News in Brief In Ed Week Vol. 29, Issue 16, Page 4| By Lesli A. Maxwell
Published Online: January 5, 2010 | Published in Print: January 6, 2010 --The Los Angeles teachers’ union has sued to block a policy of the Los Angeles Unified School District that will potentially allow outside managers, including charter school operators, to run dozens of new and existing public schools.
United Teachers Los Angeles, a 48,000-member affiliate of both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, contends in the Dec. 21 lawsuit that the district’s school choice resolution—passed by the board of education in August—violates state law because it would allow charter school operators to take over campuses and hire their own nonunion teachers. Union leaders say California’s education code requires that a majority of tenured teachers at a school site must sign a petition calling for the school’s conversion to charter status.
The union does not object to the new policy’s provision that allows for noncharter entities, such as groups of teachers, to bid for managing the targeted schools.
The lawsuit was filed three weeks before a deadline for proposals to operate the first 30 schools that Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines has identified for new management next fall. He will review the management proposals and make final recommendations to the school board, which is slated to vote next month.