LA Teachers Union Uses Coronavirus as a Weapon Against Charter Schools Expansion
At a time when educators and parents are searching for ways to keep themselves and others healthy but continue to educate children, teacher union officials could be stepping up to the plate and really ease the panic caused by the pandemic. So what are they doing? Alex Caputo-Pearl, outgoing president of United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA), is topping his legacy with an effort blocking parents from sending their children to charters schools. Mike Antonucci reports:
Outgoing United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl decided a raging pandemic was the perfect time to renew his demand for a charter school moratorium, all in the name of public health, of course. In a late March letter Superintendent Austin Beutner, the UTLA president claimed there was no time to open new charter schools in the coming school year, and that those already attending charter schools were a health peril.
“Caputo-Pearl is also concerned that charters will inflate their average daily attendance (ADA) numbers. ‘With this health crisis it is quite probable that many projected charter ADA’s will be vastly inaccurate,’ he wrote. Caputo-Pearl demonstrated his command of inaccurate numbers by repeating his claim that Los Angeles ‘loses over $600 million/year in resources to unregulated charter growth.’
While the district has already debunked his claim that charter schools drain money from other public schools, Caputo-Pearl continued to use the same propaganda.
“The California Charter Schools Association was quick to respond to Caputo-Pearl’s letter.
‘You labeled charter students, families, and staff as unique hazards to public health, stoking perverse and unfounded division,’ wrote Myrna Castrejón, president and CEO of California Charter Schools Association in an open letter to Caputo-Pearl. ‘These tactics are shameful, dangerous, dehumanizing. . . When you harass families on sidewalks and call our children invaders you inflame and divide, and educators would agree such behavior would be roundly condemned in a schoolyard.’”