Friday, February 4, 2011

Ed Reform By Educators--PEAC L.A.

In January I wrote about a reactionary tendency within the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) called NewTLA (see NewTLA: Voice of Reform or Reaction) that wanted to collaborate with the billionaire Ed Deformers to undermine union protections and labor solidarity in the move to privatize local schools. There is also a much larger and more popular reform group active within UTLA called Progressive Educators for Action (PEAC) that directly confronts and resists the billionaire Ed Deform agenda.

PEAC is not a new caucus within UTLA. In fact, in 2005, they helped the United Action slate sweep UTLA elections, throwing out most of the old guard. Outgoing UTLA President, A.J. Duffy (and current candidate for CTA Vice-President), was also endorsed by the group.

One goal of PEAC is to transform UTLA into a social justice union that goes beyond simply defending contractual rights. They are fighting for full funding of schools and the social services that support children and help them to be more school ready.  They want curriculum that teaches social justice and labor history. They have worked together with California Alliance to press for ballot initiatives closing corporate tax loopholes and to end the two-thirds majority rule in the California legislature for passing tax increases. PEAC also advocates for school management by coalitions of teachers, students and parents.

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