Archives for category: Los Angeles

A front group for the California Charter Schools lobby, which calls itself “Families and Teachers United,” released a flyer that attacked school board member Scott Schmerelson, a pro-public school member of the LAUSD school board and well-qualified educator. Schmerelson has been endorsed by every Democratic club in Los Angeles.

The scurrilous flyer accuses him of investing in mutual funds that include products that are harmful to children (tobacco). Anyone whose pension is invested in large mutual funds knows that individual shareholders do not choose the stocks in the fund’s portfolio. My own pension fund includes companies I find abhorrent and there’s nothing I can do about it.

The flyer accuses Schmerelson of “double dipping” because he collects a pension for his decades of service as an educator in the LAUSD schools and a salary as a board member, like other board members.The flyer does not mention that board salaries were increased in 2017 based on the recommendation of an independent commission.

Should he give up his well-earned pension? Of course not! Should he refuse to take the same salary as other board members? Of course not!

Who paid for this vile, lying, unethical anti-Semitic ad?

Ad paid for by Families and Teachers United, sponsored by California Charter Schools Association Advocates. Committee major funding from
Charter Public Schools PAC
Not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.
Funding details at http://www.fppc.ca.gov.

This may be the most expensive school board election in LA history, even though the billionaires have no ideas other than charter schools. None.

Who are they? Blogger Sara Roos names names. 

How about full public disclosure of the income and investments of the billionaires who fund the CCSSA?

Sara declined to reproduce the flyer, so as not to give more visibility to this trash.

Methinks the charter billionaires  are angry at Scott for telling the public that more than 80% of LA’s charters have empty seats.

Schmerelson, a man of unblemished integrity, responded to the anti-Semitic flyer with a statement denouncing the depths to which the charter lobby is willing to sink. He notes that the group that produced the flyers by the billionaire Waltons and Reed Hastings.

The election is March 3 but early  voting has started.  VOTE  FOR SCOTT SCHMERELSON!

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A few people in Los Angeles who think a great deal about education issues decided to launch a new website. They are real people who are not funded by billionaires Eli Broad, Reed Hastings, the Waltons, Bill Bloomfield, Michael Bloomberg, or Bull Gates. Imagine that!

Blogger Sara Roos writes an introduction:

Dears:

With this I am announcing the launch of the Los Angeles Education Examiner, a site for news about things-educational in LA and beyond.

Included on my blog, RedQueenInLA.com are two of LAEdEx’s first two new postings, attempting to stake out the reaches of our coverage. I am embarking on this effort with friend, neighbor and colleague Damien Newton of StreetsBlogLA.comfame. LA EdEx will be a non-profit, online news website covering the education beat in and around Los Angeles.

So please look here or at la-edex.org at these introductory pieces as we start exploring what it means to educate kids in LA, how their world is at once insular and intensely important within one’s own little family, while also being politically critical in a very big sense, a microscosm of all the whirlings of money, power, and social interactions beyond.

Thanks for your support by reading, forwarding and maybe even considering – gasp – contributing!

-Sara.

http://redqueeninla.com/2020/02/12/rqila-passes-a-marker-launching-the-los-angeles-education-examiner/
http://redqueeninla.com/2020/02/12/schools-reach-beyond-the-classroom/

http://la-edex.org/welcome-to-and-from-the-los-angeles-education-examiner/
http://la-edex.org/schools-reach-beyond-the-classroom/


Jackie Goldberg is running for re-election to the Los Angeles Unified School Board. She is an experienced public official who has supported public schools for decades as a school board member and state legislator. A rightwing billionaire dumped nearly half a million into her low-budget race to try to stop her in the March 3 election (early voting has already started.)

Jackie was endorsed by the UTLA along with Scott Schmerelson, George McKenna, and Patricia Castellanos. Vote for them if they are candidates in your district.

Jackie sets the record straight here:

Dear Friends, Families, and Board District 5 Voters,

By now, you may have received a number of mailings telling you to “Vote ‘No’ on Jackie Goldberg”, all of which are being sent by a man named Bill Bloomfield, who lives in Manhattan Beach, CA.

Bloomfield is extremely wealthy and was a Republican until 2011 when he became an “Independent.”  He avidly supports charter school candidates and opposes all progressive Democrats.  So far this election cycle, he has spent almost $130,000— on “hit” pieces against me.  But this is far from his first rodeo.  He was part of the $13 million worth of lies that were used in 2017 against then-Board President Steve Zimmer, and he helped bankroll part of the $10 million spent to spread lies about Board Member Bennett Kayser in 2015.

