Wednesday, August 12, 2009

LA Mayor ready to rumble with Teacher's Union

Maybe this has implications for the healthcare debate? Ya think?

Change of any kind in the Government run schools of Los Angeles has been viciously opposed for years by the politically powerful teacher's union. Now, even the liberal Mayor wants change. The unions will fight him every inch of the way in a bloody political battle.

And we want to turn over healthcare to the same kind of unionized, bureaucratized governance? I don't think so.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Tuesday he will push the school district to allow outside operators to bid for control of hundreds of campuses, a move he described as the centerpiece of education reform for his second term.

The proposal drew the ire of the teachers union, which has strongly criticized the mayor's own school-improvement efforts at 10 schools, including Roosevelt High in Boyle Heights. Villaraigosa, in turn, called the union "the biggest defender of the status quo."

The mayor's goal, embodied in part in a proposal by Board of Education member Yolie Flores Aguilar, would let charter-school organizations, the mayor's nonprofit and other groups compete to run 50 new schools scheduled to open over the next four years. The school board is scheduled to take up that motion later this month.

"This will not be easy," Villaraigosa said before about 50 community members at the Catholic Charities facility east of downtown. "When you go to the fights, they say: 'Ladies and Gentleman, let's rumble.' "