“Here we are in a fight for the soul of public education.”
More than 30,000 public school teachers in Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest school district, walk out of classrooms and form picket lines after contract negotiations stall. https://t.co/IT3H6W0jGJ pic.twitter.com/5IddakmiJu
— ABC News (@ABC) January 14, 2019
My first thought was if a wealthy state like California cannot support their teachers properly how bad must it be in the rest of the country?
Courtesy of ABC News:
More than 30,000 public school teachers in Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest school district, walked out of classrooms and formed picket lines on Monday in what their union president says is “the fight for the soul of public education.”
United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) said negotiations stalled and that the union didn’t receive a new contract proposal over the weekend, after a strike was delayed from Jan. 10 because of potential court intervention.
“So here we are on a rainy day in the richest country in the world, in the richest state in the country, in a state as blue as it can be, in a city rife with millionaires, where teachers have to go on strike to get the basics for our students,” UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl told a group of boisterous educators outside John Marshall High School in the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles.
“Here we are in a fight for the soul of public education,” Caputo-Pearl, a Los Angeles teacher for 22 years, said at a rally to kick off the strike. “The question is, do we starve our public neighborhood schools so that they are cut and privatized or do we reinvest in our public neighborhood schools for our students and for a thriving city? We are here to say from the picket lines of Los Angeles that we choose reinvestment.”
The schools remained open since the school district hired hundreds of substitutes, or scabs as they are called in my neck of the woods, though the striking teachers are asking parents to keep their children home until the strike has been resolved.
Toward that end, the district offered a 6 percent pay raise over the first two years of a three-year contract and offered to add about 1,200 counselors, nurses, and librarians, as well as capping class sizes at 32 to 39 students, depending on the course.
The teachers, however, have asked for 6.5 percent, retroactive to the 2017 fiscal year. As well as smaller class sizes, reductions in standardized testing, an increased support staff — meaning more nurses, librarians, and academic counselors in schools that are woefully understaffed, and in some cases, don’t have those positions at all.
You all know my position on teachers, I think they are the most essential and underappreciated professionals in the country, and I would give them every damn thing they asked for. And then some.
These schools have been devastated by the impact of charter schools which bleed away the wealthy kids, and their parent’s money, and leave the schools underfunded to serve the children too poor to purchase an education elsewhere.
This is what the Republicans have done to the education system in this country, and if we do not start making a drastic change we can expect yet another generation of students who will grow up so dumb that they would vote for a charlatan like Donald Trump.