Occupy LA protesters are teaming up with members of a teachers union Tuesday afternoon to march on the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) headquarters. Their goal is to “reclaim” public schools from the 1% — a group that, in the education industry, includes charter schools, philanthropic foundations and corporate management companies.
Occupy LA’s statement on today’s action dovetails with many of the talking points that the United Teachers Los Angeles union has released in the past. Grievances include the fact that the LAUSD laid off over one thousand educators and school staffers despite their $55 million surplus, classes are packed with more than 40 students and school libraries are being closed or compromised.
Jose Lara, one of the lead organizers for today’s action and a member of the UTLA board of directors, revealed in a phone call to The Huffington Post that the board of directors voted yesterday to unanimously support the wider Occupy LA movement, and the motion has been referred to the house of representatives for final approval tomorrow.
“We’re expecting the vote to be unanimous,” said Lara.
Lara also noted the fact that schools superintendent John Deasy, in addition to other top district executives, are earning large salaries that are paid for by foundations run by LA’s top dogs — Eli Broad and Casey Wasserman, to name a few — and that makes the district vulnerable to corporate manipulation.
“When we go talk at a school meeting, we don’t have the same pull that Eli Broad does,” joked Lara. But on a more serious note, he said, the influence of people like Eli Broad on the LAUSD means “top-down school reforms that aren’t good for our children.”