February 5, 2018Statement
UTLA supports the February 24 community forum, co-sponsored with Black Lives Matter, Students Deserve, the ACLU, Public Counsel, and other organizations.
The February 24 event, which is largely youth-led, has two main purposes: to call for funding a visionary Community Schools model and to call for an end to “random searches” of students in favor of proven, well-resourced school safety methods. Research shows that random searches have not been effective, disrupt instructional time, can inappropriately target certain students, and have a negative psychological impact on a broad sector of students. Only 4% of school districts in the U.S. use “random searches.” Instead of these searches, we call for greater social-emotional supports for students, including mental health counselors and restorative justice staff members.
An anti-union website, “The Daily Wire,” has spread falsities about UTLA’s position regarding school police. UTLA has not called for the abolition of police or cuts to the department.
Our national affiliates, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, along with the New Jersey Education Association, the Seattle Education Association, the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association, Prince George’s County school district in Maryland, and many others, are supporting the Black Lives Matter in Schools National Week of Action in February.
This work is consistent with our broader efforts to fight all forms of discrimination and racism, support immigrant rights, and more.
UTLA members, parents, and community are working together to achieve the Schools LA Students Deserve, which includes our 20 x 20 campaign to increase school funding to $20,000 per student by the year 2020. California—the sixth-largest economy in the world—ranks 46th in the nation in per-pupil spending.
The Schools LA Students Deserve platform includes lower class sizes, staffing to support students, charter school accountability, educator and parent voice in school budgets, improving school safety and discipline, expanding early education, curbing over-testing, and community demands for affordable housing, expanding green space at school, and more.