AFT President Randi Weingarten on Los Angeles School Board Charter School Moratorium Vote
WASHINGTON—The Los Angeles school board voted 5-1 yesterday to place an eight- to 10-month local moratorium on the opening of new charter schools, which would allow for the completion of a state study on the impact charter schools have on traditional schools. The vote comes after members of the United Teachers Los Angeles settled a contract with the Los Angeles Unified School District last week; one of the major issues in negotiations was how the exponential growth of charter schools has drained resources from the city’s public schools.
UTLA is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement:
“In the wake of tax caps, the lack of appropriate investment has been a challenge for public education in Los Angeles for decades. Add to that the unregulated growth of charter schools that siphoned off more funding, and the result was the scarcity that led to the L.A. teachers’ strike. While charters were sold as a response to the demand for better schools, they too have a mixed record. More than 80 percent of charter schools cannot meet their projected enrollment numbers, and 8 of the 10 worst-performing schools in L.A., including one that has already been closed, are charter schools. So a moratorium is a good idea to bring equity and sustainability back to LAUSD, and with this vote, the school board made good on its promise to help do it.
“Now, we work to rebalance the city’s school system so every student has access to a well-funded school with normal class sizes, school nurses and counselors, and the same transparency and accountability measures to make sure kids’ needs are being put before anything else. This resolution allows everyone who cares about education in Los Angeles to take a step back and make sure those needs are being met.”
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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.