Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Friday, May 22, 2015

Charter billionaires buy L.A. school board election

Charter billionaires Walton, Hastings, Bloomberg & Broad buy school board election in L.A. 
"We've sunk to a level where there is no viable discourse and no moral conscience when it comes to public education and control of the school board." -- LAUSD board member Steve Zimmer
It's happened again. A PAC of billionaire charter patrons spent millions and virtually bought a school board election. This time in L.A. According to the L.A. Times,
Contributors to PACs that took part in the campaigns on behalf of charter supporters included Netflix founder Reed Hastings, $1.5million (to the charter group only); former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, $550,000; Walmart heir Jim Walton, $375,000; and philanthropist Eli Broad, $205,000.
The victory of charter school co-founder Ref Rodriguez over progressive Bennett Kayser, gave charter privateers the seat they needed to open up the district to what they hope will be unfettered charter expansion. Rodriquez also had the backing of anti-union groups like Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst. His endorsement list includes the operators of charters that L.A. Unified tried to close because of low test scores and other problems. The charters appealed to other agencies and were able to remain open. No district in the nation has more charters, or more students enrolled in them, than L.A.

But despite spending millions on L.A. board campaign, they fell short of a clean sweep. In the west San Fernando Valley, incumbent Tamar Galatzan, who had been a close ally of disgraced former Supt. John Deasy and had the support of charter advocates and other well-funded groups, lost to challenger Scott Schmerelson, an ally of the teachers union.


3 comments:

  1. Thank you for this Professor Klonsky. Poverty pimp Refugio "Ref" Rodriguez has spent his entire career viewing and utilizing school children as ATM cards. Now that the billionaires have installed him at #LAUSD, he has the combination to the entire bank vault.

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  2. I only published this comment as anonymous because I couldn't get in with the other choices. I am Ellen Lubic, Director of Joining Forces for Education.

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  3. Ellen Lubic, Director of Joining Forces for EducationMay 23, 2015 at 12:53 PM

    Rodriguez, in league with the Latino SouthWest Voters Education and Registration group, actually paid inner city Latinos to vote. They offered a lottery entry of $25,000 to each voter who could show their receipt. Rodriguez needed only 17,000 votes to win, and these were bought and paid for. This bribery is what the California Charter School Association now promotes as democracy. What a sad and terrible farce.

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