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UTLA’s Caputo-Pearl throws down debate challenge to Eli Broad

Craig Clough | September 8, 2015

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Ever since billionaire Eli Broad and a few other powerful figures in the school reform movement announced plans of a massive investment in new charter schools for LA Unified, the district’s teachers union has been aggressively mobilizing opposition to it.

That response took an interesting turn yesterday when Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), challenged Broad to a public debate.

Caputo-Pearl even has a time and place picked out, telling KABC’s Adrienne Alpert on her “Eyewitness Newsmakers” program that he wants to debate Sept. 20 at the grand opening ceremony of Broad’s new 120,000-square-foot, $140 million art museum, The Broad, in downtown Los Angeles.

While not entirely clear, Caputo-Pearl also suggested that UTLA would be staging a protest at the museum’s opening.

“I’ll be there, and I will have a bunch of my friends there, and I’d like to actually debate [Broad] publicly,” Caputo-Pearl said.

With the likelihood that Broad would be interested in such a debate at his star-studded gala running quite low, Caputo-Pearl followed up with a suggestion that showed while he may be joking about the gala, he is serious about wanting a public debate .

“We could do it on (Alpert’s) show if you want, about charter schools, about unregulated charter schools, about public school accountability,” he said. “So we’d like very much for that public debate to happen.”

The Broad Foundation did not respond to a message, seeking to learn if Broad had any interest in the debate.

Check out the attached YouTube video to see Caputo-Pearl’s full appearance on the show.

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