administer grants from the Broad Foundation to support this effort. Under terms of the grants, The Times retains complete control over editorial content.”
What a pile of manure…the only way these charter schools are public, is that We the People, we the public, we the taxpayers, are forced to pay for them…with NO oversight by the public, the government, or the school system. This is an amazing scam concocted by the Bonfire of the Vanities guys to use public funding for public schools while transferring students to privatized charter schools, all for their own profit. Rupert Murdoch and Eli Broad have openly written about this, and they and their billionaire buddies are gathered in their kingdoms, cackling at their success in fooling the public.
Now we read in their controlled corporate media, the LA Times, that Broad and Company wants the new Superintendent of LAUSD, Michelle King, to sit at their golden table as a participant with his hit squad, to charterize and privatize the rest of LAUSD…or at least for now, up to 50% more charters which take away from public education. Their fantasy seems to be that Michelle King will now work for them and be a subject to Myrna Castrejon…and of course Eli Broad.
It is shocking to see that Broad lawyers and PR firms now use as their mouthpiece, this hard core, non educator, lobbyist for CCSA who spent her time twisting arms in Sacramento who now thinks she is on the same level as the new Superintendent of LAUSD.
As to Myrna Castrejon, a political hit woman who works for charter schools, here is her Times dossier.
“The organization driving a controversial effort to vastly expand charter schools in Los Angeles has selected one of the state’s most visible charter school advocates as its first executive director.
Myrna Castrejon, 50, is leaving her position as a lobbyist and strategist for the California Charter Schools Association to lead Great Public Schools Now, a nonprofit organization established to carry out the charter expansion strategy, which was first developed by billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad and his foundation.
In her new position, Castrejon will become the face of an initiative that is stoking tumult among educators and push-back from the Los Angeles Unified School District. An early proposal called for raising $490 million to enroll half of the district’s students in charter schools over the next eight years.
Castrejon, senior vice president of government affairs for the charter association, begins her new role Feb. 22. She said a key priority will be reaching out to leaders of the nation’s second largest school district who, just two days ago, publicly opposed the plan developed by the Broad Foundation.
L.A. Unified Supt. Michelle King on Thursday echoed concerns raised by the school board, saying she does not support any initiatives that propose to “take over” the district by encouraging students to enroll in charters.”
How many of the California legislators are under the influence of Broad and his endless cash? We know for a fact that the former mayor of LA, Anthony Villaraigosa, who is now preparing to run for Governor, is prime among these sellouts to the big money. He is so close to Eli and John Deasy, he can taste them.
Have we lost all control of American society and democracy to Broad his band of oligarchs? How can they form a new 501c3 and think it will be the vehicle to infiltrate the school district and usurp it totally, from Superintendent to BoE to every classroom and every piece of LAUSD real estate?
The arrogance and sheer chutzpah of this power grab is mind boggling.
The real public living in the community better wake up to this irreversible loss of public schools and must take to the streets to preserve what is left. California already has more charter schools than any other state in the Union, and Los Angeles has the most of any city in the nation. Yet university reports show that the preponderance of these charters do no better than public schools in educating students, and a large group does far worse…all the while making big bucks using ill prepared teachers who flee their charges quickly.