Los Angeles teachers and parents are fighting against McKinley
Elementary being taken over by private education group Celerity.
Petitions were sent to the superintendent of the Compton Unified School
District Dec. 8 opposing conversion of the school into the first charter
school under California’s recently passed Education Code 53300. The
code includes the “parent trigger” option, which allows a majority of
parents at a given public school to vote for closing the school,
enacting major staff cuts, and converting to a charter.

The code
was passed under the Obama administration’s “Race to the Top”
initiative, which imposes disciplinary proceedings on teachers to
advance its privatization plan.

Politicians have targeted public
schools as failing while depriving them of adequate funding, diverting
funds instead to private-interest education groups like Celerity. “We’re
fighting a million-dollar well-oiled machine, with nothing but PTA
funds,” says Finnie, parent of three elementary students attending
McKinley. “So it’s an uphill battle but we’re still going to fight.”