December 5, 2018Press Release
UTLA and LAUSD conclude fact-finding presentations
During the fact-finding stage of collective bargaining with the Los Angeles Unified School District, UTLA presented to the panel a forceful case for our bargaining demands and how they are essential to building the healthy, nurturing educational environment that all students deserve.
After the fact-finding presentations concluded, the parties agreed to participate in a mediation session, but a settlement was not reached. We look forward to the release of the fact-finding panel’s non-binding report in a few weeks. After the report is issued, the school district can impose its last, best, and final proposal, and UTLA members can strike. A contract agreement can be reached at any stage of the process, and we are committed to doing all we can to reach a settlement with LAUSD that improves teaching and learning conditions.
Los Angeles Unified has almost $2 billion in unrestricted reserves that could immediately improve the lives of our students. All students deserve a full-time nurse, counselor, and librarian; lower class sizes; more arts, music, and ethnic studies; and fully funded early education, adult education, bilingual education, and special education programs.
“Austin Beutner refuses to use the district’s historic level of financial reserves for our students, who overwhelmingly are students of color from low-income families,” UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl says. “More than 80% of LAUSD schools do not have a full-time nurse, our class sizes are among the largest in the state, and counselor caseloads are crushingly high. There is no far-off ‘rainy day’ for the district to save for—the rainy day is now, and our kids deserve the investment.”
It’s critical to note that many of our contract demands wouldn’t cost the district money or would even save money. Examples include cutting back on the overtesting of students to free more instructional time, bringing common-sense regulation to corporate charter growth and charter school co-locations onto neighborhood schools, and giving parents and educators more say in how money is spent at school sites.
As we wait for the fact-finding report, we will continue to build support for reinvesting in public education, instead of downsizing and privatizing our schools. LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner, who was hired with no experience in education but deep experience in breaking up companies, is promoting a scheme to split LAUSD into 32 networks—a dismantling of the public education system that will deepen segregation and inequality in our schools. On December 15, thousands of educators, parents, students, and community members will march together in the streets of downtown LA to stand up for public education.
UTLA, the nation’s second-largest teachers’ union local, represents more than 35,000 teachers and health & human services professionals who work in the Los Angeles Unified School District and in charter schools.