Jose F. Moreno Back-Pedals on Charter Schools Support

moreno charter schoolsYesterday, newly-minted Democrat Jose F. Moreno sent an e-mail to members of the Democratic Party of Orange County Central Committee seeking their endorsement for his Anaheim City Council candidacy. The most interesting part was the section devoted to charter schools, in which the Anaheim City School District Board of Education member felt it necessary to distance himself from his recent vote to support the GOALS Academy charter school application:

As a result of my focus on the needs of our children, you may have heard that I did choose to support the establishment of a local charter school. I am NOT a supporter of the overall Charter School movement which is clearly a veiled effort to undermine education as a public entity. I have always, and continue to be skeptical of corporate-based and networked charters that come into our communities under the auspices of educational equity. It is indeed unfortunate that over the past 20 years our legislature and State Board of Education has established and expanded Charter school laws.

The petitioner for the local charter that our School Board approved is NOT a corporate or network-based charter group. They are a local, grass-root and non-profit community based organization that has been serving our lowest income students in the most high density part of our city for over 20 years—GOALS—which stands for Growth Opportunities through Athletics, Leadership & Service. The petitioner fully supports collective bargaining rights for teachers that will work in the charter; the petitioner has had an over 20 year partnership with our school district; and it is a charter school that will serve no more than 200 students who will benefit as our two local public schools are indeed overcrowded. Lastly, the board placed over 8 conditions for opening the school to assure its success and effective partnership with our school district. I must admit that this was a very difficult decision for me but ultimately I voted with my conscience on what is a very localized effort to improve capacity to serve our children–with a local organization that respects and values collective bargaining and local public education.

Moreno’s vote for the GOALS Academy charter school application was an instance in I was pleasantly surprised to find myself in agreement with the leftist academician. I am a big supporter of charter schools and parental choice in education, and Anaheim has been a desert in charter schools have not taken root.

However, now that he is currying favor with the DPOC faithful, Moreno finds it necessary to reassure them he voted for this charter school with the greatest reluctance and only because the teachers would be unionized (among other conditions). Not only does Moreno claim it was a one-time thing, but he publicly proclaims his wish that California had never allowed charter schools to be established in the first place!

Being that adamantly opposed to charter schools is pretty tough to square with approving even one charter application, which begs the question of why Moreno chose to go against his deep-seated opposition to charter schools, alienate the teachers union that had already supported him in order to approve this particular charter application?

10 comments

  1. gabriel san roman

    I don’t see an inconsistency here. There’s two types of charters…ones that aim to inject market principles in eroding public democratic education institutions and others that serve as sort of pedagogical laboratories for progressive education. You paint a broad brushstroke in trying to score a cheap point. Sorry, but Moreno’s position, vote and explanation of his vote check out. And that’s coming from me…

    • Matthew Cunningham

      I’ll leave aside your attempt to score a cheap point by denigrating my post as a cheap point. And let’s also leave aside the laughable characterization of the public school system as a “public democratic education institution” when the political reality is that is it rare to find a school district trustee who is not funded and dominated by the teachers unions.

      What GSM is saying is that a “progressive” charter school is good, and non-progressive charter schools are bad. So, viewed through that progressive moral prism, there is no inconsistency in Moreno supporting GOALS Academy (I assume its unionized status means it is “progressive”) while at the same time saying he opposes the existence of charter schools.

      • gabriel san roman

        I guess you must support Academia Semillas del Pueblo, then, eh?

        • Matthew Cunningham

          Gosh, well done, Gabriel! Find an extreme charter school, then try and get the charter school supporter contradict his general support by baiting him to denounce the exception. Sooooo original. Reminds me of how the CTA fought the school voucher initiative in 1993 (what grade were you in then? Kindergarten?) by saying it would lead to “witches schools.”

  2. More hypocrisy from Moreno and the third member of the Tait Slate. Big surprise!

  3. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with giving parents school choice. The fight to take away a parents ability to choose schooling leaves the perception that the public school isn’t secure in its ability to teach effectively. If public schooling is so great, then why balk at charter schools or school choice?

  4. Look at the OC Register Gloria Romero’s column on Moreno…

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