Girl Reading in Front of Class

Source:   Joseph Curl

A major teachers union in Los Angeles says the district can’t re-open schools until there is a “moratorium” on charter schools. Oh, and until police are defunded. Oh, and until there is “Medicare for all.” Oh, and until there’s a wealth tax and a federal bailout, too.

Those are all terms set by the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), a 35,000-member union in the Los Angeles Unified School District, according to a policy paper released this week and first reported by Just The News.

“It is time to take a stand against Trump’s dangerous, anti-science agenda that puts the lives of our members, our students, and our families at risk,” said UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz. “We all want to physically open schools and be back with our students, but lives hang in the balance. Safety has to be the priority. We need to get this right for our communities.”

“Even before the spike in infections and Trump’s reckless talk, there were serious issues with starting the year on school campuses. The state and federal governments have not provided the additional resources or funds needed for increased health and safety measures and there is not enough time for the district to put together the detailed, rigorous plans for a safe return to campus,” she said.

Under the terms in the policy paper, the union wants to put children in small groups throughout the school day, mandate masks and protective equipment, and redesign school layouts to follow  “social distancing” guidelines.

But in other items that don’t appear to have anything to do with schools or student safety, the union called 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 wrote. The policy paper 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 said. The practice of allowing charter schools to use existing educational facilities “adds students to campuses when we need to reduce the number of students to allow for physical distancing.”

But none of that is enough. The union also demands a Medicare-for-All program, new taxes on wealthy people, and a “federal bailout” of the school district.

“The benefits to restarting physical schools must outweigh the risks, especially for our most vulnerable students and school communities,” the policy paper says. “As it stands, the only people guaranteed to benefit from the premature physical reopening of schools amidst a rapidly accelerating pandemic are billionaires and the politicians they’ve purchased.”

School reopening has become a hot issue of late, and a teachers union in New Jersey is demanding weekly COVID-19 tests and mandatory face masks for all children.

Say the demands:

  • All students must be tested for COVID-19 in the weeks prior to returning to school.
  • All students must take WEEKLY COVID-19 tests.
  • Door-to-door mandatory face masks for all students.