Endorsement: Four for Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees
by Paul Miller*
Los Angeles, California – There are plenty of reasons to hate the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees, but as long as we have a county school board (of which I was recently an incumbent) we’re forced to deal with them.
The Board of Trustees at LACC has long been the target of the right wing, so the recent appointment of two allies of the California Teachers Association as trustees was no surprise.
The next-to-last appointment is no better. In October, the California Labor Federation’s executive director, Jeff Bittel, was appointed to the Board of Trustees by outgoing board president Jeff Egan. While Bittel is well credentialed, as an economist and professor he has no formal education in education.
Bittel and Egan both are affiliated with the CTA.
The appointment of Bittel is particularly unfortunate. As an economist, he understands the economic imperatives of the LACC, and he is willing to work with administrators and trustees to make improvements that will benefit the district. The same cannot be said for Egan, who is widely viewed as a “politically-correct” Board of Trustee – one who is trying to please the people who pay his salary but whom he does not respect.
As a former LACC employee, I know that the LACC Board of Trustees is a collegial and hard-working group of people dedicated to serving the students and teachers of the district. It is also a board led by the “best and the brightest” teachers and administrators.
Unfortunately, a certain type of “in” group is always going to be at a disadvantage when it comes to the election process, so the Board of Trustees should not be made up of the “worst” and “first.” If anyone is elected to the board, it should be someone with real experience in the school district, not a union official or a political person.
The appointment of Bittel and the LACC Board of Trustees is yet another blow to the district’s reputation and