In 2019, Bloomfield’s contributions to the California Republican Party totaled $445,000.  He also spent $7,583,806 to try to elect Marshall Tuck to be State Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Tuck ran on a platform of increasing support for the state’s charter schools.  Bloomfield not only supports charter schools over district public schools, he also opposes raising taxes on the wealthy to increase funding for public schools.

This very, very rich financier has never met me, never interviewed me as to my views, and has repeatedly distorted the truth to send you bald-faced lies about me and my 22-year record of public service.  His goal is to defame me to stand in the way of my quest to raise taxes on the rich and to make charter schools more transparent, equitable, and accountable.

Let me respond specifically to some of the many lies Bloomfield has been peddling about me in his monstrously misleading mailers.

LIE:  Bloomfield’s mailers attempt to paint me as a racist.

TRUTH:  I have lived in Echo Park for the last 40 years.  My son went to LAUSD schools that were primarily composed of Latino students.  I taught high school in the Compton Unified School District for 17 years and was one of two teacher-leaders to define plans that raised the reading of our students from the bottom of state testing in reading to the State average.

Among my campaign endorsers are Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farmer Workers, County Supervisor Hilda Solis, State Senator Maria Elena Durazo, La Opinion, Maywood City Councilmembers Elizabeth Alcantar and Eddie de la Riva, Bell City Councilmembers Fidencio Gallardo and Alicia Romero, Padres Unidos in South Gate, and Congressmembers Maxine Waters and Judy Chu, among others.

These leaders and community organizations, as well as La Opinion, do not endorse racists!

LIE:  Bloomfield claims my “agenda is too extreme and too dangerous for kids!”  He attacks me for removing funding for DARE, an anti-drug program for which the district paid millions of dollars to the Los Angeles Police Department.

TRUTH:  The LAUSD Board of Education discontinued funding for DARE after a study revealed that, in spite of great intentions, the program was a complete failure in reducing student drug use.

LIE:  Bloomfield, remarkably, suggests that the National Rifle Association (“NRA”) loves me.

TRUTH:  I have a lifetime “F” grade from the NRA because when I was on the Los Angeles City Council, I wrote and passed a measure that outlawed sales of cheap “Saturday Night Specials” in Los Angeles.  While on the Public Safety Committee in the State legislature, I helped kill major legislation that would have made gun ownership more protected, and thus increase the chance for all of us and our children to be victims of gun violence.  What I actually voted against that Bloomfield’s mailer attempts to misrepresent was a bill that would have automatically expelled a student for bringing to school a toy gun that may look like a real gun.  Though I do think this would be a dangerous and foolish thing for a student to do, I believe that all students should have a right to a hearing before being expelled.

LIE:  In one of his most insidious smears, Bloomfield claims that I support sexual predators.

TRUTH:  I voted against a bill that included so many limitations for where a convicted sex offender could live that there literally would be nowhere left for them to go.  And I did so because I knew that the California courts would overrule the bill and we would be left with noprotections on where sex offenders could live after being released from prison.  Sure enough, after its passage, the California Supreme Court did just that, ruling that the law was unconstitutional because the state could not have a law that left people with no place to live.  The following year, my Assembly colleagues and I passed a law preventing sex offenders from living near schools, parks, and other places where children might be.

LIE:  Bloomfield attacks me for the terrible crisis at Miramonte school.

TRUTH:  I was not even on the Board at that time of the Miramonte crisis.

LIE:  Bloomfield suggests voters have to choose between me and President Obama, claiming that I voted to shut down Teach for America.

TRUTH:  I did not vote to shut down Teach for America.  What I did do is raise the issue that a great many Teach for America teachers leave our District in two or three years.  I said that the District should recruit people who want to be teachers, not build their resumes—and I still believe that to be true.

LIE:  Bloomfield misleadingly claims that I cut programs for students of color.

TRUTH:  In the 2001-2002 school year, the state legislature was facing a huge budget shortfall.  The state was in a deep recession.  Yes, I voted for the budget.  In those days, it took a 2/3 vote to pass a budget, so allAssembly Democrats had to vote for the budget, or else the state’s services—including funds for schools—would be shut down.  Did I have to vote on a budget that took $9.8 billion from schools and public universities?  Sadly, I did.  But that was after fighting and winning the battle to avoid larger cuts of $14 billion.

LIE:  Bloomfield claims that I “forced Latino students to attend academically inferior and dangerous schools.”  He then points to a 1985 U.S. Department of Justice investigation of the District.  Notably, his source relates to issues in South Gate and Watts.

TRUTH:  The boundaries of the Board Districts that each School Board member represents were not the same in 1985 as they are today.  Though South Gate is currently in my Board District, I did not represent either South Gate or Watts during my first time on the Board when the Department of Justice’s investigation began, and I had nothing to do with the issues that brought upon the investigation.

