The photograph below was taken during the UTLA strike last January. The guy in the center is famous rocker Stevie Van Zandt, who loves teachers and public schools and unions. Stevie is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He played in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.

Stevie is constantly giving back, and he gave back in Los Angeles, where he picketed in the rain. Stevie will be a featured speaker at the Network for Public Education national conference in Philadelphia, March 28-29, 2020. Be there!

Stevie made a great video to celebrate International Teachers Day. 

Jeremy Mohler of “In the Public Interest” writes:




Like many districts nationwide, Los Angeles’s public school system was “broke on purpose.”

It’s suffered through decades of underfunding and anti-government rhetoric—”bad teachers.” Despite being the world’s fifth largest economy, California is 41st in the nation in per pupil funding.

It’s also bore the brunt of the charter school industry’s rapid growth. Los Angeles Unified School District has more charter schools than any other district in the country and now spends nearly $600 million annually to prop up a competing, parallel sector of privately managed schools.

That’s why what the city’s teachers did earlier this year was so powerful.

As a new report from Reclaim Our Schools LA outlines, “The Los Angeles strike resulted in a stunning array of substantive victories well beyond the scope of a typical labor agreement.”

Not only did teachers win pay increases, but they also won more nurses, counselors, and librarians in schools; smaller class sizes; reductions in standardized testing; an end to random searches of students in some schools; and more.

If you’re wondering what democracy looks like in the age of Citizens United, voter suppression, and Trump, what’s being dubbed “bargaining for the common good” is a glimpse.

Read Building the Power to Reclaim Our Schools for the story of how teachers and the community organized and worked together to use government for the common good.

Thanks for reading,

Jeremy Mohler
Communications Director
In the Public Interest