October 31, 2018Press Release
Today, LAUSD sent UTLA a revised offer. The insulting offer, sent via email, once again falls desperately short of meeting student needs and demonstrates Austin Beutner’s desire to downsize the school district rather than be a partner in rebuilding and reinvesting in our public school system.
Beutner is trying to buy us off with a raise while simultaneously increasing class sizes, reducing retiree healthcare for new employees, and underfunding our schools. He also maintains his position that educators need to work more hours to earn a competitive salary, despite a national teacher shortage. He has adjusted his salary proposal to 6% but he still ties it to extra hours to earn the pay raise we already deserve.
"Focusing on salary while doing nothing to improve schools and attract parents and students will lead to the loss of jobs, school closures and ultimately the ruin of the district," said UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl.
In response to public pressure for lower class sizes, Beutner includes removal of Section 1.5 of the contract—the section that allows LAUSD to increase class size unilaterally—but he is replacing it with triggers that are actually worse. His proposal would pit teachers against students and even students against students, tying class sizes to our healthcare, retirement, special education funding, and ensuring there will be no class size reduction as long as there is unregulated charter school expansion. His offer would permanently increase class size caps and averages, and the triggers make it even easier to violate those newly increased caps and averages.
In other words, it is Section 1.5 on steroids.
Read Beutner's October 30 offer here
His offer also continues his attempt to make it harder for educators to qualify for secure healthcare in retirement—a terrible step in a profession that is facing a severe shortage.
Most offensive is the lack of movement on the critical issues we face. The proposal does nothing to meet parent, student, and educator demands for:
• Meaningful class-size reduction.
• More nurses, counselors, and teacher-librarians to make schools safer, more enriching places to learn.
• Relief from overtesting that saps learning time and crowds out arts, music, science, and ethnic studies.
• Steps to address co-location, privatization threats, and the $600 million drained every year from public schools by unregulated charters.
• Investment in the Community Schools model.
• Support for programs that serve a wide swath of LAUSD students: Early Ed, Adult Ed, Special Ed, and Bilingual Ed.
"This offer—as anemic as it is—is a result of our demonstrated power. Let's continue to organize and build strike readiness. On December 15, we march in downtown LA for public education and show Beutner that we will not let him undermine our schools and our futures," Caputo-Pearl said.