Unions Set Sights on High-Profile Charter-Network Schools
What started as a ripple in the charter community shows signs of becoming a wave as major charter school networks scramble to respond to an unfamiliar phenomenon: moves by their teachers to organize unions.
In the first half of this year, teachers formed collective bargaining units in schools run by several of the best-known and highest-profile charter management organizations. They include the Knowledge Is Power Program CMO’s Always Mentally Prepared Academy, known as KIPP AMP, in New York City; the four campuses of the Accelerated School in Los Angeles; and three Chicago charters operated by Civitas, a subsidiary of Chicago International Charter Schools.
Although teachers have unionized at other charter schools over the years, the recent activity is notable not only for being contentious in several instances, but also because policymakers, educators, and the news media are scrutinizing it much more closely. For that reason, commentators say, it carries high stakes for both teachers’...
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