On December 16th, K12 Inc. held its annual shareholder meeting in Washington D.C., and five of our colleagues traveled there to deliver a report card of straight Fs to Nate Davis and the K12 board of directors. Our message was simple: CAVA and K12 are failing our students and teachers, and the time is now to commit to investing in the classroom and to put students above profits. CAVA teachers were joined in an electrifying rally by more than 70 supporters including allies representing the National Education Association (NEA), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and others concerned about K12’s profit-driven model and its negative effect on the students who attend its managed schools.
US History teacher Jason Spadaro and math teacher Kelly Walters both spoke to protesters about the need to hold CAVA and K12 accountable to teachers, students, and taxpayers. They were joined by NEA’s national head of organizing, Jim Testerman, who read aloud a powerful statement of support for CAVA teachers from NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia. Speakers explained how K12’s curriculum is outdated and error-riddled, and also spoke about how California tax dollars are being converted into profit for K12 rather than being used to fix our school.
Prior to the shareholder action, special education teacher Mark Holtebeck attended a meeting with NEA staff to share the story of organizing our union. Mark spoke about the critical work charter educators are engaged in to improve opportunities for our students. In a preview of the shareholder rally, the meeting erupted as Mark led a packed room in the chant: “The teachers united will never be defeated!”
Special education teacher Kirt Knapp, who owns shares of K12 stock, was able to get inside the meeting to deliver our report card directly to K12 officers. While inside, we learned that shareholders also dissatisfied with K12’s performance rebelled by voting down a proposal to increase executive pay. The shareholder meeting ended abruptly and is scheduled to reconvene on Christmas Eve. Coverage of the shareholder meeting can be found here.