LIE: Bloomfield claims that in my first tenure on the Board, student scores dropped.

TRUTH:  Student test scores were low in the 1980’s.  Why?  Because when Proposition 13 passed, the District literally lost 25% of its General Fund money due to big corporations and the wealthy no longer having to pay their fair share in property taxes.  Schools became overcrowded.  Most were on multi-track, year-round schedules, and funding to build new schools was rigged against the District.  It was because of my work and the leadership of then-Speaker of the State Assembly Robert Hertzberg, however, that the Assembly and Senate finally set aside several billion dollars for LAUSD and other severely overcrowded districts, which resulted in 131 new schools being built.

My record of support for public education is long, significant, and well-documented.  That is why UTLA, the teachers’ union, SEIU Local 99, the union representing teacher aides, cafeteria workers, CSEA Local 500, which represents library aides, the Teamsters AND the union representing school principals and administrators have all endorsed my campaign.

So, I urge you not to believe the vicious lies that this conservative, anti-public school millionaire is spreading about me in order to try to stop my work trying to tax the great wealth in this state and get our state legislators to invest in our children and youth again.  My mother taught in LAUSD for 40 years.  I grew up committed to public education, and I have never wavered in my support for full and adequate funding for public schools—from pre-school through college.  I was a youth activist in the civil rights movement, and I continue to spend my life working to improve the lives of the next generation.

I often remind people that our children are not part of the future—they are our entire future.  We must all work together to improve our state and federal governments’ investment in our children and youth.  California, if it were a separate nation, would be the fifth richest nation in the entire world.  While New York spends $29,000 per student in their schools, California only spends $16,500 per student.  Great change is needed.  I ask you to join me in this fight for FULL FUNDING for our public schools.  The time is NOW!  Please honor me with your vote on or before March 3.

Thank you,

Jackie Goldberg
Board Member, LAUSD Board of Education, Board District 5

Estimados amigos, familias y votantes del Distrito 5 de LAUSD,

Les escribo porque seguramente ya  han recibido en su correo uno de varios anuncios que les han enviado pidiéndoles que “Voten No por Jackie Goldberg”,  de parte de alguien llamado Bill Bloomfield, que vive en Manhattan Beach, CA.

Bloomfield es alguien extremadamente rico quien había sido Republicano hasta el año 2011, cuando cambió a ser “Independiente”.   El apoya firmemente a los candidatos que cuentan con el apoyo de las escuelas charter y se opone a todos los candidatos Demócratas progresistas.  Hasta la fecha ha gastado casi $130,000 atacandome en anuncios como éste. Pero no es la primera vez que hace esto.  En el 2017 fue uno de los que pagó por los anuncios llenos de mentiras sobre Steve Zimmer, presidente de la Junta Escolar. Y en 2015 ayudó a financiar los $10 millones de dólares que se gastaron para esparcir mentiras en contra de Bennett Kayser.

En el 2019, contribuyó $445,000 al Partido Republicano de California.  También gastó $7,583,806 para tratar de elegir a Marshall Tuck como Superintendente de Instrucción Pública. La postura de Tuck fue de apoyar el apoyo para las escuelas chárter. Bloomfield no sólo apoya a las escuelas chárter en vez de las escuelas públicas del distrito, además se opone a alzar los impuestos a los ricos para aumentar los fondos para las escuelas públicas.

Este hombre de finanzas tan pero tan rico, no me conoce, nunca me ha entrevistado para conocer mis puntos de vista, sin embargo se ha dedicado a distorsionar repetidamente la verdad con terribles mentiras sobre mí y mis 22 años de servicio al público. Su objetivo es difamarme por el hecho que yo busco aumentarle los impuestos a los ricos y lograr que las escuelas charter se comporten de forma más transparente, equitativa y responsable.

Permítame responder, de manera específica, a algunas de las muchas monstruosas  mentiras que Bloomfield ha estado diciendo sobre mí.

LA MENTIRA: Los anuncios intentan decir que yo soy racista.

LA VERDAD:  He vivido en Echo Park durante los últimos 40 años. Mi hijo fue a una escuela de LAUSD, cuyos estudiantes en su mayoría eran Latinos.  Fui maestra de preparatoria en el Distrito Escolar Unificado de Compton durante 17 años y junto con otra maestra líder, preparé un plan que logró mejorar la lectura de nuestros estudiantes, y subir nuestros resultados de los más bajos en el estado a el nivel promedio.

