The Fight to Privatize LA Schools: Getting What You Pay For
Is it true there are LAUSD board candidates “supported by” Betsy DeVos?
Recently this very central, very arresting question was posted to a neighborhood social media website, highlighting the core themes of today’s political perplexity: culpability, association and formal logic.
The thread claimed that those who opposed DeVos should be aware that two carbon copy candidates running in tandem for the LAUSD fourth board district are “supported by” DeVos; today’s mail insisted the same.
“Not True” howled the pair’s supporters and indeed I have found no trace that DeVos has funded either candidate directly.
And yet these underlying claims of equivalency are, I believe, spot on.
Well first, the term “DeVos” has become iconic, representing an attitude, a political ideology and stance. As well, she has become symbolic of Trump’s predilection for appointing cabinet members who are patently antagonistic to that department which they are tapped to lead.
As unpleasant as the second characteristic is, DeVos’ symbolism is only a secondary characteristic of LAUSD’s board race for the fourth district (BD4). There is little question that incumbent Steve Zimmer is eminently – and the most – qualified candidate for this position. He has done the job for two terms already and arguably has been extremely effective at it, having climbed a very steep learning curve of mind-boggling complexity.
Governing Los Angeles Unified is a gigantic job, so (i) working within a splinter school district just a very small fraction of its size, or (ii) tilting ineffectively against its entrenched bureaucracy (the twinned challenger’s qualifications respectively), does not constitute robust qualification for the post. This district is vast and its issues tremendously difficult to master; job familiarity is a strong asset.
Additionally his opponents champion the charter school ethos underwritten by Eli Broad in “a bold plan to expand the charter sector to serve 50% of Los Angeles public school students.” If such a plan cannabilizes the very system that spawned it, then these candidates could be said to be akin to the DeVos paradigm of anti-leadership because their ascension will destroy that which they are charged with directing.
However these would still be characteristics supported “by“DeVos in only a derivative sense.
DeVos represents a numerically small but supremely vast elite that strong-arm elected officials and governance through the bully pulpit of campaign donations.
Steve Zimmers’ opponents are more directly supported by DeVos in the first, iconic, sense wherein she represents an enormously wealthied class, functioning as a special interest group in and of herself and her corporatized family. Their enormous wealth is employed toward parochial interests. She represents a numerically small but supremely vast elite that strong-arm elected officials and governance through the bully pulpit of campaign donations.
And make no doubt about it, the forces allied with charterizing America are an array of privateers that play for keeps just as DeVos’ compatriots; our very president explained this system plainly.
One of the biggest of these Education brokers operates right here in Los Angeles. Peering into the not-Zimmer intiative exposes big money focused on deposing the education of our little ones, on a scale that can only be described as fearsome. It is the same eclipsing support that swept Betsy De Vos into office despite patent nonqualification and ideological impropriety. And it harnesses the same cast of characters.
The national triumvirate of Education ®eform is framed by the Foundations of Bill and Melinda Gates, the Walton family, and Los Angeles’ Eli and Edythe Broad.
Both Broads have given both anti-Zimmer candidates separately the maximum in personal contributions, $2,200. Since 1998 they have contributed $29,700 to the personal campaigns of 12 LAUSD boardmembers, all enthusiastic supporters of the Broad agenda (Garcia, Rodriguez, Galatzan, Gonez, Melvoin, Polhill, Johnson, Lee, Hudley-Hayes, Anderson, Sanchez, Vladovic; in descending order of largesse). For reference the couple or their businesses have contributed a The Fight to Privatize LA Schools: Getting What You Pay For - LA Progressive: