"You're saying it's a falsehood and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that."antis-Semitic campaign against LAUSD Board Member Scott Schmerelson, the charter school industry pushed a narrative that he had "tripled his own pay." As pointed out during the primary, this was a complete lie advanced by the California Charter School Association (CCSA). While school board members did receive a massive increase from $45,637 to $125,000 per year, they had nothing to do with the raise. These salaries are set by "the independent LAUSD Board of Education Compensation Review Committee, [which is] comprised of members appointed by local leaders." None of the members of this committee are appointed by the members of the LAUSD School Board.
- Kellyanne Conway
This repeated fact-checking did not stop the CCSA from repeating the lie in the first flyer mailed to voters as part of the general election. In big red letters, this mailing states that Schmerelson "TRIPLED HIS OWN PAY"" It is the lie that will not die.
Charter schools are trusted to educate 20% of the students in the LAUSD. The lack of integrity demonstrated by charter leadership in these ads should concern any parent who sends their children to these schools and the public that helps pay their salary. It should also raise a red flag for the beneficiary of these ads, Marilyn Koziatek.
When confronted during the primaries, Koziatek described the CCSA ads as "crude", "inappropriate" and "unacceptable." She tried to distance herself from them by stating that they did not originate from her campaign. However, when asked if she would disavow the endorsement from a group that would run such unethical ads, she refused to answer. In fact, CCSA Advocates is still listed as an endorser on her campaign website.
This election should be about the issues, not lies. Our students deserve a better example of ethics, morality, and leadership.
Carl Petersen is a parent, an advocate for students with special education needs, an elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council, a member of the LAUSD's CAC, and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD's District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, the Network for Public Education (NPE) Action endorsed him, and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a "strong supporter of public schools." For links to his blogs, please visit www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com. Opinions are his own.