Entre las personas que apoyan mi campaña cuento con Dolores Huerta, co-fundadora de la Unión de Campesinos, Hilda Solís, Supervisora del Condado de Los Angeles, la Senadora María Elena Durazo, La Opinión, los Consejales Elizabeth Alcantar y Eddie de la Riva de Maywood, Fidencio Gallardo y Alicia Romero de Bell, el grupo Padres Unidos de South Gate y la Congresista Maxine Waters y Judy Chu, entre otros.

Ninguno de estos líderes, ni de estas organizaciones de la comunidad, ni el diario La Opinión apoyan a candidatos racistas.

LA MENTIRA: Bloomfield afirma que “¡mis propuestas son muy extremas y muy peligrosas para lo estudiantes! Me ataca por haberle quitado fondos al programa DARE, “ un programa contra drogas en el que el Distrito pagó millones de dólares al Departamento de Policía de Los Angeles.

LA VERDAD:  La Junta Escolar de Los Angeles descontinuó los fondos para el programa DARE después de que un estudio demostró que a pesar de tener buenas intenciones, el programa fue un verdadero fracaso en reducir el uso de drogas entre los estudiantes.

LA MENTIRA:  De manera muy extraña, Bloomfield sugiere que la Asociación Nacional de Rifles (NRA por sus siglas en inglés), me adora.

LA VERDAD:  La NRA, me dió una calificación de “F” de por vida cuando era Consejal de la Ciudad de Los Angeles, debido a que logré que se aprobara una medida que prohibía la venta de las armas baratas llamadas “Saturday Night Specials” en Los Angeles.  Cuando fui miembro del Comité de Seguridad Pública en la Legislatura, ayudé a darle fin a una ley que protegía aún más la compra de armas, pues esto aumentaba la posibilidad de que cualquiera de nosotros, incluyendo a nuestros hijos, fueran víctimas de la violencia armada. A lo que se refiere Bloomfield es que voté en contra de que un joven se le expulsara por traer un arma de juguete que parece de verdad. Aunque creo que esto es algo peligroso y tonto, creo que todos los estudiantes merecen una audiencia antes de que se les expulse.

LA MENTIRA:   En una de sus ataques más engañosos, Bloomfield alega que yo apoyo a los depredadores sexuales.

LA VERDAD:  Yo voté en contra de una ley sobre dónde puede vivir un depredador sexual, que resultaría en que no pudieran vivir en ningún lado.  Voté de esta forma porque sabía que las cortes de California iban a revocar esta ley y que entonces no tendríamos ninguna protección para determinar donde los depredadores pueden vivir al salir de la prisión. Como lo predije, la Suprema Corte de California revocó la ley, dictando que la ley no cumple con los requisitos de la Constitución puesto que la ley no permite un lugar en donde vivir. El año siguiente, mis colegas en la Asamblea y yo pasamos una ley que evitaba que los depredadores vivieran cerca de escuelas, parques y otros lugares cerca de dónde hay niños.

LA MENTIRA: Bloomfield me ataca por la terrible crisis que sucedió en la escuela Miramonte.

LA VERDAD:  Yo ni siquiera era miembro de la Junta Escolar cuando sucedió la crisis de Miramonte.

LA MENTIRA:  Bloomfield sugiere que votar conmigo es votar contra Obama, porque voté para que se cerrara el programa Teach for America.

LA VERDAD: Yo no voté para cerrar el programa Teach for America.  Lo que sí hice fue expresar preocupación por el hecho de que una gran mayoría de los maestros de Teach for America se van del Distrito en dos o tres años. Dije que el Distrito debe reclutar a personas que realmente quieren ser maestros a largo plazo en lugar de hacerlo solamente para mejorar su currículum – y aún mantengo esta opinión.

LA MENTIRA:  Bloomfield dice, de manera engañosa, que yo recorté programas para estudiantes de color.

LA VERDAD:  En el año escolar 2001-2002, la legislatura estatal se enfrentaba a un tremendo déficit.  El estado se enfrentaba a una profunda recesión.  Sí, vote a favor de presupuesto.  En ese tiempo, se requería que ⅔ de los representantes en la Asamblea votarán a favor, y por lo tanto todos los Demócratas tenían que votar a favor, o de otra forma los servicios que provee el estado, tendrían que recortarse. ¿Fue necesario que votara por un presupuesto que le quitó $9 mil millones de dólares a las escuelas y a las universidades públicas? Tristemente, lo fue.  Pero esto fue después de luchar y de ganar la batalla para evitar mayores recortes, de $14 mil millones.

LA MENTIRA: Bloomfield alega que yo forcé a “estudiantes Latinos a que asistieran a escuelas académicamente inferiores y peligrosas”. Para demostrarlo, presenta una investigación del Distrito que llevó a cabo el Departamento de Justicia en 1985. De forma notable, ésta investigación se refiere a los temas de las escuelas en South Gate y Watts.

LA VERDAD: Los límites de los Distritos que cada miembro de la Junta Escolar representa no eran iguales a los límites de hoy.  Aunque South actualmente está en mi Distrito, yo no representaba a South Gate ni a Watts cuando yo fui miembro de la Junta Escolar y cuando la investigación del Departamento de Justicia se inició y yo no tuve nada que ver con los asuntos que resultaron en esa investigación.

LA MENTIRA:  Bloomfield alega que durante mi primer término en la Junta Escolar, los resultados de los exámenes de los estudiantes disminuyeron.

LA VERDAD: Los resultados de los exámenes eran muy bajos en los años 80. ¿Por qué? Porque cuando se aprobó la Proposición 13, el Distrito perdió literalmente el 25% de los fondos generales debido a que las grandes corporaciones y los ricos no querían seguir pagando lo que les correspondía en los impuestos sobre la propiedad.  Aumentó la sobrepoblación en las escuelas.  Muchas de ellas estaban en calendarios de todo el año y el financiamiento para construir nuevas escuelas estaba diseñado en contra de las necesidades del Distrito.  Fue debido a mi esfuerzo y el de Robert Hertzberg, entonces líder de la Asamblea que la Asamblea y el Senado finalmente destinaron varios miles de millones de dólares para LAUSD y otros distritos que sufrían de sobrepoblación, lo cual resultó en la construcción de 131 nuevas escuelas.

Mi record de apoyo por la educación pública es largo, importante y bien documentado.  Es por esto que UTLA, la unión de maestros, el Local 99 SEIU que representa a los asistentes de maestros y trabajadores de cafetería, el Local 500 de CSEA que representa a bibliotecarios, el sindicato de los Teamsters y el sindicato que representa a los directores y administradores, todos apoyan mi campaña.

Por todo esto, les pido que no crean las mentiras que dice este millonario conservador quien se opone a las escuelas públicas. El quiere evitar que yo pueda seguir trabajando para poder lograr que la gente que cuenta con tantos recursos, tenga que pagar más en impuestos para lograr que nuestros legisladores puedan invertir en nuestros niños y nuestra juventud.  Mi madre trabajó en LAUSD durante 40 años.  Yo crecí comprometida a la educación pública y mi compromiso por un financiamiento completo y adecuado para los escuelas públicas – desde la pre-escuela hasta la universidad – nunca ha disminuído.  En mi juventud fui activista del movimiento de los derechos civiles y cada día de mi vida trabajo para mejorar la vida de las generaciones futuras.

A veces le recuerdo a la gente que nuestros hijos no son parte del futuro — ellos son el futuro entero.  Debemos trabajar juntos para mejorar la inversión que hace el gobierno en nuestros hijos y en la juventud. California, si fuera una nación separada, sería la quinta nación más rica del mundo entero.  Mientras que en Nueva York se gastan $29,000 por cada estudiante en las escuelas, California gasta $16,500 por estudiantes.  Se necesita un gran cambio.  Te pido que te unas a mi en esta lucha por lograr que nuestras escuelas tengan un FINANCIAMIENTO COMPLETO.  ¡Este es el momento!  Espero contar con el honor de tu voto el día 3 de marzo, o antes, si votas por correo.

Gracias,

Jackie Goldberg
Miembro, Junta Escolar de LAUSD, Distrito 5

Contribute
Paid for By Jackie Goldberg for School Board 2020
ID# 1417975
419 N. Larchmont Blvd., #37, Los Angeles, CA 90004
Jackie Goldberg for School Board 2020 · 419 N Larchmont Blvd # 37 · Los Angeles, CA 90004 · USA

Tonight (before the Oscars) I spoke at the Mark Taper Auditorium in the Los Angeles Central Library. It was a magnificent event, led by Alex Caputo-Pearl of the United Teachers of Los Angeles.

The library is an elegant building that has been renovated. The auditorium is gorgeous. The audience was wonderful.  The event was videotaped so I hope to post it here. I noticed that many big contributors to the privatization movement (Richard Riordan, Bill Gates) also contributed to the Public Library. Do you think they see a contradiction between supporting a great public library, free and accessible to all, while undermining public schools?

It was thrilling to be sponsored by UTLA. This is a union that is fully woke and fighting to save public education and make it far, far better.

First comes the March 3 election, where four seats on the LAUSD board are up for grabs. UTLA is vigorously supporting Jackie Goldberg, George McKenna, Scott Schmerelson and Patty Castellanos.

Then comes a major funding referendum next November where UTLA and other educators are asking voters of California to tax major corporations whose tax rates have not changed since 1978. The tax for the Communities and Schools defending would raise $12 Billion a year, half for social services for children, and half for schools.

