STOP the Hostile Take-Over. Re-Elect Steve Zimmer Tues., May 16th, to LAUSD School Board
On Tues, May 16th, Los Angeles voters –the caffeinated ones awake enough to know there is a monumental election underway— can resist a billionaire-backed hostile charter take over of the Los Angeles Unified School District by casting ballots to re-elect a champion of the arts, LAUSD Board President Steve Zimmer representing District 4, a swath of land that stretches from Westchester’s jet roar to Venice’s Silicon Beach to East Hollywood’s rentals to the sun-splashed Valley enclaves of Woodland Hills and Tarzana.
Zimmer’s District 4 seat is one of two open seats on the seven-member board; the other open seat is District 6 in the East San Fernando Valley, where another teacher-union endorsed candidate, Imelda Padilla, a former organizer with the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), and an environmental justice advocate with Pacoima Beautiful – faces charter school teacher Kelly Gomez, a competitor backed by charter school privatizers.
The question is this: Do we want public schools that are transparent, engage the entire community, and adhere to the long-established state education code – or do we want privately-run schools paid for with public money operating in the Wild West of Charterville?
With voter turn-out expected to plunge to an anemic low of 10 percent or less, a paltry number of voters will decide whether LA Unified, a district with 650,000 students enrolled in the second largest district in the nation behind New York City, continues to operate on all cylinders, serving over 200 magnet programs and pilot schools – or collapses under the weight of multiplying charters – now exceeding 220 independent charters, according to LAUSD—that create a two-tiered education system.
In what could be the most expensive school board race in US history, the billionaire boys club is spending over 4-million dollars to oust Zimmer in hopes of establishing a pro-charter majority that would turn half of the district’s 900 schools into charters, 90% of which would be non-union – like the 28 LA charter schools run by Alliance, a company that violated its employees’ rights to organize, according to an administrative law judge.
United Teachers of Los Angeles, my union representing 35,000 teachers, is spending over a million dollars in Independent Expenditures to back Zimmer, a Marshall High School classroom teacher and counselor for 17 years – and a two term incumbent advocating lower class size.
Since first elected in 2009, Zimmer has successfully fought devastating budget cuts to save arts education, early childhood education, and adult education; launched Student Recovery Day to bring drop-outs back to class; boosted the graduation rate from 54% to 75%; developed innovative language immersion programs; promoted science, technology and engineering magnets, and balanced the budget to earn Wall Street’s top bond rating.
Joining UTLA in endorsing Zimmer is a list of electeds like LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, LA STOP the Hostile Take-Over. Re-Elect Steve Zimmer Tues., May 16th, to LAUSD School Board | The Huffington Post: