L.A. Teachers Union: Give us $250 Million, Or Keep Schools Closed

The second largest public school district in the United States is in turmoil. Los Angeles Unified School District, with over 600,000 students in kindergarten through twelfth grade at over 1,000 schools, may not be open for the business of teaching on August 18. How to handle the COVID-19 pandemic is the issue, and there is nowhere near a consensus on how to handle it.

The union representing LAUSD teachers is the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA), which has recently put out a lengthy document outlining what they believe are “Safe and Equitable Conditions for Starting LAUSD in 2020-21.” It’s a doozy.

Laced throughout the document are references to the disproportionate effect COVID-19 has on “people of color.” The document leads off with a section entitled “The Same Storm, But Different Boats,” making the case that LAUSD’s student population is disadvantaged compared to the general population. They are more likely to live in higher density housing, more likely to live in multi-generational households, more likely to live further away from medical care, more likely to use mass transit, etc., etc. Their point: All of this “structural racism” means that compared to other school districts in California, more will have to be done before LAUSD can open.

The problem with this litany is it predates COVID-19 and ignores a crucial question: Are disadvantaged communities going to be better off or worse off if schools don’t reopen? If it is impossible to meet all of the conditions that might be […] Read More