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Garcetti promoting local productions as Cortines shuts them down

LA School Report | October 9, 2015

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school report buzzOne day after LA Unified abruptly announced that it is shutting down all film and TV productions from any of its campuses, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti visited the set of American Horror Story: Hotel today to promote how the California Film and TV Tax Credit is helping bring film and TV productions back to the LA area.

The show had filmed for three seasons outside of the state before being lured to LA as one of the first 11 projects to receive allocations under the new credit program.

“We are fighting back against runaway production, and this tax credit is delivering results for the heart and soul of the film and television industry — the people who swing hammers, run cable and serve food on set so they can pay he bills and contribute to our economy,” Garcetti said in a statement. “Our film and television industry is the lifeblood of Los Angeles’ middle class, and now production is coming back to where it belongs.”

Garcetti’s promotional stop comes somewhat ironically for LA Unified, considering Superintendent Ramon Cortines‘ move to shut down all productions on district campuses in the wake of an NBC Los Angeles report that accused the district of lacking proper oversight. (LA School Report has its own opinion on this and questioned the accusations in the story. Click here to read our commentary.)

Entertainment productions on district campuses have reportedly brought around $10 million to the district over the last five years. According to Garcetti’s office, a total of 22 projects have received tax credits in the first two application periods, and based on data the projects will generate an estimated $1.07 billion in direct in-state spending, which includes $387 million in wages for below-the-line crew members.

National Kale Day at LAUSD

No one can accuse LA Unified of not going all in for National Kale Day, which was Oct. 7. The district ordered up more than five tons of the vegetable from a local farm in Ventura County and served an estimated 350,000 kale-and-cranberry salads, according to LAUSD Daily.

Kale is one of those “superfoods” your doctor has probably told you to eat more of, as it is high in vitamins and nutrients. The salads were a hit, LAUSD said.

“I love kale,” said Ozzie, an eighth-grade student. “They should serve this everyday.”

It seems the kale experiment worked, and it sounds as if there should be more kale to come.

“Right now, we’re trying it once a month. If we get a lot of positive feedback, we may serve it more frequently,” Laura Benavidez, interim co-director of the district’s Food Services Division, said in a statement. “Kale is one of the ways we are introducing new items, healthy items to our students.”

Friedrichs v. CTA Supreme Court Case heating up

The Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case is set to go before the U.S. Supreme Court this fall and has gigantic implications for unions, as a victory by the plaintiffs would reverse a decades-old precedent, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, that requires non-union members to pay dues under a “fair share” rationale that non-members derive the same benefits as a members.

The case involves a group of teachers, including some from LA Unified, suing the CTA over the dues. Several supporters of the teachers have recently filed amicus briefs with the court, including Gloria Romero, a former state senator who is active in various reform movements.

“The denial of these First Amendment rights for teachers simultaneously denies the civil rights of predominantly poor and minority children in America,” Romero said in a press release. “Virtually every reform we fight for are obstructed by the all-powerful CTA—even when rank and file teachers support our reforms.  By denying teachers their rights, our kids suffer the consequences by being denied a quality education.”

Click here to view Romero’s amicus brief.


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