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UTLA plans citywide picketing against Broad charter plan

LA School Report | November 3, 2015

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UTLA anti-Broad flyer

In its latest chess move opposing a massive charter school expansion plan spearheaded by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the LA teachers union, UTLA, is planning citywide picketing at schools across LA Unified next Tuesday.

The picketing would be the latest in a series of actions by the union since the plan was announced in August. The actions have included hundreds of teachers’ protesting outside the Sept. 20 opening of The Broad museum in downtown Los Angeles and another protest outside an LA Unified school board meeting in October.

The charter expansion plan, known as the Great Public Schools Now Initiative, seeks to raise nearly a half billion dollars by tapping wealthy charter school supporters like the Walton Family Foundation, which has led UTLA to dub it the “Broad-Walmart plan.” The goal of the initiative is to add 260 charter schools to the district and enroll half of all its students in charters. As most charter schools employ non-union teachers, the plan could decimate UTLA’s ranks.

In an announcement about next week’s picketing, the latest UTLA monthly newsletter, The United Teacher, said the union wants the LA Unified school board to pass a resolution opposing the Broad plan. At least several board members have expressed opposition to the Broad plan, with board President Steve Zimmer calling it a strategy to ‘bring down’ the district.

No member has yet to introduce the measure UTLA is seeking.

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