Friday, May 15, 2015

Guest Post: Joining Forces for Education's Ellen Lubic on the May 19, 2015 LAUSD Election

Why Would Anyone Want to Replicate Stupid, Greedy, Inept, Fraudulent?

On Tuesday there will be an election for three LAUSD Board of Education members. These candidates are Kayser v. Rodriguez, Galatzan v. Schmerelson, and Vladovic v. Gutierrez.

The most highly funded race by the billionaires who wish to privatize all of America's public schools (with the goal of making public schools Free Market Wall Street opportunities for vast profit) is that of Rodriguez. They have poured over $2,000,000 into the coffers of Refugio Rodriguez who is the multi millionaire PUC charter school chain organizer, owner, CEO, treasurer...and other titles he chose over the years. A forced internal audit of his PUC charter chain was finally exposed only weeks ago despite his (and his ally on the Board, the notorious charter supporter, Monica Garcia, the clone of Tamar Galatzan and John Deasy) great efforts to hide it from public view until after the election. It showed repeated violations at many of his schools over a long period of time. Most were financial and some leading to his own enrichment.

Last week, the LA Progressive published the article linked below, showing his insider dirty dealings with his own Board leadership in contracting for food services from companies they actually owned, to provide all school meals. This was a very profitable, though probably illegal, enterprise for Rodriguez.

The LA Times, which endorsed Rodriguez (and Galatzan who is also a Deasy and charter supporter), has not backed down from their ill advised endorsement even though they published a similar story on his potential illegal and ostensibly fraudulent behaviors.

How come with this audit evidence and the facts on the food services contracts which are possibly indictable, Rodriguez has not resigned as a School Board candidate, after running one of the dirtiest campaigns in history? And why is he allowed to join with the Latino SouthWest Voters program to now bribe inner city Latino voters to come the polls for a payoff of $25,000? An LASR article lauds them for getting out the vote with 2700 first time Latino student voters, who also are given the payoff motive to go to the polls. What a message for new voters, to sell their vote for cash and prizes! Of course, the 'wink wink' is to vote for the Latino surnamed candidate.

It would seem that the LA Times and their billionaire publisher Austin Beutner, and billionaire advisors Eli Broad and Richard Riordan, have learned nothing from the entire LAUSD/Deasy four year fiasco which cost the District over $167,000,000 in losses from the inept and possibly fraudulent dealings of former Superintendent John Deasy who is now being investigated by the FBI and the SEC, with his Apple and Pearson early emails indicating he gave them insider information on how to be the low bidders for $1.3 Billion for iPads and for Common Core Software curricula not even designed at that point of contractual assignment. Also with Deasy's poor judgement insisting on using the MiSiS software which he knew was flawed for many years, and at the point he insisted on using it in LAUSD, was still not viable. It failed, and it hurt students and schools immeasurably. Now LAUSD is trying to get some of the public's money back from these rotten deals. Do not forget that this huge amount of $1.3 billion in probable sweetheart deals, was snatched from the Construction Bond Fund that LA voters and taxpayers approved to build new public schools and to repair old schools which are falling apart. Taxpayers were 'snookered' by these machinations of the billionaires and their puppets.

Only yesterday did the public learn that the BoE, once again in secret, was influenced to hire interim Superintendent Cortines back for another year despite his rancor with and against teachers and their unions, and despite the second sexual harassment law suit filed against him. He also recently named charter school supporter, Thelma de Melendez, as his second in charge.

At Beaudry, Cortines and the Board of Education evidently never did start a national search for a better superintendent than Deasy (who trained to be their "CEO" at the Broad Academy, and who has now been hired full time to work for Eli Broad), and they seem to have no intention of doing so in the near future. Is this more of Broad's intrusion into the affairs of LAUSD?

Why are voters once again exposed to all this brouhaha and the buying of elections by these wildly wealthy Wall Street profiteers and non-educators who seek to bring all public services into the Free Market to expand their greed in forcing the direction of even more redistribution of American's wealth upward, to themselves?

Stigler, Schumpeter, and Milton Friedman, with their Ayn Rand parroted theories of the Invisible Hand, and Creative Destruction, have long been proven false by modern Nobel Prize winner economists Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, looking at a Free Market that is anything but FREE.

Please use good judgement and vote for Bennett Kayser and Scott Schmerelson when you go to the polls, without being bribed, on Tuesday, May 19.

Ellen Lubic, Director, Joining Forces for Education, Public Policy educator/writer


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