Archives for category: California

When Ron DeSantis held a press conference to celebrate his latest attacks on academic freedom, he sneeringly said, “If you want to study gender ideology, go to Berkeley,” because universities in Florida will focus on workforce preparation (which he thinks is a “classical education,” a sure sign that he never had one).

California Governor Gavin Newsom enjoys trading punches with DeSantis, and he sent out this reply:

Diane –

Ron DeSantis says if people want to study “niche subjects” they should go to Berkeley, but down in Florida they are going to focus on “the basics.”

His supporters chuckled. They thought it was a sick burn.

But some education is in order:

Six of the top ten public universities are located in California and the most popular majors at UC Berkeley are Cellular Biology, Computer Science, and Quantitative Economics.

That’s Math, Science and Technology.

It also probably explains why California outperforms Florida in all of those categories while having ten times the number of biotech companies as Florida and three times as many tech jobs as Florida.

But at least DeSantis got some laughs for his flailing presidential campaign…

Team Newsom

Glenn Sacks teaches social studies at James Monroe High School in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He is one of the UTLA (United Teachers of Los Angeles) representatives for his school and also a strike captain in both 2019 and 2023. I was pleased to join the 2019 strike and walk the picket line with UTLA. Wish I could have been in L.A. for this one too.

The public schools of Los Angeles were closed this past week by a three-day strike, led by the low-wage staff represented by SEIU 99—about 30,000 workers, including bus drivers, teacher aides, custodians, cafeteria workers, gardeners, and special education assistants. The UTLA struck in support of the SEIU; UTLA’s 35,000 members include teachers, counselors, therapists, nurses and librarians.

A tentative settlement was reached after Mayor Karen Bass intervened to mediate. The SEIU was seeking a 30% wage increase, and they won it. The agreement must be approved by the membership.

Glenn Sacks reported the unions’ victory directly to me:

Friday afternoon SEIU and LAUSD reached an agreement which addresses SEIU’s central demands. The agreement includes:

• a 30% wage increase

• Retroactive pay of $4000-$8000, depending on job classification, including a $1000 bonus for all
• Increase to average annual salary from $25,000 to $33,000
• 7 hours of work guaranteed for Special Education Assistants
• Fully paid health care benefits, including family coverage, for Teacher Assistants, Community Representatives, After School Program Workers and others)

The average pay for SEIU workers went from $15.00 an hour to $22.52 an hour.

As the UTLA often says: “When we fight, we win.”

Sacks wrote this article for FOX News. Good for him for getting published in a place usually dominated by anti-union views!

I don’t blame our bosses for being surprised.

For decades Los Angeles Unified School District’s workforce has been divided into eight different unions. Our contracts expire at different times and labor law often ties our hands, so LAUSD plays us off against each other, to the detriment of all employees.

Service Employees International Union Local 99 represents 30,000 LAUSD bus drivers, teaching assistants, maintenance workers and cafeteria staff. Recently SEIU announced a three-day “Unfair Practice Charge” strike based on its well-founded accusations that LAUSD’s mistreatment of SEIU workers violates California labor law.

LAUSD probably expected that with teachers coming in to work, along with personnel brought in from LAUSD headquarters on an emergency basis, they could roll right over SEIU, as school districts often do to campus workers in similar situations.

Except this week, Los Angeles teachers said “No.”

Over half of LAUSD’s SEIU workers have children in LAUSD. Many of our students have aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and older siblings who work at LAUSD.

There is only one way UTLA educators could keep faith with our students, their families and the workers whose labor enables us to educate our students — by honoring SEIU’s picket lines.

Our sympathy strike (aka “solidarity strike”) is very much in line with the traditions of American labor. American labor unions were built through labor solidarity, and in recent decades, unions have been undermined because union leaders have abjured sympathy strikes.

On this issue, recently one publication often critical of teachers unions unwittingly paid UTLA a complement:

“State law allows one bargaining unit to go on a sympathy strike with another union, but
Bradley Marianno, an assistant education professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said it’s ‘highly unusual,’ for a teachers union to join a walkout with non-teaching employees.

“‘They may issue statements of support, but to join in strike is a different, and relatively rare, matter.’”

