So this is my problem. WHY DID OUR HARD WORKING TEACHERS HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS? It’s upsetting, it’s annoying, and it interrupted not just mine, but everyone else’s education. I love the fact that this strong union did not complain about the rain, even though it was insane. I can not believe the nation’s second-largest school district let this happen. Things were definitely unfair for students and teachers apart of this district I am more than happy and proud of these teachers for standing up and negotiating for what is right.
The UTLA union fought for equal benefits, a pay raise, more nurses, librarians, smaller class sizes, and also psychologists. I hate how my classes are swamped. With only one teacher per class, there’s only so much they can do. It is not easy for teachers to just watch over and lecture 40-50 students every day. Aside from that they even offer extra help after school without getting paid for that extra help offered. I have always attended schools in LAUSD and I can say that each and every teacher has cared for me and has always done a lot for their students. For some apparent reason Charter schools have gotten away with some stuff that isn’t really fair. Why is it that charter schools are picky? Why is it that they only reveal the test scores that they want while public schools MUST put their scores out, whether they’re good scores or bad scores? And why is it okay that they can waitlist the kids they want when public schools have to take in every student? I, myself, do not appreciate this “shadiness” and all that has gone on for years. This is the nation’s second-largest school district. Come on. If it’s not one thing it’s another. We have a District Superintendent that does not care about our education at all. The man that goes by the name Austin Beutner, and is our Superintendent has money hunger written all over him. It’s insane to think that a man that has never worked in an education field has this top-notch role. How is that?
I am angry, parents are angry, and teachers are angry. Dr. Lankster concluded ”I think it’s so unfortunate that the children of this school district suffer from being 43 out of 50 in terms of Beutner, for people’s spending. California is the richest state of the union, has the 5th largest economy in the world, but it has been nothing on education compared to other states, we have to do more. And for the school district, we have to have a new Superintendent. I am calling for the firing of Austin Beutner because he’s is not an educator, he’s never taught a class, he has no business leading this school district in this educational system.”
The more days that went by, the more support UTLA got. After a day of striking, students were given the option to not attend school. This was not a vacation for me nor the students. It was a time to feel alive and stand for our teachers. Lena Revulcaba concluded, “ I feel that the teachers striking is a very big movement but it’s not their fault that this is going on. I blame LAUSD and Austin Beutner for not funding our schools properly and not giving the stuff that students and teachers need. Teachers need a decent pay raise, more nurses librarians etc. I hope that the teachers get what they are negotiating for.”
More than just students supported this union, businesses, and parents did too. It was nice to see food businesses offer deals such as free food and discounts for teachers because it was much needed.
Just to think that there hadn’t been a strike since 1989, literally 3 decades ago was insane. Over 1,000 schools, over 600,000 students and almost 27,000 teachers all ran a strike was history, a history that I got the chance to experience and will never forget.
As they chanted all week long ”Beutner Beutner you can’t hide, we can see your greedy side!” Those words were strong and strong enough to finally make the district and the union come to a finalized agreement. According to the LA Times, Austin Beutner met with the union leader his responses were different and Warner than expected. Beutner said “Public education is now the topic in every household in our community. Let’s capitalize on that. Let’s fix it. We can’t solve 40 years of underinvestment in public education in just one week or just one contract.”
Teachers will now be getting a 6% raise and a 3% raise for the last school year and a 3% raise for this school year. The teachers lost about 3% of their salary during the days of their strike.
Teachers had already been offered a 6% raise before the strike but they didn’t just strike for a raise they struck for a bigger negotiation. LA Times concludes, “The agreement, which runs through June 2022, also includes a reduction of class sizes over four years to levels in the previous contract, but removes a contract provision that has allowed the school district to increase class sizes in times of economic hardship, Caputo-Pearl said in an interview. It was not immediately clear how that issue would be dealt with going forward.”
By Destiny Hulings
Image Source: ABC 7