“Bennett Kayser tried to stop Latino Children From Attending Schools in White Neighborhoods...He’s not for us.”
- Parent Teacher Alliance in Support of Rodrigez, Galatzan, Vladovic, and McKenna for School Board 2015
Bennett Kayser is the LAUSD’s harshest critic of charter schools. His votes against charters are so instinctive that last year he accidentally voted “no” when instead of the usual vote to approve a charter, the board was actually voting to shut one of these schools down. No matter if someone agrees with these votes, it would be hard to make a case that he makes them based on ethnicity. It does not matter where the school is located or the makeup of its population, Kayser can be expected to vote against the renewal of almost any charter. This did not stop the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) from releasing a campaign flyer in support of the Ref Rodriguez, Tamar Galatzan, Richard Vladovic and George McKenna campaigns that implies that Kayser had a racial motive in opposing charter schools.
George McKenna has been vocal in his denunciation of this literature, stating that it “is misleading and racially inflammatory in nature.” He has also requested that the organization withdraw its endorsement of him. In District 3, Tamar Galatzan has remained silent on the issue. There has not been a published statement disavowing the flyer and, as of this writing, she still lists the group’s endorsement on her website. The Los Angeles Times wrote that “everyone should be on the same side when it comes to political groups engaging in such slimy tactics on behalf of children.” Should voters interpret Ms. Galatzan’s silence as approval of the accusations that were made in her name?
The taxpayers should also be concerned with the funding of these ads. The CCSA is funded in part by charter schools and tells them that its membership fee “is the best $5 per student you will ever spend.” Since these schools receive public funds, you and I are helping fund this group’s advocacy. I think that this money should be spent on actually educating the students.