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Education Last Updated: Jul 13, 2020 - 7:19:32 AM

LA Teachers Union Holds School Openings Hostage
By Monica Showalter
Jul 13, 2020 - 2:19:45 AM

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July 12, 2020

LA teachers union holds school openings hostage to its call to end charter schools


The left is going bonkers and one of the best places to see it is in the Los Angeles area teachers unions.

According to John Solomon's JustTheNews:

A major teachers union is claiming that the re-opening of schools in its district cannot occur without several substantial policy provisions in place, including a "moratorium" on charter schools and the defunding of local police.

United Teachers Los Angeles, a 35,000-strong union in the Los Angeles Unified School District, made those demands in a policy paper it released this week. The organization called on local authorities to "keep school campuses closed when the semester begins on Aug. 18."

The report says that the union is calling for all the social distancing measures for a re-open, which is arguably O.K., given that teachers with health vulnerabilities, such as obesity, might need extra protection. The union insists it's a call to protect little kids but the statistics show that children in fact are the least vulnerable to COVID and only a microscopically small number, something like four, have died.

Nope, it's a call to protect teachers and staff. Yet even that makes little sense across the district, given that teachers who want or need extra protection from COVID should be first in line to teach distance learning to students who might want or need it. But even that doesn't hold water. As distance teachers, they're a pretty sorry lot. According to the Los Angeles Times last March 30, 15,000 Los Angeles students never even showed up for their online classes, and another 40,000 only showed up sporadically. Teaching online is very difficult because teachers can't sense what kids are learning or whether they are tuning out.

Meanwhile, the union itself says it has its members backing it - it polled its 30,000 teachers, presumably online where an electronic trail is likely, and got 18,000 responses (not an impressive number really) and says it got this, according to LAist:

In a poll taken on Friday, 83% of UTLA members said LAUSD should not physically reopen schools on Aug. 18.

More than 18,000 of the union's 30,000-plus members responded to the informal poll. The poll inidcates the rank-and-file members of the union agrees with the position of the UTLA Board of Directors and the team that is bargaining with the school district over reopening.

Not a secret ballot? What might all those absentions mean? The teachers I know, who are good, are all anxious to return to their vocation.

It just suggest there's just something funny going on. They want the schools shut to advance a wide-ranging far-left political agenda they'll never get, so the schools will stay shut and many students won't get taught at all. They dropped several poison pills into their list of demands, extravagant poison pills, demanding a moratorium of charter schools, which parents and students want, to leave themselves with a monopoly over kids, including those who don't do well with distance learning.

Then it gets crazier. JustTheNews continues:

Yet the union goes even farther than those requests, calling for "local support" in the form of defunded police departments and the shuttering of charter schools.

Police violence "is a leading cause of death and trauma for Black people, and is a serious public health and moral issue," the union writes. The document calls on authorities to "shift the astronomical amount of money devoted to policing, to education and other essential needs such as housing and public health."

"Privately operated, publicly funded charter schools," meanwhile, "drain resources from district schools," the union states. The practice of "colocating" charter schools in existing structures, it continues, "adds students to campuses when we need to reduce the number of students to allow for physical distancing."

The union also demands the implementation of a federal Medicare-for-All program, several new state-level taxes on wealthy people, and a "federal bailout" of the school district.

The 17-page list of demands is here. What we see here is a union that can't deliver for kids as distance teachers, yet still wants to hold the entire district hostage to their calls for a wide far-ranging leftist agenda. No leftist agenda, no true teaching, just their brand of failed online learning.

The calls to shut the charter schools is particularly interesting, given that many motivated kids and their parents are going to do one of two things - either take to online learning like ducks to water, and then start asking themselves what they need public schools for, continuing on as homeschoolers. Or, they'll buck harder for charter schools, many of which intend to stay open, and flock to those. Either way, the teachers union loses, which is why they have charter schools in particular in their gunsights.

This explains why this union has barricaded itself in crazy demands. It's trying to hold on to a monopoly and to heck with whether the kids get educated or not. One can only hope that it backfires badly on them as more and more people come to ask themselves what good their output and crazed and growing list of demands are. Just shut the whole thing down.

[Some colour fonts and bolding added.].


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