CFT stands with our UTLA members striking to save LAUSD public schools

For immediate release: January 14, 2019
Contact: Matthew Hardy - 510-703-5291

CFT calls on LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner to immediately settle a contract that truly invests in LA public schools

As the 33,000 teachers of the United Teachers Los Angeles walked the picket line for the first time in 30 years today, the California Federation of Teachers offered their unequivocal support for their members who are courageously taking a stand to save public education in Los Angeles. CFT joined parent, community, labor, Civil Rights, and religious leaders in demanding that LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner immediately settle a contract that fully invests in public schools.

“Instead of cutting our schools to the bone, and denying our students the essential services and resources they deserve, the LAUSD should immediately settle a contract with UTLA teachers that invests in students and fully supports educators,” says CFT President Joshua Pechthalt. “It is unconscionable that the district is sitting on nearly $2 billion in reserves, while class sizes skyrocket and schools go without nurses, counselors, social workers, and librarians.”

“The brave teachers of UTLA are striking today for nothing less than the future of public education in Los Angeles,” continues Joshua Pechthalt. “Instead of austerity for Los Angeles schools and students, it is time for real leadership from the LAUSD.”

As the strike begins in Los Angeles, teachers and school workers are asking the LAUSD to address many of the same issues that we see in our schools and colleges every day, in every corner of the state and nation. And while the LAUSD has sufficient resources to address the fundamental concerns brought by UTLA teachers, in order to fully support students from Los Angeles and across the state, our schools require more funding.

“California is the 5th largest economy in the world, but we are a dismal 43rd in that nation in per-pupil spending,” says Joshua Pechthalt. “Without fully funded schools, California students will continue to be denied the education they deserve.”

A good place to start addressing the underfunding is the Schools and Communities First initiative. Along with community and parent allies from throughout the state, the CFT was instrumental in qualifying the initiative for the November 2020 ballot. The initiative, which would restore over $11 billion per year to California’s schools, community colleges, health clinics, and other vital local services, would close a loophole in current tax law that allows wealthy commercial property owners to evade paying property taxes.

The California Federation of Teachers represents 120,000 teachers, faculty, and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. It is the statewide affiliate of the AFT. More information at www.cft.org.

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