• LA Charter School Expansion Faces Tough Union Opposition

    The main union for Los Angeles teachers joined forces Tuesday with other public sector unions to oppose a proposal that would expand how many local students can go to charter schools.

    The proposal could have a profound impact on the local education system. The United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) opposes the idea. While speaking at a board of education meeting, the union was joined by public sector workers and labor leaders also opposed.

    “This was an important moment,” UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl told the Los Angeles Times. “Because the representatives of all employees, many of whom are parents of students in our schools, are all coming forward to say we should invest in our existing schools.”

    Other unions at the meeting included Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, among others. The proposal will double the amount of students attending charter schools at a cost of $490 million.

    The union also claims the proposal will cause inequality and even promote segregation. Charter schools are independently operated and don’t have to follow the same standards public schools have. They also pose a threat to unions since most charter schools are not unionized.

    Supporters of the proposal say it will improve education for students by giving them more choices on where to get educated. The proposal is spearheaded by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and is supported by the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA).

    “Despite modest improvements in local education over the past decade, we remain far from the goal of providing high – quality public education for all students,” CCSA Chief Executive Officer Myrna Castrejón said in a statement. “We enthusiastically support efforts that will turn the dream of educational equity into reality.”

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