WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued her full-throated support for the members of United Teachers Los Angeles, who voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike earlier this week:
“In one of the wealthiest cities in the country, students are being crowded into classrooms and schools don’t have enough counselors or nurses to meet their kids’ health and safety needs. The city’s budget is being balanced on the backs of students and teachers, and the members of UTLA have had enough.
“After 17 months of the union negotiating in good faith and making repeated requests for mediation, the district’s refusal to sit down with teachers until late September is an insult to educators and a disservice to every family in the Los Angeles Unified School District. And the proposals the district has offered fail to fund community schools, fail to put accountability measures in place for charter schools, and fail to address the overtesting issues that have left UTLA’s teachers completely out of the discussion on how to assess student performance.
“What’s happened in Los Angeles is what we’ve seen in too many cities around the country: the dismantling of public education through disinvestment and privatization schemes, prompting teachers to take on this fight. We stand with UTLA every step of the way.”