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February 2013

A Second Opinion
Rank-and-File voice of UTLA Newsletter of PEAC: Progressive Educators for Action

A Campaign for the Schools LA Students Deserve

Do students in LA deserve overcrowded, over-tested, under-resourced, destabilized, undemocratic schools? No? Well, then what DO students deserve? Last week, almost 100 people met together in South LA to answer this question and begin the fight for their collective vision. This group included members of 8 different organizations as well as youth, parents, teachers, and community members from across the city. The Campaign for the Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve has begun! PEAC and the Coalition for Educational Justice are among a number of groups co-sponsoring this campaign. Following the example of Chicago, students, parents, teachers, and community members are coming together to concretize a vision of the schools we want and need. This vision will then become a template for action. Issues already at the center of the campaign are deteriorating conditions at schools in low-income communities of color, reconstitutions and other hostile fake reforms, hyper dominance of standardized testing, as well as the need for more services in schools and equity and access for all students. An Initiative for the Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve: UTLA can and should be a critical part of the Schools LA Students Deserve Campaign. PEAC and Latino Caucus, along with the majority of Area Chairs and Area leadership, are sponsoring an initiative to push UTLA to get behind the campaign. The central push of the initiative is to stop negotiating one issue at a time and to begin a strategy of contract negotiations focusing on a set of issues that matter to teachers and communities. The initiative goes further to say that UTLA needs to reorganize its structure and finances in order to better organize and mobilize the membership with action, even strike preparation if necessary. With enough signatures, this initiative can be presented to the membership for a vote. More than a piece of paper, it represents a push for a real campaign; something UTLA hasnt done in years. Some people might wonder: Why do an initiative? First, the campaign is already moving forward and building pressure from below. An initiative helps it gain support. Second, an initiative guarantees that every member at their site learns about the campaign, adding more pressure on official UTLA to get involved. Similar efforts at the UTLA Board and House never reached the membership. An initiative gets the campaign into every school. This is only one of a host of tactics that is being moved in support of the Schools LA Students Deserve campaign. Join us now!

The Schools LA Students Deserve Campaign Meeting

Thursday, February 21st 5-7 PM 6120 S. Vermont Ave
(Southern California Library for Social Research)

What is PEAC?
Progressive Educators for Action (PEAC) is an organization of UTLA activists. If you want to work to promote activism, organize around social justice and issues impacting public education and build alliances with parents, and others, we invite you to join with us.

call Rebecca 213-713-1402 to RSVP and for childcare or translation