New And Underperforming L.A. Schools To Be Run By Outside Groups

Protesters gathered outside Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters Tuesday afternoon as its board of directors pondered recommendations to allow 10 outside operators to take over several new campuses and underperforming schools.

United Teachers Los Angeles, the union representing LAUSD teachers, is against the board's likely move to "give away our schools to outsiders," according to the UTLA's site. Superintendent Ramon Cortines has recommended that 12 underperforming schools and 24 new schools be taken over by seven charter-school operators, three educational development organizations and 31 district-based teams that were backed by the union.

Still, the union doesn't seem to want to give any ground to charter-school operators and other outsiders. "We want the school board members to review all the teacher/parent

plans the superintendent did not recommend,'' UTLA president A.J. Duffy said.

"Local communities wrote plans," he said. "Parents made their choice. Both of these should be respected.''

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, however, trumpeted the competitive process and its weighing of 84 campus-takeover proposals. "The most significant school reform in the country may be happening right here in Los Angeles," stated chamber CEO Gary Toebben.

"The Chamber calls upon all Angelenos to support the new operators of LAUSD schools -- charters, external operators and school-based and local-district-based teams -- and support the bold reform in L.A. schools," Toebben wrote.

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