Opinion

KERNS: Hollywood Elites Paid To Choose Their Kids’ Schools — While Denying Inner-City Kids The Same Choice

SHUTTERSTOCK/ Jannis Tobias Werner

Jen Kerns Contributor

There’s an ironic plot twist in the story about Hollywood celebrities and their admissions scandal.

At the same time Tinseltown’s elites reportedly paid to get their own children into a school of their choice, Hollywood celebrities actively campaigned against inner-city parents in Los Angeles being able to choose the best school for their children.

It appears that a hypocritical, “School choice for me, but not for thee” is in full effect in one of America’s most liberal cities.

Hollywood’s top studios and labor unions have long supported United Teachers Los Angeles — the largest local teachers’ union in the country. The union’s own publicly-stated goal is to squash school choice.

Hollywood’s bias against parental choice was highlighted during their recent support of the UTLA strike against the Los Angeles Unified School District. Several of Hollywood’s top labor unions joined the teachers’ union in their fight. At the core of the union’s strike were issues of pay, classroom size, and the union’s long-running efforts to place a moratorium on charter school growth.

The irony is that charter school growth has occurred primarily as parents seek to flee schools plagued with severe budget shortfalls — stemming from overly burdensome labor union demands and underfunded pension liabilities which the unions helped cause in the first place.

To add insult to injury, the teachers’ unions — funded by big Hollywood and Democrats — actively worked to shroud school performance scores so that inner-city parents could no longer access scores compare their child’s school against another and subsequently exercise their right to choose to send their child to another school.

In 2013, the California State Assembly — also led by Democrats — voted to “temporarily” suspend Academic Performance Index scores so that parents would be unable to see a school’s complete academic performance score. Despite the proposal being temporary, the API scores have not been reinstated for parents to view six years later in 2019.

To make matters worse, while the adults have been bickering over lavish union benefits and transparency, kids in some of L.A.’s poorest schools suffered severe consequences.

At a school in Miramonte in predominantly Hispanic East Los Angeles — a long way from Hollywood’s tony neighborhoods — students were subjected to a classroom environment that resembled a den of hell. A teacher abused at least 23 students, at times blindfolding them and forcing them to eat his bodily fluids from a spoon.

The teacher — who reportedly benefitted from union protection over the years — was ultimately convicted for lewd acts, and the LA Unified School District paid $139 million to families in a settlement deal. The case uncovered dozens of other cases of abuse against students in similar neighborhoods.

It might not sound like a big deal to some, but for the single, hard-working Hispanic mom in East Los Angeles struggling to give her kids a better education and a safer school than in the recent past, it’s almost impossible to overcome Hollywood’s studio-rigged horror flick.

Jen Kerns (@JenKernsUSA) served as spokeswoman for the California Republican Party; spokeswoman for California’s Proposition 8, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court; and as a Fox News writer for the 2016 U.S. presidential debates.


 The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.