Thank you to all who came out to march with public school teachers and OccupyLA yesterday, when we demanded LAUSD use its $55-million surplus to rehire 1200 laid-off teachers and hundreds of counselors, librarians, library aides, nurses, and clerical staff.
About a dozen set up tents and camped outside of LAUSD's offices on Beaudry in downtown LA. Around 11 pm, when police were about to remove the tents, #OccupyLAUSD called protestors at #OccupyLos Angeles. About 100 #OccupyLA activists marched a mile up to Beaudry, in the darkness of night, to stand in solidarity with the campers. The tents stayed!
We are witnessing the underfunding of our schools and overcrowding of classrooms, English and history have up to 43 students in a class), alongside the seizure of our public schools by developer-funded corporate charters with unelected boards, cheating scandals, and union-busting.
In fact, the court appointed Office of the Independent Monitor for the Modified Consent Decree for LAUSD stated that children with disabilities are "significantly underrepresented" at corporate charter schools. Additionally, a comprehensive (2009) Center for Research on Education Outcomes study at Stanford University revealed that 37% of charter schools posted math gains significantly below students enrolled in public schools.
Enough! Now LAUSD leadership wants to give corporate charters another 37 schools in the next round of the Public Schools Choice initiative. Let successful teachers with proven track records lead the reform efforts to create exciting project-based classrooms. Let our schools serve the 99% of students, parents, and teachers, not the 1% of billionaires. Protect and empower public education.
Photo: Myla Reson