CHANGETHELAUSD.COM

Bargain Basement Teachers?

With low salaries and poor working conditions, Citizens of the World Charter Schools is driving away high-quality, experienced educators.

Carl J. Petersen
EduCreate
Published in
4 min readMar 25, 2024

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“We recognize that our staff, particularly our teachers, are the cornerstone of our schools and our most valuable asset.”

– Citizens of the World Charter School

Failed congressional candidate Nick Melvoin promoting Citizens of the World on his LAUSD website

Charter schools not only receive funds from the same sources as LAUSD schools, but they also have access to funding sources that our public schools do not have. For example, during the pandemic, Congress created the Payroll Protection Program as a way to help small businesses get through the crisis but then allowed charter schools to receive this money. While public schools could not take advantage of this program, Citizens of the World Charter Schools received $2,000,000.

Many charter schools also have access to donor networks of people who want to do everything possible to ensure that these publicly funded private schools “win” the competition against public schools. If these schools can attract the right benefactors they can provide programs to draw students away from their neighborhood schools. This is especially advantageous when the charter takes space on the public school’s campus, creating a culture of the haves and the have-nots and providing a way to recruit students from their “host.”

The Citizens of the World (CWC) chain of charter schools has proven adept at drawing support from the education privatization movement, particularly from Hollywood. A gala was held last year on the Paramount Studios lot to support these private schools with a guestlist that included actress Kristen Bell and producer Mark Gordon. At one point Bell served on their governing board.

However, according to a teacher at one of the chain’s franchises, CWC is “not meeting [its] fundraising goals” and “has been undergoing financial strain for many years”. This is unsurprising as the chain has been rocked by a series of scandals almost since its founding. This reached a crescendo last year when first-grade teachers at the East…

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Carl J. Petersen
EduCreate

Parent, special education advocate and former LAUSD School Board candidate. Still fighting for the children. www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com