SEIU has historically been a much weaker union than UTLA. Their membership is divided into many different job classifications, they are often on campus at different times, and their heavily minority, immigrant and female membership is at a much lower socioeconomic level.

Despite this, SEIU’s performance this week was remarkably strong, reflecting the raw anger of its members over low wages and LAUSD abuses, which were well-documented by the national media this week.

UTLA has its own contract battle with LAUSD, but its robust showing this week also reflects our sympathy for our SEIU colleagues and the fact that UTLA has become a strong, disciplined labor union.

LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has found himself increasingly isolated, as many key players in Los Angeles education, including Austin Beutner, LAUSD superintendent from 2018 to 2021, school board Member Kelly Gonez, who served as president of the LAUSD Board of Education from 2020 until earlier this year, and LAUSD school board President Jackie Goldberg have all made statements undermining Carvalho in his battle against SEIU.

Earlier this week dozens of CA Legislators signed a letter backing SEIU, telling Carvalho to “resolve this.”

As in 2019, many of LAUSD’s own school administrators made it clear their hearts aren’t in this battle either, with some walking early morning picket lines with us or bringing us coffee and donuts.

Carvalho, humbled by the firestorm he foolishly ignited, has pivoted, shifting from stonewalling and even mocking SEIU workers towards a humble, “I feel your pain” posture.

Some of our critics claim our strike hurts our students, yet meeting SEIU demands will improve our schools.

To pick one example among many, each day special education students are deprived of two hours of their special education assistants’ time. Why?

LAUSD keeps these paraprofessionals at only six hours a day, so they won’t be considered full-time employees. This petty chiseling at the expense of our students typifies the way LAUSD mistreats its SEIU employees.

Other critics assert that parents have turned against teachers unions. These people are kidding themselves.

Polls show LAUSD parents support educators. A Loyola Marymount University poll taken earlier this year asked “LAUSD teachers requested an increase in salary. If labor negotiations cannot reach an agreement, would you support or oppose LAUSD teachers going on strike to meet their demands?”

Among those living within LAUSD’s boundaries, 76% supported teachers. Among those aged 18-29 — people who most likely attended LAUSD schools not long ago — 88% supported teachers.

Moreover, throughout this week of picket lines and massive rallies, the public showed they were behind us with continual honking horns, raised fists and shouts of approval.

As we walk to and from rallies in our union colors, we’ve had truck drivers and firefighters walk up to us, pat us on the back, and tell us, “Good luck.”

Leaving one rally a construction worker walked up to me, shook my hand, and said, “Give ’em hell!”

We did.

In 2010, I traveled to California to talk about my new book “The Death and Life of the Great American School Syatem: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.” It was a startling reversal of my views, and I met many people who were thrilled to find an author who supported their deeply held revulsion to the current system. I met parent activists, including Caroline Grannan. We stayed in touch over the years. She went to work for a major newspaper and was careful not to make her views public. The following is an article that she published anonymously in 2018. I recently saw it on Twitter and realized that it was now safe to post her name.

– Guest post created by a longtime Northern California parent volunteer education advocate

