Collective Bargaining in California Charter Schools: Cooperation or Conflict?

Published December 10, 2010

As unions begin to target charter schools, James Moss in his doctoral dissertation for the University of Southern California describes the effects a unionizing workforce has on charter teachers, administrators, and students’ educations. Union agreements, even the “contracts lite” usual for newly unionizing schools, tend to tie administrators’ hands and increase costs. They also make charters much more like their traditional public school counterparts, robbing them of their unique structures and offerings. The author describes alternative ways to give teachers a hand in school governance and decisions without making long-term, hard to change and binding contracts that may hamper a school’s adaptivity.