UTLA boldly went on strike in January 2019. They have now purchased highway billboards to shame the corporate Privatizers. They are a brave and militant union.

I was thrilled to see so many LA friends and meet new ones, especially the East Side Hispanic parents who have created a neighborhood organization to fight privatization. I also enjoyed seeing our own commenter Left Coast Teacher, who is tall and very handsome. And it was great to see blogger Sara Roos (Red Queen in LA) and many more LA allies.

I love this union! They are truly leaders of the Resistance!

 

 

The United Teachers of Los Angeles is militantly fighting back against the privatizers who are attacking public schools and seek to divert public money to charters and vouchers. The UTLA embodies Resistance to privatization and to those who oppose full funding of Los Angeles’ public schools.

UTLA has created a billboard portraying the “Corporate Special Interests Vs. Our Public Schools.”

Open the link to see the billboard.

The billboard portrays Donald Trump, Betsy DeVos, and others who are undermining the funding of public schools attended by the majority of students.

Los Angeles— United Teachers Los Angeles has launched a new phase of the “We Are Public Schools” campaign that includes more than 75 billboards across LA. One billboard features Donald Trump and posted the same day he attacked teachers and called public schools “failed government schools” in his State of the Union speech.

The billboard, overlooks Highway 5 heading into downtown LA – one of the most viewed billboards in the country. It shines a light on Trump and those who are trying to buy our elections, divide our schools into winners and losers, and take important funding away from our neighborhood public schools.

“Billionaires and corporate special interests are not a part of our school communities, yet they have an undue influence on our elections and the direction of our neighborhood public schools,” said Kimberly Hinkston, an early childhood educator at Wilton Place Early Education Center. “It’s time to stand up against privatization and vote for the needs of our communities over the politics of fear and hate.”

Dozens of other billboards highlight the needs of our students and real-life stories of UTLA members — including classroom teachers, arts teachers, teacher librarians, nurses, counselors, psychiatric social workers, pupil services and attendance counselors, academic counselors as well as adult and bilingual education professionals. Read more at www.WeArePublicSchools.org

UTLA is also calling on our communities to elect truly pro-public education candidates on March 3 to the LAUSD School Board and support Jackie Goldberg in BD5, Patricia Castellanos in BD7, Scott Schmerelson in BD5 and George McKenna in BD1. These candidates will stand with L.A. students, parents and educators to defend our schools against the corporate charter industry.

We know that 40 years of privatization schemes and disinvestment in public education cannot be fixed overnight or with one strike. That’s why UTLA is back at the bargaining table now for more special education staffing and support, including lower caseloads and more school psychologists; more resources for bilingual education; a fair and competitive salary for educators; and increased mental health staffing and resources for all students. California is the wealthiest state in the nation yet ranks 39th out of 50 in per-pupil funding.

Those who are trying to attack public education and who are featured in the Trump billboard are:

Donald Trump: Most dangerous President in modern history. In his State of the Union on Feb. 4, Trump declared war on public schools and says he wants more taxpayer money to fund privatization and voucher schemes. He continues his destructive, racist polices and attacks on women, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ+ and our most vulnerable communities.

Betsy DeVos:  In her role as the secretary of the Department of Education, she calls American public schools a “dead end.” In 2018 DeVos cut federal funding of public education by $9 billion, at the same time, allocating $440 million to the Charter Schools Program which also subsidizes school vouchers.

Rob Walton: The 17th richest person in the world and has an estimated net worth of $53 billion. The Walton Foundation is the single largest private funder of charter schools and vouchers in the US. In just 2018 alone, the Walton Foundation spent $210 million to fight unions and promote privatization of our public schools.

Ben Austin: Lead strategist in the war against public education in LA and lobbyist for California Charter Schools Association. In a leaked confidential memo, sent 6 days after UTLA’s successful strike, Austin lays out a plan to buy the LAUSD School Board election, sue LAUSD in order to “trump district policy and even UTLA contract rights” and “rebrand education reform as progressive” by “funding Black and Latino civil rights and community groups.”

Bill Bloomfield. Conservative businessman has funneled more than $500,000 in a smear campaign against Jackie Goldberg in BD 5. Bloomfield, also supporting CCSA candidates in BD 3 and BD 7. He also funneled $3.5 million into a failed campaign to elect Marshall Tuck as State Superintendent.

Robert Gutierrez: In his role as the president & CEO of the California Taxpayers Association, has funneled $139,000 to oppose the ballot initiative Schools and Communities First which would bring in much-needed funding to our public schools; continues to spread lies and misinformation about SCF in order to protect wealthy corporations from paying their fair share in taxes.

