Friday, January 11, 2019

'A standoff over the future of public education': L.A. teachers ready to strike - Education Votes

'A standoff over the future of public education': L.A. teachers ready to strike - Education Votes

‘A standoff over the future of public education’: L.A. teachers ready to strike


By Tim Walker/Photo: Joe Brusky
Anyone who may have been under the impression that the #RedforEd movement was just a “2018 story” better brace themselves. Thirty-three thousand educators in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) – the second largest district in the country – are on the verge of striking to halt years of budget cuts, ballooning class size, and the expansion of unaccountable charter schools. Six hours north in the Bay Area, Oakland educators are also gearing up for a possible walk-out.
United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) and LAUSD have been mired in negotiations since April 2017, and teachers have been working without a contract for almost one year. Educators made a good faith effort in mediation to reach an agreement, but district officials did not do the same, failing to offer any substantial proposals to reinvest in the city’s schools. In August, UTLA voted overwhelmingly (98% of the membership voted yes) to authorize a strike if talks continued to stall.
Barring last-minute movement, UTLA will go on strike on Monday, January 14, the first walkout since 1989.
The district has tried to present the impasse as a squabble over numbers and teacher salaries, a characterization UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl says is absolutely false and a disservice to students.
“This is a standoff over the future of public education,” Caputo-Pearl explains. “We will not agree on salary only or salary and a few other things. What we are fighting for is a program of investment in our neighborhood public schools that will create a thriving school district and the education our students deserve.”
Despite LAUSD’s repeated denials, the money to reinvigorate the city’s schools is in fact there – in the form of $1.8 billion (yes, billion) in unrestricted reserves. The state of California requires CONTINUE READING: 'A standoff over the future of public education': L.A. teachers ready to strike - Education Votes

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