L.A. Teachers’ Unions, School District Reach Tentative Agreement on Reopening

Student Leo Rittner Solomon, 6, front left, and parent Hilda Rodriguez Guzman, right, react as United Teachers Los Angeles president and teacher Alex Caputo-Pearl announces the nation's second-largest school district will go on strike at a news conference in Los Angeles, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. With no new discussions scheduled, …
AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) reached a tentative agreement on Tuesday to reopen public schools, which have remained closed for a year.

The union has resisted reopening, even after California Governor Gavin Newsom and state Democratic Party leaders reached a deal to provide $6.6 billion in funds to asset reopening. UTLA called the plan “a recipe for propagating structural racism” because it punished schools that did not reopen by withholding 1% of the available new funding for each day they remained closed beyond the specified reopening date.

As parents grew more and more frustrated, the UTLA lashed out against its critics, even racially profiling a local mother who had been quoted in local media reports.

Now, however, the UTLA and the district have a tentative deal to reopen preschool and elementary schools by mid-April, an secondary schools by the end of April. According to a statement by UTLA, the deal includes (original emphasis):

Summary of Agreement

 Daily in-person instruction for elementary school students in a hybrid morning/afternoon model, while maintaining the option for students to remain in online-only instruction.

  • Secondary students will continue with daily online instruction, along with the opportunity to return to campus for peer interaction, social-emotional learning and lessons for college and career exploration.
  • Full-day, in-person instruction for preschool students.
  • Maintaining current teacher assignments whenever possible.
  • All students and staff will be tested for COVID-19 prior to their return to campus, and weekly COVID testing will be provided thereafter.
  • Masks and social distancing for students, staff and visitors at schools.
  • Schools will be kept clean and safe. Los Angeles Unified has already invested more than $120 million to upgrade air-filtration systems, procure adequate stocks of personal protective equipment and add extra custodial staff.
  • Social-emotional supports for all students.
  • Additional professional development for teachers.
  • Meals will be provided for students at schools, whether they are receiving in-person or online instruction.

The agreement must still be approved by the LAUSD board and ratification by the UTLA membership.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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