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Campaign 2013: All Eyes On LAUSD

ScreenHunter_01 Feb. 11 12.00Reform advocates in LA and from around the country have already contributed $1.5M to an independent expenditure committee in support of three LAUSD School Board candidates (two challengers, one incumbent).  

The so-called Coalition for School Reform has also launched the first TV ad campaign that's been aired for school board candidates in LA since 2007.  

But UTLA, the teachers union, is far from giving up.  UTLA-PACE has already raised roughly $667,000, and begun sending out flyers and communicating with members about the imporatance of the election.  The union has also put out requests for additional resources from state and national teachers unions, which are forthcoming (amounts TBD).  

On Friday, AFT President Randi Weingarten appeared at a school in LA with one of the union-backed canddiates, Steve Zimmer.  Weingarten announced a $150,000 grant to UTLA to help teachers develop better school improvement plans -- an alternative to radical means like the "parent trigger." The grant comes from AFT's Innovation Fund, which is -- yes! -- backed by the Gates Foundation.


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Comparing UTLA to outside forces from the "reform" sector is outrageously false equivalence. UTLA represents the teachers in the district -- direct stakeholders.

you're misunderstanding me, caroline -- the outside money on the union side is state and national unions -- CTA, AFT, etc -- who have equally little direct involvement (but just as much legal right) to fund campaigns as anyone else.

Here in San Francisco, it's the union local that donates to political races. And I don't see how I'm misunderstanding. Your report specifically says the funding is coming from UTLA. A grant from the AFT to UTLA for a local project is separate from political donations and also not equivalent.

Of course it's legal for the outsiders from the so-called "reform" sector to donate to local political races too. But to try to portray that as equivalent to donations from the union local -- or to a grant from the national union to the union local for a local project -- is invalid -- as I say, media critics call that false equivalence.

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