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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:10 PM

Michelle Rhee group $250,000, Bloomberg one million to local school board race in L.A.

That is a huge amount of money to give to local candidates for school board. The article names 3 of the ones to receive the donations... school board President Monica Garcia as well as Kate Anderson and Antonio Sanchez.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0221-school-board-20130221,0,4497748.story

A group led by former District of Columbia schools chancellor Michelle Rhee donated $250,000 Wednesday to contests for seats on the Los Angeles Board of Education, adding further political fuel to a battle over the direction of reform efforts in the nation's second-largest school system.

The support of StudentsFirst, which is based in Sacramento, will benefit an independent campaign on behalf of school board President Monica Garcia as well as Kate Anderson and Antonio Sanchez, who are seeking to join the seven-member body.


She's not the only one giving big figures to this race. The reformers must consider it a vital race for their purpose. Seems like a lot of money to me.

Rhee's donation follows a $1-million contribution to the same candidates made by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg last week.The independent campaign, with resources of more than $3 million for the March 5 election, is being managed by the Coalition for School Reform, which is closely allied with L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Rhee's donation matches that of philanthropist Eli Broad and media executive A. Jerrold Perenchio. Another large recent contribution, $100,000, has come from philanthropist Casey Wasserman, who has funded positions on Supt. John Deasy's executive staff.


It seems to pay off for them in getting the "reforms" they want. Politicians tend to do whatever their big donors expect.

One good example is in Tennessee. This is an example of how all those "parent trigger law" bills are happening. Those who get the huge money from the reformer groups just keep introducing the bills even though parents are fighting back.

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130124/NEWS04/301240128/TN-parent-trigger-bill-would-allow-school-takeovers?nclick_check=1

A much-anticipated parent trigger bill that would allow a majority of parents or teachers to force a school takeover is ready to wind its way through the Tennessee House.

The bill was filed Wednesday by Rep. John DeBerry, a Memphis Democrat and member of the House Education Committee.

“It is, in my opinion, important legislation that will get the debate started,” DeBerry said Thursday. “One thing we can’t afford is we can’t continue to support the status quo.”

In its current form, the bill would allow the parents of 51 percent of the students attending a public school to petition for a conversion of that school to a charter school or to another turnaround model that would improve the school. To be eligible for the parent trigger conversion, a school would have to academically rank among the lowest 20 percent of public schools in the state. DeBerry would also allow 51 percent of the teachers in a school to force a change.


They just keep pushing it in Florida. Rhee did her work here right after Scott was elected governor. This year they think it will not fail as it did last year. Parents are organizing again, fighting back. The sad part is they simply do not care what teachers or parents think. It does not matter to the Rick Scott Republicans in the state legislature.

http://stateimpact.npr.org/florida/2013/02/14/florida-legislative-leaders-say-this-is-the-year-for-the-parent-trigger-bill/

The bill died on the final day of the legislative session last year when a former Senate sponsor cast a deciding vote against the bill. The House approved the bill.

The bill is much the same as it was last year. The main difference this time, according to Senate President Don Gaetz, is in the makeup of the Florida Legislature.

“Some of those who vociferously opposed the parent empowerment legislation last year were termed out of the Senate, and we have some new senators,” Gaetz said. “The concept of allowing parents more control over their children’s schools has got to be a concept that we believe in if we believe in the power of neighborhoods and in the power of parents and in the responsibility for their children’s education.”

Opponents of the legislation say it benefits for-profit companies, could privatize public facilities and gives control to people who may have little educational experience.


Crossposted at Daily Kos.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/02/21/1188705/-Michelle-Rhee-s-group-buys-the-L-A-school-board-race-250-000-Bloomberg-one-million




