Bill Raden of the California progressive website Capital & Main is one of the state’s best education writers.

In the latest issue, he brings good news about the victory of David over Goliath, plus an important insight into the rigging of the state law by Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings.

First, the good news:

In a David vs. Goliath win, a coalition of East L.A. families, teachers and community groups announced last week that the City of L.A. has pulled the plug on a new “mega-KIPP” charter school development. The project was part of a $1 billion joint venture between former tennis star-turned charter school landlord Andre Agassi and money manager Bobby Turner to develop up to 130 charter properties across the country. The Boyle Heights community had been battling the 625-student facility since it was unveiled in the fall of 2017 and had filed suit against the city in January over its failure to conduct an environmental impact study. Opponents had argued that building the massive charter school in an area already at overcapacity (and facing declining enrollment) would have been fatal for neighborhood public schools that are currently fighting for survival. “We united the community,” said longtime Boyle Heights activist Carlos Montes. ‘We got the letter from the City of L.A. Planning Commission, terminating the project. So this is a victory. If you fight, you can win.’”

Then comes the stunning explanation of the culprit who turned the charter law into a license to raid the public treasury:

Correction: The L.A. Times’ March series (here, here and here) on California’s laissez-faire charter authorization fiasco contained one glaring omission. Investigative reporter Anna M. Phillips itemized a lurid list of the brazen self-dealing, financial conflicts of interest and outright fraud primarily abetted by lax charter oversight laws — but herself overlooked how those scandals were all brought to you by TechNet, a 1990s Silicon Valley venture capital group with a dystopian moniker out of The Terminator. Led by Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings, TechNet pushed through Assembly Bill 544, the 1998 law that supercharged California’s originally benign Charter School Act of 1992 into a charter-minting machine, essentially by rewriting both the spirit and the letter of an elected school board’s authorizing mandate from “may grant a charter” to “shall not deny a petition.” Phillips also failed to mention the heroine of the story — Assemblyperson Christy Smith(D-Santa Clarita), whose AB 1507 currently seeks to limit charters to the jurisdiction of their authorizing district. Smith’s bill is one of several reforms being debated by the state Assembly Education Committee on April 24 at 1:30 p.m. You can catch the live action here.”