Education Intelligence Agency

Public education research, analysis and investigations

California Teachers Association’s Two-Faced Approach to Charters

Written By: Mike Antonucci - Jun• 03•13

June 3, 2013

California Teachers Association’s Two-Faced Approach to Charters. The board of directors and standing committees of the California Teachers Association will have their hands full with proposals concerning charter school teachers. The union will decide in the coming months whether to send its monthly organ, California Educator, to all active charter school teachers, to create promotional materials for distribution to charter school teachers about the joys of teachers’ unions, and to create workshops for union activists with the title “How to Unionize Charter School Teachers.”

At the very same time, these decision-makers will contemplate creating a standing committee on the problem of charter schools, reversing a recent state law that gives charters first crack at surplus school property, persuading the legislature to order performance audits of charter schools, and shutting out charters from basic school appropriations so that they would have to have their own separate source of funding.

The rationale for this latter proposal is that “The harmful impact of charter schools needs to be made transparent. Having our active members vote on this issue will both educate and make the harm done by charter schools evident.”

I’m pretty sure this stuff won’t appear in the promotional materials CTA distributes to charter school teachers, but I’m confident they’re informed enough to know that the union has been the most implacable foe of charter schools in California for more than 20 years.

Last Week’s Intercepts. EIA’s daily blog, Intercepts, covered these topics May 29-June 3:

*  Nevada Disaffiliation Attempt Defeated. NEA hangs on to 11,000 members.

Coming Up: State-by-State Breakdowns of Spending and Staffing. Stats for almost 13,500 school districts.

Alabama Teaching Ranks Down Almost 15%. Large districts hardest hit.

Teacher Job Market Held Steady in Alaska. Bucking the trends.

Quote of the Week. “My job is to recruit teachers to join the union, but you won’t allow me to join a union.” – Maria Elena Hermanson, former organizer for the Clark County Education Association. Hermanson filed a complaint against CCEA with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming she was fired for wanting to join the staff union. CCEA executive director John Vellardita claimed it was for poor performance, and emphasized that in Nevada employers can fire workers without cause. (June 2 Las Vegas Review-Journal)

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One Comment

  1. [...] CTA’s stance on charter schools is well-documented, but this context lends some additional perspective to the union’s motivations. CTA states, “Charter schools, if unorganized and/or paid at levels below comparable public schools’ salary levels, will erode salary standards and local associations’ bargaining power. It is important for locals to determine if they wish to represent the employees of charter schools within their district in order to maintain a high level of compensation and mitigate the erosion of working conditions.” [...]