Maria Salinas: In her role as the president & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, vehemently opposed Measure EE, which would have brought in $500 million in much-needed money to our classrooms.

 

Reclaim Board of Ed political Disclaimer
Ad paid for by Students, Parents and Educators in Support of Castellanos, Goldberg, McKenna, and Schmerelson for School Board 2020, Sponsored by Teachers Unions, Including United Teachers Los Angeles. Committee major funding from: Political Action Council of Educators – United Teachers Los Angeles American Federation of Teachers Solidarity Committee

National Education Association Advocacy Fund

This ad was not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.

 

 

Jackie Goldberg, the dynamic progressive on the Los Angeles school board, send this request for help:

 

 

 

 

FROM THE DESK OF JACKIE GOLDBERG
Dear Friends and Family,

First, I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for all you’ve done to support me over so many years.  And I have another personal request for each of you because you are all important in the struggles for full funding for public education and for progressive goals in civil rights, human rights, immigration rights and addressing the global climate crisis.

This request is not for my candidacy.

It is a request for the immediate future of the LAUSD school board.  In the March 2020 primary election, there are two school board candidates for the LAUSD School Board that I am asking you to support.  They are current Board Member Scott Schmerelson and Board District #7 candidate Patricia Castellanos.

Unless BOTH are elected either in the March primary in the November general election, my ability to bring progressive change will be severely restricted.  Right now there is a 4 to 3 pro-public education majority on the school board.  But all four are up for election in 2020 and we don’t have a vote to spare.

Luckily, Board Member Dr. McKenna has no opponent.  I have a fairly weak opponent, but charter proponents have already spent $250,000 in attack ads against me.

So the only chance the conservatives have of retaking the majority is to defeat Mr. Schmerelson, or by electing someone other than Ms. Castellanos in Board District 7.

PLEASE HELP ONE OR BOTH OF THESE EXCELLENT CANDIDATES WIN THEIR ELECTIONS.  HERE IS HOW:

SEND MONEY (up to $1200) to each of these two as follows:
Scott Schmerelson for School Board 2020
Contribute online at www.Scott4lausd.com

Patricia Castellanos for School Board 2020
Contribute online at www.Patriciacastellanos.com

VOLUNTEER TO PHONE OR WALK PRECINCTS as follows:
Scott Schmerelson- Contact Brent Smiley
Email: Campaign@scott4lausd.com
Phone: 818.324.8327

Patricia Castellanos- Contact Albert Ramirez
Email: info@patriciacastellanos.com
Phone: 310.864.3383

I’ll be calling soon to see if you can help me keep a progressive majority on the LAUSD Board of Education.

With warm regards,

Jackie

Jackie Goldberg · 419 N Larchmont Blvd # 37 · Los Angeles, CA 90004-3013 · USA

Michael Kohlhaas, the blogger who has used the California Public Records Act to obtain emails among charter leaders, the California Charter Schools Association, and their enablers, reveals here what happened when protestors shut down a charter board meeting last March, accusing the charter school of taking money from the nefarious Eli Broad and the Waltons. Broad and Walton have a shell takeover corporation deceptively titled “Great Public Schools Now,” whose goal is to turn public schools into privately managed charter schools. The leader of the Extera Charter School did not directly answer the question, but Kohlhaas answers it now. Yes, the charter did take money from the Waltons and Broad.

The public is getting wise to the deceptive tactics of the charter lobby. Public schools are accountable and transparent. Charter schools are not. Public schools are audited and overseen by public officials. Charter schools answer to no one but their self-selected private boards.

Kohlhaas writes:

So you probably heard about how activists from Centro CSO and the United Teachers of Los Angeles and Eastside Padres Unidos Contra la Privatizacion protested vigorously and shut down the March 19, 2019 meeting of the Extera Charter Conspiracy Board of Directors to express their opposition to Extera’s colonial co-location at Eastman Avenue Elementary School in Boyle Heights.

And one of the key exchanges was between a protester, whose name I don’t know, and self-proclaimed doctor and supreme Extera commander Jim Kennedy, and you can watch it here.1 The backstory is that Corri Ravare had been talking previously about how Extera was getting some money from famous Walton/Broad privatizing front organization Great Public Schools Now, which, as the protester notes, is extraordinarily revealing with respect to which team Extera plays for.2

The protester called Dr. Jim Kennedy out on this and he denied that they had taken any money from GPSN: “At this point we have not …” But the truth, as the protester said, is that Corri Ravare had already “said we pretty much have the money.” And the problem with this? Well, clearly, it is that “Great Public Schools Now have declared themselves an enemy of public education. Those are the people we have to work against because they are selling out our public schools to Eli Broad and the Walton Foundation.”