  • Charter schools take resources away from the public schools, harming public schools and their students. All charter schools do this – whether they’re opportunistic and for-profit or presenting themselves as public, progressive and enlightened.
  • Charter schools are free to pick and choose and exclude or kick out any student they want. They’re not supposed to, but in real life there’s no enforcement. Many impose demanding application processes, or use mandatory “intake counseling,” or require work hours or financial donations from families – so that only the children of motivated, supportive, compliant families get in. Charter schools publicly deny this, but within many charter schools, the selectivity is well known and viewed as a benefit. Admittedly, families in those schools like that feature – with the more challenging students kept out of the charter – but it’s not fair or honest, and it harms public schools and their students.
  • Charter schools are often forced into school districts against the districts’ will. School boards’ ability to reject a charter application is limited by law; and if a school board rejects a charter application, the applicant can appeal to the county board of education and the California state board of education. Then the school district winds up with a charter forced upon it, taking resources from the existing public schools. Often this means the district must close a public school.
  • Anyone can apply to open and operate a charter school, and get public funding for it. The process is designed to work in their favor. They don’t have to have to be educators or show that they’re competent or honest. They may be well-meaning but unqualified and incompetent, or they may be crooks. Imagine allowing this with police stations, fire stations, public bus systems or parks.
  • Part of a school district’s job is to provide the right number of schools to serve the number of students in the district. When charter schools are forced into the district, that often requires existing public schools to close. Again, that harms the district and its students.
  • California law (Prop. 39) requires school districts to provide space for charter schools, even if the district didn’t want the charter. Charter schools are often forced into existing public schools (this is called co-location), taking space and amenities away from their students and creating conflict. This is a contentious issue in other states too.
  • Charter schools can be opened by almost anyone and get little oversight, so they’re ripe for corruption, looting, nepotism, fraud and self-dealing. Corruption happens in public school districts too, but charter schools offer an extra tempting opportunity for crooks, and the history of charters in California and nationwide shows that wrongdoers often grab that opportunity.
  • Charter schools, backed by billionaire-funded pro-privatization support and PR machinery, have positioned themselves as an enemy to school districts, public schools and teachers, sending their damaging message to politicians and the media. These charter backers pour millions into electing charter-friendly candidates. Tearing down our public school system and our teachers, as the charter sector does endlessly, harms our public schools and their students.
  • The charter sector tends to sort itself into two kinds of schools. Charter schools serving low-income students of color often impose military-style discipline and rigid rules – hands folded on the desk, eyes tracking the speaker, punishment for tiny dress code violations, a focus on public humiliation. By contrast, some charter schools serving children of privilege are designed to isolate the school from a district so that lower-income kids aren’t assigned to the school. Charter schools overall have been found to increase school segregation.
  • Charter schools overall serve far fewer children with disabilities and English-language learners than public schools. Even those designed to serve children with disabilities serve far fewer children with the types of disabilities that are most challenging and expensive to work with, such as children with severe autism or who are severely emotionally disturbed.
  • Despite the many advantages charter schools enjoy, they don’t do any better overall than public schools. The rallying cry for charter schools used to be that the “competition” would improve public schools, but that hasn’t happened. In charter schools’ more than 20 years of existence, they haven’t overall brought better education to impoverished communities.

*Note: This commentary applies to California charter schools and California charter laws. Many of the issues apply to charter schools in most or all other states where they exist.

Erin Aubrey Kaplan writes in the Los Angeles Times about a successful public school—Baldwin Hills Elementary—that wants a co-located charter school to leave their space. Kaplan notes that there is a long history of feuding between public schools and charters, but this conflict is a first. The public school has parent and community support for reclaiming its space.

She writes that the fight is forcing a question:

Will the Los Angeles Unified School District find a way to support — even magnify — that rarest of success stories: a high achieving predominantly Black neighborhood school?

For the last seven years, Baldwin Hills Elementary School, a nearly 80-year-old campus in the Crenshaw district, has had to share digs with a charter, New Los Angeles Elementary.

New L.A. has about 200 students; Baldwin Hills twice that, but the neighborhood school’s sense of infringement isn’t just about the comparative sizes of the two student bodies.

BHE features ambitious programs. It houses a gifted magnet and serves as a “community school,” with “wraparound” healthcare and family support services. It’s also a so-called pilot school, which gives it the autonomy to offer unique classes such yoga, chess and orchestra. And it’s a designated STEAM campus — science, technology, engineering, the arts and math. In 2020, the state Department of Education designated Baldwin Hills, where 82% of the student body is Black, a distinguished school.

Not surprisingly, BHE parents and teachers tend to be organized, involved and deeply committed to growing what is regarded as an unqualified school success. To do that, they say, the school needs to get back space that was deemed nonessential and ceded to New L.A.: The charter, they say, must be relocated.

Back in October, members of Neighbors in Action for Baldwin Hills Elementary, a BHE parent-community-teacher coalition, sent a letter to LAUSD outlining their colocation complaints.

Sharing the campus, they wrote, “has greatly diminished the school’s ability to meet students’ social-emotional needs and mental health wellness, and hampered access to the academic programs that the school has been tasked with providing.”

Because of space constraints, Baldwin Hills is out a computer and robotics lab. Orchestra classes have been conducted on the playground blacktop. Students have to eat lunch hurriedly in a time-shared cafeteria. The bathrooms are overcrowded and sometimes unsafe.

