It’s a “TEMPORARY prohibition of an activity”, according to Webster’s. It’s not a ban, it’s not as its root sounds, to kill or die.  The root relates, in fact, to “delay”. And it’s a word we none of us use very much.

Which is why the call for many years now in addressing problems with the Charter School system has been to call for a “CAP” on charter authorizations.  Not on charters. On the imposition of NEW charters, if it should be determined, for example, that the petitioning charter is unnecessary or in any other way wanting.  Currently LAUSD approval of a charter school is all but mandatory.

Therefore the charter authorization procedure is called into question. Not currently chartered schools.  Not charters as a notion.

The fancy, confusing word “moratorium” has been twisted by the Charter School Industry to mean something it does not. The parent front-group for the Charter industry lobby, “SpeakUp”, opposes a “backroom charter ban”. Which is nothing that has been called for anywhere.  It is a disingenuous fantasy, invoked as a false dog-whistle to call out their uniformed supporters.

The resolution forwarded by LAUSD board member Dick Vladovic (the southerly District 7), is pretty tepid.  It requests: (1) that the Superintendent study the legality of a cap on new charter approvals. Direct approval from voters via initiative may be required; (2) that the State study charter authorization reform, and perhaps charter policy as well; (3) requests that only while awaiting results of the study, the State temporarily cap new charter authorizations.

The resolution does not suggest or request the necessity of a cap on new charters, much less impose one. 

But what is the likelihood of four board members voting to challenge their paymasters, the California Charter School Association (CCSA), even nominally?

Following is the Independent Expenditure Committee (IEC) money spent to elect our current sitting board members (including money in opposition to opponents).  They all received lots of money from other sources such as their own campaigns, but this is the registered IEC totals:

Independent Expenditure Committee’s hold on current LAUSD board members

Melvoin and Gonez received nearly $9m from CCSA alone. Garcia and Vladovic did not face serious challengers accounting for why their fealty amounts to a “mere” $1.5m.

Does anyone seriously imagine them to buckle in the face of such obligations?

Vladovic’s allegiance bought a milquetoast, toothless, easily misunderstood and easy-to-mischaracterize resolution. Gonez is already on record opposing a “charter school pause”. So how is this critical provision of the UTLA Strike to be realized?

There are dueling petitions on the matter. But the charter school lobby in a smart little microcosm of their obfuscating ways, declines to allow the public to see its data flogging. Money seems likely to speak more loudly than slactivism anyway.