Opinion

Charter-supporting billionaires hijacked the LAUSD school board races

To the editor: Whig lawmaker Horace Mann’s noble sentiments, turned into action in the 19th century, that education should be universal, free and unencumbered by forces that demanded mere recitation of lessons and the enslavement of intellect for the purposes of commercial wants, must now take a turn to the right as the idea of for-profit education is elbowing aside a long-standing institution. (“Charter backers win their first L.A. school board majority,”

Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education President Steve Zimmer was so reviled by the moneyed interests of his opponent, which spent millions to defeat him, that even I, a hard-shelled Boston Democrat, am appalled. I expect next that schools will be re-named from Horace Mann to those chosen from the Fortune 500 list.

Carleton Cronin, West Hollywood

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To the editor: It’s time to get the money out of politics. We now have a plutocracy rather than a democracy.

If the $14 million spent to elect Nick Melvoin to the school board had been put toward smaller classes, higher salaries to attract creative, bright young teachers, and after-school programs, our children would be better off. If Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of hedge-fund billionaire and President Trump supporter Robert Mercer, had not urged Trump to appoint Michael Flynn as his national security advisor, we would also be better off.

It’s time to reconsider the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision. I am also sickened by the “invitations” that cost tens of thousands of dollars to dine with Hillary Clinton.

Lynne Shapiro, Marina del Rey

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