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Conan Nolan & Dennis Lahti
Teachers and parents calling themselves Occupy LAUSD march to the district's headquarters in Downtown LA.
A handful of people camped out at the headquarters of the Los Angeles Unified School District Tuesday night, staging their own protest against what they believe is corporate greed involving schools.
Earlier, hundreds of parents and teachers marched to district headquarters, demanding an end to budget cuts and for shuttered school libraries to be reopened.
The march, coined “Occupy LAUSD,” was not officially endorsed by the United Teachers of Los Angeles.
“What is happening right now is the underfunding of our schools is a deliberate effort to label our schools as failures, and to give them to corporate charters,” said demonstrator Marcy Winograd. It’s a slippery slope.”
In line with the Occupy Wall Street movement’s criticism of the wealthy, Occupy LAUSD followers say public education is being damaged by billionaire reformers like Eli Broad and Bill Gates.
The Broad Superintendents Academy was founded in 2002 to educate and train superintendents for several U.S. school districts.
Since then, the school has come under criticism by educators who say the academy’s graduates use corporate-management techniques to consolidate power in schools, as was reported in the Christian Science Monitor.
Philanthropist Bill Gates was equally criticized for his thoughts on teacher pay and class size in a Washington Post education blog -- one being that teachers with masters degrees should not be paid more than those without them.