Tuesday, March 15, 2011

LAUSD Offers Up 13 Campuses to Charter School Vultures

The Los Angeles Board of Education plans to open up bidding for seven new high schools, plus six other campuses, (i.e., give them away to private charter companies) even though this would reduce revenues to LAUSD and exacerbate its already staggering budget crisis.

According to Howard Blume, of the LA Times, the board is under considerable pressure from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and others to award more contracts to independently run charter school companies.

Who are these mysterious “others?”
In all likelihood, they include billionaire Ed Deformers like Eli Broad, whose foundation gave away $10 million, in 2007, to Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, and $23.3 million, in 2008, to KIPP, Aspire and Pacific Charter School Development. Or perhaps they include Phillip Anschutz, who Robert Skeels says “makes the Koch brothers look moderate.” Anschutz has donated $100,000 to the mayor’s slush fund to get pro-charter school candidates elected to the school board. Oh, did I mention, that Anschutz was a major funder of Waiting for Superman?

“Others” probably also includes many of the backers of the 2009 “Public School Choice” initiative, which would have privatized one-third of LAUSD (approximately 250 schools), such as Yolie Flores-Aguilar. It would not surprise me if Ben Austin, of Parent Revolution and Green Dot Charters, was not also a backer of this new giveaway, as he would stand to make a few bucks. Likewise, we should not leave out new Superintendent, John Deasy, former high ranking member of the Gates Foundation, another huge funder and proponent of school privatization.

Ultimately though, the question is, will anyone do anything to stop it and, so far, it looks like the answer is no. If UTLA and the teachers and parents don’t step up and protest vigorously, there will soon be 13 new private charters in LAUSD, schools that are unlikely to have unionized teachers and that may very well lock the parents out of all oversight and decision-making.  And LAUSD will be one step closer to the Public School Choice dystopia of “charter schools for all.”


  1. That's funny. LAUSD's new superintendent is a financial and supporter of private charter schools. Why not elect Hugo Chavez President of the US?

  2. That should have read:
    "That's funny. LAUSD's new superintendent is a financial supporter and proponent of private charter schools. Why not elect Hugo Chavez President of the US?

  3. That's an easy one: Chavez is a repressive, authoritarian moron. You obviously don't read my blog very often or very carefully, or you'd notice that I don't support any politicians.

    Criticism of capitalism does not mean support of leftist autocrats.

    However, one does not even need a critique of capitalism to see the dangers of privatization. From a purely child-centered analysis, the evidence is overwhelming that charter schools are far more segregated by race and class than public schools and, on average, they perform no better than public schools. The highly segregated minority schools are the ones most likely to perform worse than public schools.

    By trying to turn a profit, private charter schools necessarily must cut corners. They do this in numerous ways, including paying teachers less and downsizing support services. Poorly paying teachers discourages the best from working at those schools.

    By siphoning off public funds, charter schools deprive public school districts of much need funding, harming the majority of students who are still in public schools.

  4. They are selective: few special needs children and little ongoing oversight