She’s absolutely right about that, of course, and Doctor Jim Kennedy seems to understand that, or at least to realize that Extera’s association with GPSN doesn’t look so good. No doubt this is why he went on to tell her straight out that “[Extera has] not yet accepted that money.” But, as you may already have guessed, Doctor JK is being extraordinarily deceptive here with his mumbled half-denials. In fact Extera had been actively pursuing money from GPSN since December 2018, four months before the date of this meeting.

And the money they were pursuing was not innocuous. Not meant for important things like supplies, textbooks, instructional materials, anything at all to be used to actually educate actual children. They were seeking money from GPSN’s charter school expansion funding program for a planning grant to support their continued colonial charter conspiracy expansion, this time into the majority-Latino Montebello Unified School District. In other words, the protester’s criticism was right on target.

Things are going badly for the charter industry when their mask of beneficence is stripped away and behind it are the same voracious billionaires, eager to strip democratic control away and privatize public schools.

Earlier this year, LAUSD board member Scott Schmerelson revealed that 82% of the charter schools in Los Angeles have empty seats (no waiting lists).

Yet because of California’s charter-friendly environment, the privately managed schools continue to open.

A report in 2017 found that charters in Los Angeles are proliferating where they are not needed. 

The report points out that traditional school districts can’t build new schools when real or potential enrollment fails to justify expansion. But those rules don’t apply to charter schools, which can open anywhere and qualify for state funding or subsidies to build or lease facilities. The report says public funds helped open and sustain at least 450 charters in areas with plenty of existing classroom space.

“Paying for more schools than are needed wastes taxpayer dollars,” the report says. “Furthermore, an oversupply of schools serves to undermine the viability of any individual school.”

The latter argument has been made repeatedly by L.A. Unified officials, who say that rapid and widespread charter growth is one of several factors threatening the solvency of the nation’s second-largest school system.

The report’s lead researcher, Gordon Lafer, an associate professor at the University of Oregon’s Labor Education and Research Center, attributes the problem to a lack of clarity and vision in state policy.

Courtney Everts Mykytyn was a force of nature in Los Angeles, where she led the fight for racially integrated schools. She founded an organization called “Integrated Schools,” which posted on its Facebook page the news of her tragic death in an automobile accident on Monday. She was struck and killed in front of her home.

Go to the website to read more about Integrated Schools and its mission. 

To learn more about this remarkable woman, read this recent interview.

 

There are many ways in which nonprofit charters make a profit. Most involve complex real estate transactions and such things as “triple net leases” which are hard for the public to understand. Such deals often involve a charter operator owning or leasing the real estate and renting it to the charter school at exorbitant rates, with the public footing the bill.

Michael Kohlhaas has discovered another ingenious way that allegedly nonprofit charter operators extract money from their operations. 

He describes the case of a charter operator in Los Angeles who sold his “receivables” soon after getting his charter.

Kohlhaas writes:

The idea is very simple. A charter school has guaranteed future income in the form of payments from the state. They sell those payments to a finance company at a discount.

The finance company also charges a transaction fee. So for instance, if a charter has enrollment worth $1,000,000 they might sell those future payments for $980,000 now, which is less 2%. That means that $20,000 of public money, meant to educate children, has just evaporated into some zillionaire’s pocket for no reason, with no social benefit, nothing.2

This is usury. Payday loans for putatively public institutions. It’s textbook predatory lending with the unique distinction that both the borrower and the lender are teaming up to prey on a third party, which is the public. And, as I said, none of this is theoretical. Excelencia Charter Academy actually did this last year, which was their first year in operation.

It was obviously part of the plan all along, because founder Ruben Alonzo began arranging the sale within six weeks of receiving his approval from LAUSD. Read the details in this email chain. And keep this story in mind next time some charter minion starts burbling on about putting kids first and the putative efficiency of the private sector. Their financial model includes skimming a percentage of public money for no reason other than to enrich their cronies. This, friends, is not what efficiency looks like.

The company that handled the transaction for Excelencia is called Charter Asset Management, and this is only one of the incredibly shady sounding services that they offer to charter schools. They’re also not alone in this business. Another such company, which also buys receivables, is Charter School Capital. This one is even shadier than the other, founded as it was by an actual charter school operator who then used it to buy the receivables from his own school, thus pocketing the transaction fees himself.

Kohlhaas used the state’s public records act to obtain a huge trove of emails sent by charter operators, and he has mined them for posts like this one.

This is a big difference between a public school and a charter school. Would it be legal for a public school principal to sell the “receivables” for his or her school? Of course not. She would be charged with a crime and sent to jail.