Newsletter(4/23): If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them
While the vast majority of California public schools remained off-limits to students this school year, a bright light has flickered in the darkness: charter schools.
Mostly outside the iron grasp of unions that have kept traditional public schools shuttered, charter schools acted quickly to educate students throughout the pandemic. Their nimbleness and ability to focus on student needs rather than union demands allowed them to shift to a functioning virtual model almost overnight, permit teachers to remain in regular contact with students, extend the school days and years as necessary, and provide additional support to students who needed it.
But, California politicians can’t let a good thing go unpunished, particularly when it might threaten the unions who elected them. After getting kicked in the teeth by the unions that bankrolled him for daring to put forward a bill that would get kids back in classrooms, Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell has introduced AB 1316. He is seemingly more attentive to the hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from government unions than from the hundreds of thousands of constituents that want kids in schools. If passed, this bill would essentially gut California charter schools and make even more children vulnerable to the teacher union abuses we’ve witnessed these past 13 months.
O’Donnell’s bill seeks to severely limit the ability of families and schools to provide instruction that meets the unique learning news of students by drastically cutting charter school funding; removing their ability to provide the tailored education their students need; restricting which students are eligible to attend charter schools; restraining charters from setting curriculum and providing classes and enrichment they deem necessary; adding unnecessary credentialing requirements to vendors; and introducing layers of bureaucratic red tape that will make it harder for California students to receive a quality education.
Especially ironic is the timing of this proposal: introduced in a year when students stuck in traditional public schools have experienced devastating callousness from a system and leaders purportedly tasked with educating and nurturing them. The authors and co-authors of this bill have collectively received over a million dollars from government unions, including the California Teachers Association. Together, they want to level their educational competition, even if it means all kids lose.
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. If you can’t join ‘em, crush ‘em.
More from CPC
- Los Angeles schools kowtow to union demands
- Teachers union: members too exhausted for 4-day-a-week school
- Solving California’s urban water scarcity
- Dear California: The winter wave is over. Let’s reopen.
- The superintendent cannot choose your doctor either
- Winning a war of attrition against government unions
- Listen: Dog returns to its own vomit
- Newsom allies want to dox recall petition signers
CPC and allies in the news
- Listen: CPC’s Chantal Lovell joins the John and Ken show to talk about the union’s role in keeping schools closed
- San Diego Union Tribune: Some San Diego schools use ‘overflow’ rooms to fit in students learning in-person
- Fox News: LA Board of Education members eat, check phones while mom pleads for school reopening
- Sean Mitchell, Parent Union ambassador, joins Phil Cowan to discuss the realities of CA school “reopenings” (1:28 mark)
- Watch: Fox and Friends discusses LAUSD Board of Ed’s shocking reaction to mother’s plea to reopen schools (11:40 mark)
- California Globe: Winning a war of attrition against government unions
- Watch: Carl DeMaio says California Democrats are aiming to intimidate voters with SB 663
- Elk Grove News: Parents, students demand EGUSD resume five-day-a-week in-class instruction
- Fox News: Parents accuse California district of overuse of COVID tests in school reopening fight
Back to school?
First, enjoy this relatable cartoon from our friends at the Illinois Policy Institute:
- SF Gate: Gavin Newsom can’t guarantee California schools will be open in the fall. Why not?
- Newsweek: The pandemic didn’t create inequality. It revealed how broken public education is.
- Fox News: NYC parent rips $54G-a-year private Manhattan school over ‘cancerous’ anti-racism policies
- KTVU: OUSD and teachers agree to go back full-time in fall, can’t resolve issues for rest of this year
- Pasadena Star-News: East Whittier school district, teachers agree on 3-foot limit for student desks
California closures and reopening
- CalMatters: Key reason unemployment rate fell: Californians dropped out of workforce
- Orange County Register: OC will offer digital vaccine record as an option, not a mandate
- CalMatters: Newsom puts rosy spin on jobs report
- After COVID-19: Building an inclusive economy for California
Other things we’re reading
- San Diego charter school teachers charge union with illegal surveillance
- WSJ: How liberals explain the decision to leave California
- CalMatters: Bills would hamstring future California recalls
Connect with CPC
Chantal Lovell is the communications director for California Policy Center.