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Los Angeles: “Walk-In” Protests Charters, Privatization, and Billionaires

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Pro-public school demonstrators marched in Los Angeles as part of the national “walk-in” for public schools.
The 20th Street Elementary School was one center for the protest because it has been targeted for privatization by the billionaire-funded “Parent Revolution.”
“Parents at 20th Street filed a petition earlier this month to convert the school into a charter school. To make the change, they’re using the state’s “parent trigger law” that allows parents to decide who will take control of a low-performing campus once the school district confirms that a majority of parents had signed a petition.
“The parent group hasn’t yet chosen an organization that would run the charter school. Under state law, only parents who signed the petition will have a vote. The advocacy group helping them, Parent Revolution, is backed by nonprofit organizations that support the growth of charter schools, including the Walton Family Foundation, the Wasserman Foundation, the Arnold Foundation and the Broad Foundation.
“The petition drive has divided the campus, with supporters accusing teachers of misconduct and retaliation. The union, in turn, has accused Parent Revolution of using deceptive tactics to gather signatures. Both sides have denied any wrongdoing.
“The signs and posters at 20th Street focused on what students loved about their school — the teachers, the music — scrawled in colorful, children’s handwriting.
“Some rallygoers at Hamilton High School in Palms were more direct in their attack on the charter school expansion plan, which was originally spearheaded by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. That proposal laid out a plan to spend $490 million to double the number of charters in L.A. over eight years.
“Protesters held white posters that proclaimed in black block letters: “Billionaires, have a heart. Your plan will tear our schools apart!” and “Billionaires: Pay your taxes so we can get smaller classes!”

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