It's not easy being green
New Yorkers upset about the specter of unionized charter schools can at least expect such schools to be welcomed by the unions themselves, right? Not! Consider the plight of Green Dot, a chain of unionized charter schools whose proposed expansion in L.A. has been shut down by union-backed members of the Los Angeles Unified School Board. The vote "infuriated" board member and Green Dot supporter Mike Lansing, whose constituents include the families in high-poverty and troubled Watts the new schools would have served. "It's really disappointing that we keep talking about wanting to do what's best for children first, when without a doubt that vote was about a teachers union and three board members not having the backbone to stand up and do the right thing for kids over their ties to the union." Green Dot will appeal to the county, which will almost certainly approve the schools (they meet all necessary criteria under the state's charter law). But the local board's machinations will mean at least a one-year delay, leading the L.A. Times editorial page to conclude, "Once again, the losers are the students." Actually, we would argue that the "losers" are the unions, more concerned about power and politics than what's good for kids.
"L.A. Unified rejects charter expansion," by Joel Rubin and Adrian G. Uribarri, Los Angeles Times, March 30, 2007
"LAUSD puts politics before kids," Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2007