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5/13 CA State Superintendent Of Public Instruction Candidate Leonard Martin Backs LA Court

by Leonard Martin Sunday, May. 09, 2010 at 7:15 PM

Leonard Martin, the only candidate for CA State Superinendent For Public Instruction opposing charter schools is backing a law suit against the illegal establishment by the LA Unified School District of Birmingham High School in Los Angeles and will attend the court hearing on May 13.

5/13 CA State Superi...
p4300077.jpg, image/jpeg, 2048x1536

5/13 CA State Superintendent Of Public Instruction Candidate Leonard Martin Backs LA Court Case Against LAUSD Birmigham Charter High School Scam
Privateers Breaking The Law To Establish Charter Schools in LA and California-Profiteering Driving Attack On Public Education

On Thursday, May 13, proceedings will begin as detailed below against LAUSD in regards to the granting of charter status to Birmingham High School. This could be a landmark case that could set precedents in California at the very least. It will be important for as many people as possible to witness these proceedings to document and report on the outcomes. Leonard Martin, candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction, will be present along with other interested parties. Please feel free to share this with anyone who you feel would benefit from observing how LAUSD and the court will respond to the charges. The Information is as follows:

Los Angeles Superior Court--
111 North Hill St. Los Angeles, CA 90012
CHERYL SHAPIRO, et al, Petitioners,
CASE NO.: BS 121469 Date: May 13, 2010 Time 8:30 am Place: Department 85 Petition filed: July 8, 2009





CASE NO.: BS 121469

Date: May 13, 2010
Time 8:30 am
Place: Department 85

Petition filed: July 8, 2009




Thursday, 9 July, 2008

Dear Birmingham,

This e mail is to inform you all that a lawsuit has been filed today in Superior Court. This is the first of several lawsuits that are designed to rectify many of the wrongs that have taken place over the past year.

On Monday morning, July 13, 2009, at 8:30 A.M. Superior Court, Department 85, located at 111 N. Hill St, Downtown Los Angeles, the case will be heard by the Superior Court judge. In essence, we are seeking a court order to immediately block the charter at Birmingham. Each of the defendants named in the lawsuit were served today, and those defendants are:

Los Angeles Unified School District
Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education
Superintendent Ramon Cortines
District 1 Superintendent Jean Brown
Marsha Coates
Our lawyer has prepared an extraordinary case that shows how clearly pro-charter proponents broke the law in order to get the charter approved. Our lawyer has prepared an extraordinary case that shows how clearly the Board of Education breeched their fiduciary responsibility when they approved the charter. Attached please find just one of the documents that has been filed. We look forward to presenting the voluminous amount of information to the judge on Monday to help right this terrible wrong.

I would encourage all of you who can to come to court on Monday to witness this hearing. If you are able to make it, I would appreciate it if you would e mail me so that I can get a sense of the turnout. We certainly hope to make this a historic day for which we can all be proud for many years to come.


Steve Shapiro

Initial bid to block Birmingham charter fails.

Link to this page

Byline: Connie Llanos 818713-3634 Staff Writer

A Los Angeles Superior Court Monday denied an initial attempt to block Birmingham High School's conversion into a charter school, but will consider the challenge again in October, district officials said.

While the court did not issue a restraining order requested by opponents of the charter, the issue "is scheduled to be argued on Oct. 1 after a full briefing by all parties," said Gayle Pollard

Terry, a Los Angeles Unified spokeswoman.

Superior Court officials could not confirm the ruling.

The move to stop the creation of the charter was launched by opponents, including more than 40 teachers. In a lawsuit, they allege that a teachers' vote on whether to set up a charter at the high school was fraudulent. The suit also claims that errors were made during the public hearing process.

Steve Shapiro, whose wife is a teacher at Birmingham and who is named as the plaintiff in the suit, said without the restraining order the charter would be able to open by its scheduled date of Aug. 19.

"We still feel our case is extremely strong," Shapiro said. "This charter should have never been approved."


LAUSD votes to convert Birmingham High School to a charter
LAUSD votes to convert Birmingham High School to a charter

By Connie Llanos, Staff Writer
Posted: 07/01/2009 08:42:31 PM PDT
Updated: 07/02/2009 10:16:30 AM PDT

The Los Angeles Unified school board voted to convert Birmingham High School to a charter Wednesday, ending a long and bitter battle between teachers and parents at the district's largest campus.