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Reply Michelle Rhee group $250,000, Bloomberg one million to local school board race in L.A. (Original post)
madfloridian Feb 2013 OP
madfloridian Feb 2013 #1
SoCalDem Feb 2013 #2
madfloridian Feb 2013 #3
KamaAina Feb 2013 #4
madfloridian Feb 2013 #5
KamaAina Feb 2013 #6
msanthrope Feb 2013 #10
madfloridian Feb 2013 #22
msanthrope Feb 2013 #7
madfloridian Feb 2013 #11
msanthrope Feb 2013 #12
madfloridian Feb 2013 #13
msanthrope Feb 2013 #15
madfloridian Feb 2013 #16
msanthrope Feb 2013 #21
madfloridian Feb 2013 #24
msanthrope Feb 2013 #26
hay rick Feb 2013 #17
madfloridian Feb 2013 #19
hay rick Feb 2013 #27
madfloridian Feb 2013 #28
msanthrope Feb 2013 #25
KamaAina Feb 2013 #18
msanthrope Feb 2013 #23
Liberal_in_LA Feb 2013 #8
hay rick Feb 2013 #9
madfloridian Feb 2013 #14
hay rick Feb 2013 #30
madfloridian Feb 2013 #31
liberal_at_heart Feb 2013 #33
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #20
hay rick Feb 2013 #29
madfloridian Feb 2013 #34
hay rick Feb 2013 #32

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:50 PM

1. The reformers are literally buying education.

Where's the outrage?

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:53 PM

2. I'd like to see campaign cash staying within the borders of the state involved..

Why should New York mayor decide how California schools are run..?

and I wish Michelle Rhee would crawl under a rock and stay there..or maybe open her own schools and leave everyone else's alone.

This is so much like the Koch Bros meddling in schools in the south as they use their money to re-segregate them..

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:21 PM

3. Agreed. Plus these amounts in a local race are simply overkill.

So out of proportion.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:25 PM

4. Privatized charter schools discriminate against kids with disabilities as SOP

either outright, or by "counseling out" (strongly encouraging their parents to enroll them elsewhere). This is a big reason they're able to manfacture those gaudy test scores.

Remember, they're still considered public schools, and are still bound by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). If only Eric Holder would step up enforcement as he's done with the ADA.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:05 PM

5. The NLRB declared a charter school a private school. No one noticed at all.

The same old reformers just keep right on, and not a single person speaks out. I have been waiting to see what becomes of this ruling.

Labor board decides Chicago charter school is really private, subject to private sector laws.

The decision overrules a vote taken by teachers last year to form a union in accordance with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act. At the time, two-thirds of teachers at the school approved the union and it became official under state law.

...“This case was really about whether you organize via one method or another,” said Andrew Broy, director of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools. “It wasn’t about you can organize at all, whether you can bust unions, or anything like that.”


That's the charter school that last year declared itself private so teachers could not organize.

Bet they just keep on getting public money and not being regulated.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:08 PM

6. What gives the NLRB the right to interfere with state law?

Congress could, and probably would, but not some pipsqueak federal agency.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:21 PM

10. Madfloridian did not describe the NLRB decision correctly....I urge you to read it.

http://www.nlrb.gov/case/13-RM-001768

The teachers in question can still organize, but under federal law, as opposed to Illinois state law. And at no point did the NLRB declare a charter a private entity....the first line of the decision debunks that, as I posted in post # 7.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:58 PM

22. I described the whole outrage correctly. Clearly and correctly.

You are nitpicking and redefining the subject and hijacking the whole conversation.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:18 PM

7. No--they didn't. The first line of the decision directly contradicts what you wrote----

The issue in this case is whether a private, nonprofit
corporation that established and operates a public charter
school in Chicago, Illinois,
is exempt from our jurisdiction
because assertedly it is a political subdivision of the
State of Illinois within the meaning of Section 2(2) of the
National Labor Relations Act.1 The union that seeks to
represent teachers employed at the school—under Illinois
law—argues that the Board lacks jurisdiction. In contrast,
the nonprofit corporation itself has filed an election
petition with the Board and argues that the Act does apply.

http://www.nlrb.gov/case/13-RM-001768


I've debunked this before, (on multiple threads) and shown you that the NLRB DID NOT declare a charter school a private entity. The non-profit private corporation is contracted by the state to run the PUBLIC SCHOOL.

SECOND, and this is NOT the first time I have pointed this out to you--the teachers at this charter can organize under the NLRB, not under Illinois state. That is the ENTIRE POINT of the ruling. They can still organize.

As I've written to you before, would you PLEASE read the legal decision you are writing about, CITE directly to the decision, and NOT rely on blogposts?

