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LAUSD has been ‘over-charterized.’ The teachers union wants to correct that

LAUSD has been ‘over-charterized.’ The teachers union wants to correct that
Parents, students and educators attend a Dec. 21 UTLA news conference calling for a cap on LAUSD charter schools. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: United Teachers Los Angeles’ position is not anti-charter. Rather, we want the Los Angeles Unified School District to oversee and regulate charter schools, and to stop its over-charterization policies that drain vital resources from our public schools.

LAUSD schools are highly regulated. We must administer multiple tests, and our budgets and resource allocations are highly regulated. Charter organizations, meanwhile, want less district regulation even amid reports of fiscal mismanagement and academic failure. What’s more, charter schools continually kick out students and send them back to their neighborhood schools.

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Traditional public schools do not kick students out. We are dedicated to working with every student; they are all our children.

Additionally, the district does not adequately oversee charter co-locations at our public school campuses. Many charters often disrupt the schools’ instructional schedules and take over spaces that provide vital services to both students and parents.

UTLA’s goal is to save public education in the face of a national movement to privatize our schools and turn them into businesses instead of institutions dedicated to teaching.

Alan Pulner, Los Angeles

The writer is an LAUSD teacher.

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To the editor: The goals of LAUSD and UTLA do not align with the public interest.

Teachers are undervalued in our society, and their wages are too low. But teacher tenure and seniority can be abused; many of us, as either students or parents, have experienced teachers who were coasting to retirement or were otherwise ineffective. Protecting teachers is important, but so is accountability.

And while charter schools are touted by some as superior, this is not clear: If their test scores are better, to what extent is this a result of “teaching to the test”? And, to what extent is that desirable?

The basics of curriculum and teaching do not change significantly over time. Letting good teachers teach and relaxing testing would go a long way toward improving the educational experience for everyone.

Ed Salisbury, Santa Monica

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To the editor: Dear Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom:

In California, there are many natural events that are labeled “disasters.” There are also man-made disasters, including fires, oil spills, gas leaks and more.

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Another man-made disaster is headed our way: the upcoming teacher strike in Los Angeles. LAUSD teachers are underpaid and under appreciated.

We often hear rhetoric about how important education is. Please, find a way to help Los Angeles treat its teachers better and avoid this needless and damaging event in the education of our children.

Larry Kantor, Tarzana

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