In short, Baldwin Hills is an unfolding success story, in spite of colocation. “If we can do this in a stifled environment, imagine what we could do in a regular environment,” says Love Collins, a parent who switched her third-grader from a private school to Baldwin Hills.

The BHE coalition insists the district could find a way within the rules to relocate New L.A. (For it’s part, New L.A. claims to be looking elsewhere for a “permanent” school site.)

Community schools, for example, are supposed to be exempt from colocation, a rule the parents believe should apply at BHE despite the fact that Baldwin Hills wasn’t designated a community school until after New L.A. had moved in.

It’s a point that feels strengthened by recent developments. Two years ago, a new state law, AB 1505, gave school districts — charter school “authorizers” — expanded criteria in deciding whether to deny space to new charters or renew the leases of existing ones.

So far, LAUSD’s response has been underwhelming. Half a dozen district representatives came to Baldwin Hills for a town hall after the October letter, but as a second letter the coalition organizers sent to the district points out, none of their specific complaints or proposed solutions were addressed.

For months, the BHE group has solicited the support — or simply a call-back — from their LAUSD District 1 board member, George McKenna. When he was principal at Washington Prep, McKenna had a well-earned reputation for advocating for students of color and instituting a culture of high expectation. But neither he nor his staff has met with Neighbors in Action for Baldwin Hills Elementary.

“I very much support the parents and programs at Baldwin Hills Elementary, and always have,” McKenna says. “It’s a wonderful school.” What he doesn’t say is anything about the colocation conflict.

But the coalition is not scaling back the pressure for more definitive support.

“All we’re asking district to do is find another place to house [New L.A.], and don’t renew their contract at Baldwin,” says Jacquelyn Walker, a longtime teacher at Baldwin Hills who became its community school coordinator last year.

Underlying the many practical arguments here is a philosophical one: If Black lives truly matter, Baldwin Hills deserves — is, in fact, entitled to — as much space as possible.

With BHE, LAUSD has an organic model of Black success that the district should be nurturing, not stunting. In Walker’s words: “Allow us to thrive, give us the opportunity to do what we can do.”

The stakes for students of color are simply too high to do anything less.

Tom Ultican, who was a teacher of advanced math and physics in San Diego, wrote a terrific post about the results of school board elections in his area of California. The new front of rightwing cranks and anti-vaxxers ran for school boards promising to save children from public health measures, along with the usual religious zealots who were exercised about CRT and teachers turning children gay.

Tom’s description of the contenders and the races is fascinating. I urge you to read it.

He was invited to make endorsements in many school board elections, and he did. His candidates racked up some impressive victories.

If you read his post, you will learn who El Guapo is.

I found his post very encouraging in what is often a tide of bad news. know I would sleep better at night if I knew that Tom Ultican’s stamp of approval was a decisive factor in school board elections.

These are the closing lines in his post:

Some Final Thoughts

We are a society being buried in lies.

“The election was stolen; everybody knows I won in a landslide.” This lie is still believed by 60% of Republicans because they watch Fox News which blatantly lies.

School choice is based on Milton Friedman’s lie that Public Schools are government monopolies. There are about 19,000 school districts in the United States each with their own governing bodies the vast majority of which are elected. That is not a monopoly and in reality school choice is about not having to go to school with those peoples children. It’s a racist agenda.

Well financed propagandist Christopher Rufo has widely spread the lie that CRT is being taught in K-12 Schools. He claims it is making white children uncomfortable; another lie.

A lot of people believe the lie that public schools are grooming students to “turn them” gay. The result is censorship and a small minority of LGBTQ+ students being tormented for who they are. They are people and they deserve respect. Prejudice is a social disease.

These lies have been used to divide us and distract us from billionaires grabbing more and more for themselves. Economic inequality has reached heights never before witnessed in this country and putting up with lies is a root cause. If we lose our Democracy then there will be no choice but to put up with lies. Look at what is going on in Russia, China and Hungry.

The American public school system is a treasure and must be protected from liars and their paymasters. If someone tells you that voucher schools and charter schools are superior to public schools, they are lying.

I agree with every word!

None of the perpetrators of the largest charter scam in history will serve a day in prison

The Voice of San Diego calls the A3 scam “one of the largest” scams in history but I don’t know of any that scored more taxpayer dollars than A3.

