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Teachers Union Protests Eli Broad's Charter School Plan At Art Museum Opening

LOS ANGELES ( — Protesters on Sunday morning gathered outside Eli Broad's new $140 million contemporary art museum to call on the billionaire to halt plans to back a charter school plan that could enroll half of the students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Parents and students on Sunday morning were planning to join members of the United Teachers Los Angeles, which represents LAUSD teachers, to protest outside of the museum on its much anticipated opening day.

UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl said they take issue with a reported plan by Broad to put "between half a billion and a billion dollars into a plan to draw 50 percent of LAUSD students into unregulated, non-union charter schools."

Caputo-Pearl said they are "not protesting the opening of The Broad Museum," which he said is a "nice contribution to the arts and culture of Los Angeles," but rather the charter school plans revealed in recent media reports.

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, as well as The Keck Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation, are among groups that are looking to fund an expansion of LAUSD's publicly funded charter system, the Los Angeles Times recently reported.

Caputo-Pearl said such schools, which could be similar to charter schools the Broad Foundation has already funded in New Orleans, "don't play by the same rules" as LAUSD schools and are prone to "cherry-picking" their students. What's more, such charter schools also are not transparently managed by a public entity, he said.

Broad museum officials declined to respond to a request for comment.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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