State Legislators Agree that School Employees Should Have a Voice In Charter School Process

Press Release

For Immediate Release:
August 26, 2013

Blanca Gallegos— (213)387-8393 ext. 219
cell: (213) 500-9594

School workers urge Governor Brown to sign AB917

Los Angeles, CA — Today, with their passage of Assembly Bill 917, the California State Senate recognized that cafeteria workers, school custodians, classroom aides, and other K-12 school employees must be an integral part of the process when charter schools are established or a community considers converting a traditional public school into a charter school. The bill next moves to the State Assembly for a concurrence vote.

Under current law, only parents and teachers can sign a petition to establish a charter school or convert a traditional school to a charter. AB917, authored by Assembly Member Steven Bradford, would amend the Education Code to require that at least 50% of all school employees sign the petition.

“There are many dedicated classified school workers like me who need a voice,” said Shawn Bowden, an Occupational Therapy Assistant at the Los Angeles Unified School District. “Classified employees are being left out of decisions that affect our futures and the children we care for.”

“School workers bring a different perspective to the charter school process,” said Hilda Guzman, a Health Care Advocate at The Accelerated School, a charter school just south of Downtown Los Angeles. “We understand that students need quality services outside the classroom to support their success in the classroom. As an employee, I have knowledge about school operations that a parent or a teacher would not have. From the custodians to the cafeteria workers, to everyone who works with students, we know how things run. We can offer valuable input to help improve services and save the school money. We urge the Governor to sign AB917 when it reaches his desk.”


SEIU Local 99 represents nearly 45,000 employees in public and non-public organizations in early education, child care, K-12, and community college levels. SEIU Local 99 members are: Teacher’s Assistants, Playground Workers, Special Education Aides, Bus Drivers, Gardeners, Custodians, Cafeteria Workers, Maintenance Workers, Family Service Workers, Child Care Providers, and others working in schools, colleges, and administrative offices throughout Southern California.

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