LAUSD School Board Member Steve Zimmer’s recent commentary “Standing with Beatriz” hit the nail on the head on one key issue: for our children, the stakes are high.
Let me acknowledge first that Mr. Zimmer is a good person who is doing what he feels is best for the children of LAUSD. On this issue, however, we have a principled disagreement about what that is.
Mr. Zimmer portrays himself as a grassroots underdog taking on a phalanx of nefarious billionaires who aim to “privatize” public education. What he fails to mention, is that he was also supported by over one million dollars in campaign contributions from the biggest and most powerful special interest group in the state. That fact doesn’t make him right or wrong, but it does make him part of the system. It isn’t a coincidence that the same adult special interests that bankrolled his campaign are now bankrolling the opposition to Vergara.
Mr. Zimmer wrote about the “Vergara fiction,” that the status quo is broken. But this harsh reality is unfortunately not fiction for the children who lose their talented, dedicated and loving teachers to layoffs each year just because they were hired last. And it’s not fiction for the children who have been molested and for those who were literally forced to eat semen by a teacher who was paid $40,000 to retire, with full benefits!
Vergara shifts the focus from the interests of adults to where it should have been all along: children.
Putting children first must be the “north star” by which all decisions are made in our public education system. Ninety one percent of likely California voters support a children-first agenda, but far too often the interests of powerful adults trump the interests of children.
This is not a coincidence.
It’s because kids don’t have a political action committee, and kids don’t have lobbyists.
Beatriz Vergara and the millions of children attending California public schools can’t vote.