A poor person would get jail time for stealing $500 or a car. These guys stole hundreds of millions and they got home detention.

The story of the A3 online charter school empire is one of the largest charter school scandals in U.S. history. The scam had several angles, the most lucrative of which involved enrolling thousands of students who never took any classes, as Voice previously reported.

A3’s 19 online charter schools raked in roughly $400 million from the state between 2015 and 2019. Sean McManus and Jason Schrock, the ringleaders, funneled some $80 million of that money into companies they controlled. Nine other people – including key lieutenants, an accountant and two former superintendents – were also charged for playing a role in the scheme to steal public funds.

Despite such an unprecedented theft, not a single person involved in the A3 case will spend a day behind bars. McManus and Schrock were both sentenced to four years – but both have already been in ankle monitors, on home confinement. They both will get credit for time served. Several other key players had their felonies reduced to misdemeanors and two defendants essentially had their charges dropped for cooperating in the investigation…

Prosecutors weighed “multiple factors including accountability, restitution and early acceptance of guilt” in resolving the case, wrote Steve Walker, the spokesman, in an email.

Walker called the resolution of the case “just” and pointed to “the unprecedented return of more than $240 million from the hands of the defendants back to those it was originally intended for, helping K through 12 students in the state.”

The leaders of the A3 grift were Sean McManus and Jason Schrock.

McManus worked in the charter school industry for several years before he opened 19 online charter schools with Schrock. A3’s first school was authorized by Dehesa Elementary School District in East County. Dehesa only had around 150 students at the time. And yet McManus and Schrock’s school went onto enroll many thousands of students. That’s because an online charter school can draw students from the county it is located in, as well as each adjoining county.

The central component of the A3 scam involved enrolling students, who never actually took any classes, into A3 schools. To boost A3’s head count, enrollment workers would approach summer athletic programs. The enrollment workers would get each summer athlete to sign what’s known as a master agreement. That master agreement would un-enroll each student from their normal school and into an A3 school for the summer. For each summer student A3 brought in several thousand dollars. Schrock and McManus paid a commission to each of their enrollment workers and gave a so-called donation, based on the number of players that signed up, as an incentive to each athletic program.

Another part of the scam involved working with private schools. A3 would approach, for instance, a small Catholic school. The students at the school would be added to A3’s attendance rolls. The state’s public education system would dispense money to A3 for each of those students. A3 would then give some of that money to the private school – some of them were struggling financially – and pocket the rest.

McManus was charged with multiple crimes that added up to as many as 40 years in prison. In the end he pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to steal public funds and was sentenced to four years in state prison. He waived his rights to any revenue connected to the charter schools or any connected business, paid roughly $19 million in fines and had his 401(k) seized…

Schrock calls himself an “Educational Business Leader” on his LinkedIn profile. He lists himself as CEO of Learning Re: Defined, “a Christian company of educational leaders and program developers who cultivate and provide training modules and curriculum built to meet client needs,” according to the company’s Facebook page.

Schrock, who also faced multiple charges with a maximum penalty of roughly 40 years in prison, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one charge of breaking state conflict of interest laws. He spent 1,506 days in an ankle monitor and was credited with time served. He also paid roughly $19 million in fines and will also serve three years probation.

The article describes the other leaders of the scheme. Open the link and read about them.


Michael Hiltzik shows that California’s strict gun laws have reduced gun deaths, although their biggest foe is the federal judiciary, especially Trump-appointed judges.

The most predictable response by the gun lobby and its political mouthpieces to calls for stricter gun laws in the wake of mass shootings is that tough laws don’t work.

You’ve probably heard all the arguments: That we already have tough laws on the books, that the problem is they aren’t enforced. Or that the legislation most often proposed wouldn’t have stopped the latest perpetrator of the latest gun-related horror, such as Uvalde gunman Salvador Ramos.

None of that is true, and California, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, is the proof.

As we’ve reported before, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that overall firearm deaths in California, at 8.5 per 100,000 population in 2020, easily bests the rates in states with lax controls, such as Texas (14.2 per 100,000) and Louisiana (26.3).

The disparity is especially sharp when it comes to firearm deaths of those under 18. California’s rate is about half that of the national average, less than half that of Texas, and only about one-fourth that of Louisiana. 



It’s true that California has not been immune from the national epidemic of mass shootings. But its laws have had a measurable, positive impact. “California has not solved the problem of mass shootings,” says Ari Freilich, state policy director at the gun safety organization Giffords. “But California children are half as likely to be shot.” 

Let’s examine the key elements of California’s laws, and how they might have interfered with the latest major gun-related outrages — the killings of 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, and the killings of 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., on May 14.

California’s firearms regulations are among the most comprehensive in America. Assault weapons, defined partially by their manufacturer and partially by their features, have been banned since 1989. Purchasers of any firearm must do so through a registered dealer and submit to a background checkammunition sales are also regulated.

Handguns can’t be sold to anyone under 21, and with certain exceptions to transfer other firearms to anyone under 18. All purchases require a waiting period of at least 10 days, or more if certain formalities haven’t been completed, such as a firearm safety course and passage of a test. Most are barred from buying more than one gun a month.

Uvalde, Texas May 26, 2022- Family members walk away after living flowers at a memorial outside Rob Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Nineteen students and two teachers died when a gunman opened fire in a classroom Tuesday. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)


Column: Uvalde demonstrates our cowardice about guns

June 1, 2022



Open carry of loaded firearms is generally prohibited, as is concealed carry of a loaded weapon without a license.

California also has a so-called red flag law, or “extreme risk protection orders,” which allow family members, police, employers or school personnel to alert authorities to signs of danger from a person and for a judge to order the confiscation of weapons from that person.

The California constitution has no provision protecting the right to bear arms. State law preempts all local initiatives.

Perhaps you remember the A3 charter scam in California. The online charter chain managed to collect hundreds of millions of dollars from the state for ghost students. Its leaders were eventually arrested, charged, and convicted. They are still repaying their ill-gotten gains.

Kristina Taketa of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the latest installment of their restitution was $18.8 million.

She writes:

An additional $18.8 million has been paid to San Diego County as restitution for the statewide A3 charter school scam in which the state was defrauded of hundreds of millions of school dollars, the San Diego County District Attorney announced Wednesday.

Sean McManus of Australia, along with Jason Schrock of Long Beach, led a statewide charter school scheme from 2016 to 2019 in which they used a network of mostly online charter schools to defraud the state of approximately $400 million and used $50 million of that amount for personal use. They did so by falsely enrolling students and manipulating enrollment and attendance reporting across their schools to get more money per student than schools are supposed to, prosecutors said.

In total, about $240 million of the $400 million has been recovered. The District Attorney’s Office said it is not trying to get back all of the $400 million because some of the money ended up going to noncriminal actors, such as teachers, youth programs and others, who provided services for the A3 schools and who did not know the money was obtained illegally.

Of the $240 million that has been recovered, about $95 million has been returned to the state treasury, with an additional $90 million expected to be returned to the state within the next few months.

Debbie L. Sklar of the Times of San Diego provided more details on how the scam worked.

More than $37 million in fines has been paid to San Diego County as part of a court judgment stemming from a charter school fraud scheme that took millions in public school funds and led to criminal charges against 11 people, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

The total fine amount includes $18.75 million recently paid by Sean McManus, CEO and president of A3 Education, who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $50 million in public funds and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Prosecutors say McManus and co-defendant Jason Schrock directed subordinates to open up 19 “A3 charter schools” in San Diego County and elsewhere across the state, and collected state funds by alleging students were enrolled in programs run by the schools.

The District Attorney’s Office, which called the case “one of the nation’s largest fraud schemes targeting taxpayer dollars intended for primary education,” said the men paid for student information and used the info to enroll children in summer school programs at their online campuses. Prosecutors say some parents were unaware their children were enrolled in a charter school at all.

The defendants then took measures to inflate the amount of money the state paid the charter schools by falsifying documentation, which included backdating documents to indicate that students were enrolled in the charter schools for longer than they were or switching students between different A3 schools to increase funding per student or per school beyond legal limits, prosecutors said.

The perpetrators were very clever and very, very rich until they were caught.

In a curious coincidence, I had breakfast at a hotel in January 2019 in Newport Beach, California, with a friend. At the table next to us sat a man and woman discussing education and a business transaction. I tried not to eavesdrop, yet found myself fascinated by the curious combination of topics. As they got up to leave, I stopped the man and said, “Excuse me, but I wonder if you are in the charter school business.” He responded, “Yes, I am Sean McManus, and I run a chain of charter schools.” The boom fell not long after.

This is good news! Although it is too late to listen to the news conference, it is wonderful to hear that California is making a historic investment in community schools! I note that only “credentialed media” were allowed to join, so don’t feel bad about missing an event to which you were not invited!

California Teachers Association June 6, 2022





Today, Educators, Parents, Community Organizers, State Education Leaders to Hold Virtual News Conference to Mark California’s Historic Commitment to Community Schools

Governor Newsom, SPI Tony Thurmond and SBE Pres. Linda Darling-Hammond Join Event

BURLINGAME – Transformative change is on the horizon for many public schools after the recent approval of $649 million in grants to create and expand community schools in California – part of California’s seven-year, $3 billion investment in community schools, the largest in the nation.

Today at 11 a.m., CTA President E. Toby Boyd and Vice President David Goldberg will be joined by Governor Gavin Newsom; State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond; State Board of Education President Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond; Dr. Karen Hunter Quartz, Director, UCLA Center for Community Schooling; Californians for Justice; and local community, parent, student and educator organizers for a virtual press conference to discuss the significance of California’s investment in community schools. Community schools are particularly relevant after a pandemic that has exposed the racial, economic and learning divides that get in the way of student success.

“The traditional school year may be coming to a close for many students, but our work on community schools is just beginning,” said CTA President E. Toby Boyd. “Educators know it will take resources, support and a community effort to create schools that disrupt poverty. It is going to require meaningful educator, community and parent engagement to give all students the schools they deserve with a robust curriculum, support services and a commitment to shared leadership.”

WHO: The California Teachers Association is hosting a virtual news conference to celebrate California’s historic commitment to community schools, the largest in the nation.

E. Toby Boyd, CTA President

Gavin Newsom, Governor, State of California

Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, President, State Board of Education

David Goldberg, CTA Vice President

Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Dr. Karen Hunter Quartz, Director, UCLA Center for Community Schooling

Joel Vaca, Community School Coordinator, Los Angeles School of Global Studies, Los Angeles

Diana Matias Carillo, 11th grade student, Fremont High School, Oakland, Californians for Justice

Karla Garcia, parent of a rising 6th grader at Palms Elementary School, Los Angeles, and member of Palms Community Schools Leadership Council

Francisco Ortiz, 5th grade teacher and Vice President, United Teachers Richmond

WHAT: Virtual News Conference on California’s transformative commitment to community schools

WHEN: Monday, June 6, 2022
11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Credentialed media only. RSVP to for Zoom link to join. Spanish speakers available. Also available via Facebook Live.

Community schools are built on four pillars: 1) providing services for students that address barriers to learning, including health, mental health or social service needs, 2) providing added academic support and real-world learning opportunities like internships, 3) family and community engagement, and 4) collaborative leadership that establishes a culture of shared responsibility.

Take a closer look at CTA’s leadership and advocacy on community schools. More than 268 school districts and county offices of education were recently awarded community schools planning and implementation grants around the state.



The 310,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3-million-member National Education Association.


Claudia Briggs, Interim Communications Manager, California Teachers Association (EST 1863)

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A three judge federal appeals court struck down California’s ban on selling assault weapons to those from 18-21. Two of the three judges were appointed by Trump. Ironic that this decision was issued a week before an 18-year-old used an AR-15 assault weapon to murder 10 people in Buffalo, New York. As of this date, there have been more than 200 multiple killings by firearms since the beginning of the year.

California enacted the law to reduce gun violence and protect the lives of its citizens. The Court’s reasoning was as vapid as the meanderings of the man who appointed them.

A U.S. appeals court ruled Wednesday that California’s ban on the sale of semiautomatic weapons to adults under 21 is unconstitutional.

In a 2-1 ruling, a panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Wednesday the law violates the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms and a San Diego judge should have blocked what it called “an almost total ban on semiautomatic centerfire rifles” for young adults. “America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army,” Judge Ryan Nelson wrote.

Nelson added: “Today we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms.”

Trump’s toxic legacy, directed by Mitch McConnell and the Federalist Society, lives on in the numerous judges he appointed to the federal bench.