Monday, September 21, 2015

UTLA protests charter expansion plans

Yesterday, UTLA held a large protest in front of the Broad Museum on its opening day to protest Eli Broad's plan to expand charters to take half the students in LAUSD.
    I went to check out and support the rally because any plan for charter school expansion is going to involved charter co-locations.
UTLA protest charter school expansion at the opening of the Broad Museum
UTLA protest charter school expansion
    The rally was well attended. There were more then 500 people, and not just teachers. Parents, students, grandparents, community activists and many others were there to show their support for UTLA and express their opposition to the expansion of charters and privatization of public education.  About 30 minutes into the rally, the picketing line got so long that a large group of people had to move across the street. It was heartening to see our American liberties in action.
    Unfortunately, co-locations were not even mentioned by UTLA as one of the problems charters cause. The focus of the rally was get charters to play by the rules, open themselves up to scrutiny and to service all students.  This is all well and good, but this is only chipping away at the edges of what the real problem is which is the charters themselves that seek to create a privatized, unaccountable education system that doesn't have to play by the rules. What UTLA  is asking is for charter to no act like charters. It's just not going to work. UTLA's solution is just a band-aid on a cancerous sore.

    There was a group of people at the rally who were saying that UTLA wasn't going far enough and the group was presenting a different solution: repeal charter schools completely. The group is laying the ground work for a ballot proposition for 2016. I wish this group luck.

   In the end, the rally seemed more like a chance for UTLA to let its members blow off steam and not a rally with any clear agenda or plan to steam the growing charter tide.

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