From the AFT:
The newly organized Accelerated Charter School in downtown Los Angeles has been certified as the first startup independent charter to join United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), a breakthrough for the Los Angeles union.
The California Public Employment Relations Board granted UTLA recognition in March as the school’s bargaining agent. The step is notable not only because Accelerated is now the first independent charter in the union, but also because of hopes that it will become a model for unionized charter schools.
Jonathan Williams, the school’s founder and co-director, is a former public school teacher in Los Angeles and was a UTLA leader in several capacities. Williams also has served as chairman of the board of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, an advocacy group.
Teachers at Accelerated Charter are preparing to bargain their first contract for the four schools serving 1,200 students from pre-K to 12th grade. The teachers are committed to negotiating a contract that will help them maintain the kind of influence that got Accelerated named Time magazine’s Elementary School of the Year in 2001 for using “the most promising approaches to the most pressing challenges in education.’
Teachers also have been working to keep parents informed and engaged at the school.