Wealthy donors have put big money into shaking up public education by backing school board candidates willing to challenge union orthodoxy.
The impact they had this month on a school board race in Los Angeles — ousting a union-backed incumbent and electing a new majority that favors charter schools — is expected to reverberate across California.
“It’s not just an L.A. situation,” a California Teachers Association consultant, told the crowd this month. “This is going to happen everywhere.”
There’s no way forward for Republicans. They’ve remained oblivious to the real issues in California and have become irrelevant to the education debate.
The future of public education in California has become a tug-of-war between camps within the Democratic Party. Democrats aligned with organized labor — who dominated local and legislative races for many years — are now facing formidable challenges from Democrats who see overhauling some union rules as a key to improving education.
The Democrat vs. Democrat split that played out in the Los Angeles school board election also emerged in several legislative races last year. Now, as California looks toward the election of a new governor and a new school superintendent next year, the fight over public education is bound to get hotter.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle