On Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 7:43 PM, Steve Zeltzer
Don’t Help Privatizers And Charter Supporters In Their Take-Over Of WCCSD
Statement of Defend Public Education NOW!
The millionaires and billionaires supporting more charters in the WCCSD are giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to their candidates to completely take-over the WCCSB. They have active plans for many more charter schools in Richmond and the WCCSD. In the past, the United Teachers of Richmond UTR when endorsing candidates contributed thousands of dollars for these pro-teacher candidates. These funds were matched by the CTA.
In this critical November 2016 election, the president of the union Demetrio Gonzalez has unilaterally decided that there UTR endorsed candidates will not receive a penny from the PAC funds. This could mean that as a result of the lack of financial support the UTR candidates would lose and the board would be completely taken over by pro-charter funded candidates.
This raises serious questions about the political character of the UTR president. He in the past was campaign manager for Valerie Cuevos who since winning the election has been the most vociferous voice for more charters. She told the Mira Vista school meeting with Beller and the school district that they had to accept the Caliber school being built at the Adams Middle School site and also denied that she had taken money from the charter supporters/industry.
In fact she has taken thousands of dollars from the charter builder Chamberlin and has been the biggest pro-charter advocate on the board.
The same Chamberlin who built the non-union charter Aspire School on Hilltop used non-union construction workers from Nevada who were paid $15.00 an hour and of course opposes the unionization of these charter schools.
Chamberlin has also spent millions of tax-deductible funds financing more Teach For American teachers in the CCSD. Teachers who need funds for their public schools are not getting the money from Chamberlin and instead he wants to bring in TFA teachers who end up being used to get rid of senior teachers since there is a financial incentive to save money. That is in fact what this is all about and it is having a deadly, racist and dangerous affect in our public education system. That is why the NAACP now supports a halt on new charters and the ACLU has exposed the illegal cherry picking by many charter schools in California.
Despite the fact that the UTR has opposed charters including any new charters and endorsed the NAACP resolution Demetrio Gonzalez wrote a letter to the newspapers saying that he supported charters but was just opposed to the Caliber charter at the Adams Middle School. At the recent school board meeting, where Ron Beller and his Caliber charter chain proposed a Caliber Charter High in the WCCSB Demetrio was silent and there were no calls on the website or on the UTR facebook page warning teachers about this threat and the need to oppose it by going to the school board meeting. As most teachers know, a Caliber High school would likely mean the closure of Richmond High or another public high school in Richmond. Why is Demetrio silent about this? Is it because he really supports a Caliber High School?
The UTR endorsed candidates need to get immediate financial funding from the UTR and all UTR teachers need to demand that this happen soon. The election of more pro-charter candidates to the WCCSB must be stopped and those officials whoever they are in the UTR who are blocking this by their actions need to be not only challenged but removed by the membership.
The future of public education is on the agenda and threatened. It is time to take on the charters to defend public education before they destroy all public schools in Richmond and WCCSD.
Defend Public Education NOW! Contact UTR President 510-222-5112 and ask WHY TODAY !