The Anaheim Elementary School District Board of Education voted Wednesday to continue suing the Palm Lane Elementary School parents group seeking to convert it into an independent public charter school by appealing its appellate court defeat to the California Supreme Court. In doing so, the AESD Board voted to elevate power and control over the law and the rights of those parents.
The school district has been shellacked in its lawsuit against the Palm Lane parents at both the superior court and appellate court levels. There’s little reason to believe the AESD will fare any better at the state Supreme Court. In the meantime, the children of those parents will keep getting older, and the number of petition signers who have students at Palm Lane will grow smaller. The AESD Board is waging a war of attrition on those parents, and using hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to do so.
Of course, there is a political rationale for the Board’s action. If the Appeals Court ruling applies statewide, then poor-performing schools across the state are vulnerable to parents petitioning to convert them to charter status under the state Parent Trigger Law – and the subsequent loss of power and control horrifies the bureaucrats and teacher unions that constitute the public education establishment.
Ryan Ruelas, the president of the Anaheim Elementary School District Board of Education, made no bones that the board was sacrificing the rights of the Palm Lane parents to the political interests of the government educracy; from the OC Register:
School board members said they were motivated by active parents of the school. Board President Ryan Ruelas said he also voted to pursue another appeal because of the precedent that could be set if the district accepted the court’s ruling.
“This final decision itself – if we chose not to appeal – could have ramifications for education across California. That, in itself, is just way too important for us to stop this process now,” Ruelas said. “The school that we have now is not the same school that we had in 2014. Parents were empowered, and we created change.”
What the OC Register article omitted is Ruelas is a teachers union official and a progressive political activist. He represents the Anaheim Secondary Teachers Association on the CTA State Council, and operates student political clubs that furnish teenage foot soldiers his campaign and those of his political allies. Given the AESD Board’s domination by left-wing political activists, it was vain to hope they would give genuine consideration to the rights of the Palm Lane parents under state law, and cease squandering public funds on a vindictive, politically-motivated lawsuit.