David Welch is a billionaire with a mission, which is to pretend that it was so difficult to fire "bad teachers" that he needed to fund a lawsuit led by a high-powered legal team, "for the children."The main backers of the case against teachers are the ultra-wealthy magnates Eli Broad, Charles Schwab and Fischer family (owners of the Gap, among other things.) Billionaires have been aggressively funding education "reform" efforts for years under the theory that there's nothing wrong with education that destroying teachers' unions and privatizing education can't fix. It's important to remember that these are the same people who spent millions in 2012 trying to defeat California's Proposition 30 to fund schools, and to pass Proposition 32 preventing unions from spending on elections while allowing corporations free rein.
That lawsuit - Vergara vs. California-- is now underway in downtown Los Angeles, with lead attorneys Theodore Boustros and Theodore Olsen of anti-Proposition 8 litigation fame.
The goal? To destroy current negotiated protections for teachers, like tenure and fair hearings for misconduct, on the basis that such protections for teachers harm the civil rights of disadvantaged children in the school system. The entire theory is so utterly cynical you'd think it was ripped right from the pages of the Koch foundation, and maybe it was. But it's playing out in a city with a lot of education issues that have nothing to do with teacher tenure or unions...
Welch is funding this incredibly expensive lawsuit through an organization by the name of Students Matter, which is a subsidiary of -- wait for it -- StudentsFirst.
The heart of this lawsuit really centers around whether or not the state has adequately funded its schools. Since Proposition 13 passed, it has not, and as funding decreased and teachers' resources were taken from them, the quality of California public schools has declined. Teacher tenure has nothing to do with this. It seems laughable to me that the same billionaires who fork over millions to Teach for America to intentionally plant ill-trained future hedge fund managers in public schools for a year or two are somehow arguing that teacher tenure is the reason underprivileged children's education suffers.
Where is their concern for the poverty of these children, for their health, for their neighborhoods? Where are they worried about the impact school closures have on their educations?
No, once again it's all about teachers, because this is not a lawsuit about tenure. It's a lawsuit about breaking teachers' unions.
We support #LCFF and supported #Prop30, but more and better-distributed funding does not impact teacher quality. #VergaraTrial— Students Matter (@Students_Matter) January 27, 2014