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:25 PM

11. Not going down this road again with you.

But I will say this:

IF charter schools are subject to private school laws, then they are not really public schools and should not be getting taxpayer money.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:30 PM

12. Kindly cite from the decision, madflo, the EXACT law you think this public school is being being

subjected to. Cite it.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:25 PM

13. Is that school private or public?

Could you tell me why they called themselves public until the teachers formed a union?

Read the various links from this year and last year. If you truly read all the links, you will see that this charter and others are claiming to be public or private for their own convenience.

The school was told by NLRB that they don't have to follow the rules for public school teachers to unionize. Yet they still consider themselves public schools.

Could you explain how that makes sense?

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:58 PM

15. The school is PUBLIC. The corporation that is contracted by the government

to run the school is a non-governmental non-profit, per the Illinois laws overseeing charters.

Because the entity that hires the teachers is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, the teachers must organize their union under the auspices of the NLRB, not under the auspices of Illinois state law which only provides for teachers employed by governmental entities. The teachers CAN STILL ORGANIZE.

It makes sense because you are talking about two distinct entities--the school, and the contractor that runs it. The teachers are employed by the latter to service the former.

Think about it this way--if I contract an organization to provide food service to a public school, do the food service employees become government workers? No. Same goes for charter school teachers.





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Response to msanthrope (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:27 PM

16. So you agree teachers are employed by a private company?

We are giving taxpayer money to private companies to run some charter schools. The money we give those private companies is taken from traditional public schools run by the local districts.

Seems to me you are agreeing with me that this is privatizing education.

Now you seem to really believe that the entity that hires the teachers is really non-profit. That bothers me because of the fact that charter school CEOs get huge salaries, some of them up to a quarter or half million a year.

It makes sense these private companies want to be known as public entities because it is hugely profitable for them.

So really truly for all intents and purposes if the school is run by private companies, it is a private school.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:57 PM

21. Madfloridian, this is the Illinois law regarding charters---

(105 ILCS 5/27A-5)
Sec. 27A-5. Charter school; legal entity; requirements.
(a) A charter school shall be a public, nonsectarian, nonreligious, non-home based, and non-profit school. A charter school shall be organized and operated as a nonprofit corporation or other discrete, legal, nonprofit entity authorized under the laws of the State of Illinois.


You wrote:

So really truly for all intents and purposes if the school is run by private companies, it is a private school.


Not under any law in this land, no. Having a government contract for services doesn't make you a governmental entity, nor does it give you ownership rights to a governmental asset. Ultimately, if the voters of the state of Illinois don't like this legislation, they have the means to change it.


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Response to msanthrope (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:59 PM

24. A school can not change from public to private at their convenience. Now about Rhee, Bloomberg?

You have taken this so far off course it's stunning.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #24)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:09 AM

26. The school isn't changing...who runs it, does. nt

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:41 PM

17. Private entity.

You state: "...NLRB DID NOT declare a charter school a private entity." The quote you offer starts "The issue in this case is whether a private, nonprofit corporation..." In the very first sentence, the NLRB establishes that CMSA Charter School Inc. is a private entity...

The issue in this case was whether CMSA Charter School Inc. should be treated as a governmental agency, which would exempt it from NLRA jurisdiction under Section 2(2) of the National Labor Relations Act, or whether it would come under NLRB's purview as a non-governmental entity. The Board Decision continues:

Having carefully considered the entire record, including the briefs filed by the parties and amici, we find, contrary to the Acting Regional Director, that the nonprofit corporation is not a political subdivision of the State of Illinois under either analytical prong of the Hawkins County test. We find, rather, that the corporation is an “employer” within the meaning of Section 2(2) of the Act, and therefore subject to the Board’s jurisdiction.


National Labor Relations Act here: http://www.nlrb.gov/national-labor-relations-act
Section 2(2):

(2) The term "employer" includes any person acting as an agent of an employer, directly or indirectly, but shall not include the United States or any wholly owned Government corporation, or any Federal Reserve Bank, or any State or political subdivision thereof, or any person subject to the Railway Labor Act , as amended from time to time, or any labor organization (other than when acting as an employer), or anyone acting in the capacity of officer or agent of such labor organization.


You highlight the fact that this "non-profit private corporation is contracted by the state to run the PUBLIC SCHOOL." This is true, but it was apparently not germane to the decision.

