Teachers at charter schools represented by UTLA do receive lifetime health benefits. The schools used to purchase these benefits from LAUSD. Last spring, the district announced it would not longer allow charters to purchase the benefits. Now, the schools are going out on their own to purchase a health benefits package, which includes plans for retirees.
I think it's time that those clinging to the hope of receiving lifetime benefits ask themselves this question: How much longer can LAUSD justify spending nearly 85 percent of its ever-shrinking budget on benefits and salaries?
If the benefits stay in place, just remember, the money spent on perks for school administrators and their families is money that could be spent on the children these people are paid to educate.
My school briefly considered becoming a charter this past year and rejected the idea because under a charter, teachers lose job security and lifetime health benefits upon retirement. The larger issue as usual goes unmentioned because school reform is as always a gigantic exercise in missing the point. Only in America do we force every student into an academic education and then twist ourselves into pretzels when students don't want what we are offering them and act out in the classroom. Only in America is it usual for teachers to have angry, unruly, resentful students and for teachers to be told to work with them somehow and accept the time wastage. In other countries non-academic students are channeled into vocational education by age 14 or 15. Not every student is smart enough for traditional academics or inclined in that direction and our classes would be a lot calmer if there were options for skilled craft training or vocational education.