The board also made Birmingham's journalism and communications magnet a separate campus, housing about 500 students.

The 5-2 vote came a day after Birmingham's principal and athletic director, lead petitioners of the charter, were disciplined for their approval of student athletes being used in a racy GQ magazine photo shoot featuring "Bruno" star Sacha Baron Cohen.

With the charter approved, the district no longer has the right to discipline Birmingham principal Marsha Coates and athletic director Richard Prizant, since neither will be employees of LAUSD.

"I will support this charter," said school board president Monica Garcia.

"But I have a big issue. ... It is unacceptable for kids to be used. To the board of this charter...you have a big deal on your hands. The public trust has been violated on this campus."

The charter plan was launched by Coates and approved by 80 of 120 teachers at Birmingham last fall. Supporters hope to bring reform and more financial freedom to the school, but over the last six months opposition to the plan grew while accusations of foul play, intimidation and harassment flew between different factions on campus.

Teachers and students at the Daniel Pearl journalism magnet program on campus

opted out of the charter with an OK from district staff.
Other teachers, including the union chair, also tried to convert part of the school to an "iDesign" campus, under the district's branch for innovative schools. That plan would have split the campus in three - with a charter, magnet and iDesign high school.

Coates, who will be the principal of Birmingham Community Charter High School scheduled to open this August, did not say whether she'd be willing to have a third school on the 80-acre campus.

"I would have to look at the legalities," Coates said.

She added that she would be willing to listen to plans and "heal" her campus.

After approving the charter board members engaged in a lengthy discussion on addressing concerns by the 40 teachers who had pushed for the iDesign school, and who had signed a petition promising to ask for a transfer from the school if their proposal was rejected.

The board instructed LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines to continue working with those teachers.

The iDesign school would be called the Institute at Birmingham for the Humanities and Social Justice.

IBHS supporter and spokesman Steve Shapiro, who is married to a Birmingham teacher, said he feared the action was too little too late.

"Unless the board makes a move to approve a plan in the next two weeks all these teachers will transfer and be dispersed...and IBHS is dead," he said.

Board member Tamar Galatzan, who voted in favor of the charter, said she hopes the Birmingham case would help highlight the need for more school options for LAUSD schools.

"Right now the only option for schools who want to innovate is to go charter," Galatzan said.

"The district created an innovation division but this example proves that plan didn't work."


Why I am Running for “Superintendent of Public Instruction” 2010

My mission is to support all Public Schools, Teachers, Students and Staff.

California public education is facing its destruction. The state’s fiscal crisis has resulted in many district’s financial ruin. Budgets are being slashed, education workers are being cut and schools, primarily in poor minority and working class districts, are being shut down. Education conditions are under attack. I support the March 4th Day of Action and Strike in Defense of Public Education. The Oakland Education Association, the United Teachers of Los Angeles, the California Faculty Association CFA, and the California Federation of Teachers CFT have endorsed this action. This day of massive strikes, rallies, and walkouts will bring this crisis into the forefront of public perception and will be an historic turning point in our struggle against budget cuts, layoffs, and the continued decimation of the public school system.

I believe that we need a basic restructuring of education in the State of California to protect public education for the future of our young people and the state of California and to that end I propose the following:

1. School Financing:

We need equality of financing. I will work to end the primary financing of education through property taxes. Under this system the schools in the wealthier districts do quite well while schools in California’s poor and mostly urban working class communities face bankruptcy.

I support the elimination of the commercial exemption under Proposition 13, the elimination of the 2/3’s vote in the legislature to pass a budget, and a capital tax on the 2% of Californians who own and control most of the wealth in California.

I will work for a statewide education tax on the corporations and wealthy to fund education.


If it can be done in Oregon, we can all work together to help make it happen here in California.

A clear example of the need for these measures is the crisis in Richmond, California where the teachers face cutback in dependent healthcare and increase class sizes while the Chevron Corporation, which has a major refinery in that city, refuses to pay more taxes to the City of Richmond for the schools. As the State of California, Superintendent of Public Instruction, I will personally join with students and education workers to demand that these companies pay for education.


I will oppose the continued funding of more prisons and support for the prison industry in California. These funds should be going to rebuild our school system and for our children. As the State of California, Superintendent of Public Instruction, I will oppose the twisted priorities of California with more and more money going to prisons while our education system is being destroyed.

2. Privatization and Restructuring:

We need to end the privatization and “restructuring” of our schools. I oppose Obama’s Secretary of Education, Arnie Duncan, who is demanding that schools be turned over to private organizations to be run as charters. This is happening throughout California where private corporations financed by the Eli Broad Foundation, Green Dot Schools and the Gates Foundation are pouring funding into privately run schools. At the same time these billionaires refuse to pay more taxes to properly fund California schools. Why is it that the richest state in the country is 49th in funding for education? I will make sure that this issue is at the forefront of my campaign and efforts when I become, Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of California.


UTR, UTLA, OEA Teachers Speak Out On Privatization Of Public Education


UTR, UTLA, OEA Teachers Speak Out On Privatization Of Public Education http://blip.tv/file/3089609 On January 12, 2010, a forum on “Defense of Public Education, The Lessons of Privatization & The Next Steps After A Concessionary Contract” took place in Richmond, California Public education faces a massive attack from layoffs of teachers, closure of entire schools, cutback on supplies and the drive to privatize entire schools districts as was proposed by the CTA in Richmond. Panelists from the Oakland Education Association OEA, the United Teachers of Richmond and the United Teachers Of Los Angeles participated and reported on the battle to defend public education and also the experiences of charters and privatization in the state. Panelists included: Mary Flanagan, UTR School Delegate Diane Brown, UTR rank and filer and Progressive Teachers Eduardo Martinez, UTR rank and file Bill Balderston, OEA retired executive board member Cecily Myart-Cruz, UTLA West Area Chair-NEA It was sponsored by Sponsored by Progressive Teachers Of Richmond 510-501-7347http://progressiveteachersrichmond.blogspot.com/ United Public Workers For Action UPWA.info

3. Health and Safety:

I will demand and work to make sure that all K-12 schools in the State of California are healthy and safe for the students and staff. In too many schools in California, there are problems with mold and other toxins on the school grounds. At the same time the cutback in maintenance staff has meant that students face dirty classrooms and filthy bathrooms. These physical conditions drive students out of the schools and onto the streets and it has to stop…and driving teachers into early retirement and disability.




4. Standardized Testing and Bilingual Education

I oppose the use of standardized testing. The “No Child Left Behind” program that makes testing the key component of education in the United States. The restructuring of the schools under this anti-education agenda is in fact weakening our education system and turning the schools into testing centers and not education and critical thinking centers that prepare young people for the future. We also need to have bilingual education in all schools to train and encourage our youth to learn the languages of people from throughout California and make them ready to participate and contribute to the economy of California and the world.



5. Politicians Taking Over Schools:

I oppose the continuing drive of local politicians to take over the schools and also the state take-over of schools supposedly to solve the financial and education crisis. This has taken place in Oakland and in Los Angeles it has led to a deterioration of education conditions for the students and teachers and the state take-over has resulted in further financial debt with highly paid outside consultants getting hundreds of millions of dollars that should be going into maintaining the facilities and educational programs.

6. Military Recruitment in Schools:

I oppose the recruiting students in our schools to meet the military needs in Iraq and Afghanistan. The hundreds of billions of dollars going to these wars are an insult and a threat to our educational needs here at home. Young students, mostly working class or poor Latino and Black, are targeted for recruitment and not for jobs and further education but for use as cannon fodder at these adventures abroad. I will oppose military recruitment and military training in the schools and support funding for technical and vocational training for all our youth so they can help rebuild California into a clean and environmentally advanced society.

7. Commercialization and Fundraising:

I oppose commercialization in the schools, from unhealthy fatty foods to commercial arrangements with companies who are pushing their products. I oppose the need to push students into selling products in order to fund the schools. California is the richest State in the nation and we have the resources and wealth to pay for a great education without forcing the students into becoming sales people to raise money for their schools.

8. Yearly Conference:

I support an annual yearly statewide conference of education workers, students, and parents to discuss the state of our schools and to develop agendas to protect our education. We need to bring all elements that are critical in our education system together to defend our education system and make it again the best in the world.

I want your feedback.

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