You emphasize the fact that the teachers can still organize. This is true, but the intent of CMSA's appeal was clearly to discourage that effort. Under IELRA, teachers can organize using card check. Under NLRA's jurisdiction, they can not. Also, having averted the IELRA organizing, CMSA has used the additional time to intimidate organizers. Story here: http://scholasticadministrator.typepad.com/thisweekineducation/2010/08/reform-charter-fires-pregnant-teacher-for-organizing.html



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Response to hay rick (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:55 PM

19. The charter fired the teacher who led in organizing. Got away with it.

Thanks for the post.

From your link:

The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act and the Illinois Charter School Act both make clear that charters--like all public schools--come under state jurisdiction. State law also mandates union certification upon a showing of a simple card-check majority.

"We chose to unionize by a pretty convincing majority, and the school should respect that. Instead, it has chosen to deny us our legitimate right, under state law, to form a union," said Brian Chelmecki, chair of the school's math department.

Two-thirds of the teaching staff--well over the majority required by law--signed union authorization cards to be represented by the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff (Chicago ACTS), an affiliate of the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers. Chicago ACTS also represents teachers at eight other charter schools in Chicago.

Teachers and their supporters--which include local community groups, and religious, labor and political leaders--have vowed to fight what they say is a total disregard for the law by school officials.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:17 AM

27. I think organizing jurisdiction may still be a subject of dispute.

Link to Illinois law on charter schools: http://law.onecle.com/illinois/105ilcs5/27A-5.html

(g) A charter school shall comply with all provisions of this Article, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act, and its charter. A charter school is exempt from all other State laws and regulations in the School Code governing public schools and local school board policies, except the following:


The school got the ruling they wanted out of the NLRB. I wonder if they will get away with their intimidation tactics. The cost of litigation may be a determining factor...

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Response to hay rick (Reply #27)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:55 AM

28. Cost of litigation....exactly. Who can afford to fight back against such huge money?

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Response to hay rick (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:08 AM

25. CMSA, Inc, is not the school. It is what runs the school through a 5-year charter.

That is the teacher's employer, not a governmental entity.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:52 PM

18. Would the Chicago Public Schools be considered "a political subdivision of the state of Illinois"?

If so, then under this decision, charters aren't really public schools. (Except that they are still required under IDEA to enroll and educate students with disabilities, which was the point of my post.)

the teachers at this charter can organize under the NLRB


You mean under Taft-Hartley, or in other words, not at all.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:59 PM

23. But CPS isn't the employer. nt

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:19 PM

8. now I know who NOT to vote for

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:21 PM

9. Rupert Murdoch is also a StudentsFirst donor.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:27 PM

14. There is almost no alarm that big money is buying out public schools.

If Bush had gone this far, we would have been fighting back strongly. Now it is accepted because it is the policy of a Democrat.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:14 AM

30. We will have a new generation of good little wage slaves.

The indifference of too many on this issue, because some "Democrats" are going along for the ride, turns my stomach.

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Response to hay rick (Reply #30)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:28 AM

31. .....

Agreed.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:13 AM

33. people only notice when there is one, really, really, big disaster in front of them and even then

they only notice for a few minutes. Right now immigration and guns have the attention of the politicians and the voters. There is no one really big disaster in education. It's the proverbial slowly boiling a frog in a pot of hot water. No one will care until it is too late.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:56 PM

20. k&r

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:07 AM

29. Jesus Christ on a dinosaur.

The parent trigger looks like a solution in search of a problem- kind of like voter id laws. Voter id laws use "voter fraud" as a cover for vote suppression. Parent trigger laws just as obviously seek to use "failing schools" as an excuse for privatization.

I know that these laws have resulted in very few conversions so far, but the opportunity for abuse is obvious. First, once enacted, seemingly innocuous modifications to the legislation can make conversions much easier. The other abuse that occurs to me is that a popular fundamentalist church with a lot of members in a particular neighborhood could mount a campaign to replace the local public school with a more creation-science-friendly charter...

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Response to hay rick (Reply #29)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:10 PM

34. Yes. A religious community could take over a school, urged on by such a charter.

I have often thought about that. A charter school could organize the parents like Green Dot did in CA, and no one would pay attention until later.

Since it is not a grassroots parent "uprising", but a financed one by such schools....they could easily rile up the parents.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:03 AM

32. K&R

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