LOS ANGELES — Thousands of teachers, school staff, community leaders, parents, and students rallied across Los Angeles demanding immediate action by the district on Dec. 5. Earlier this year, United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) presented the Beyond Recovery platform to the Los Angeles School District (LAUSD), which includes a thorough set of demands to ensure every student and school receives the full foundational support necessary.
For seven months, the district has not only rejected key proposals but also failed to bring further viable alternative solutions—even though the district has access to a historically unprecedented level of financial resources. Today’s rally was to call on LAUSD to stop stalling and instead, fairly bargain with educators and come to the table with real proposals to benefit schools across the district.
“Over months of input and conversations with educators, together, we have built what we call The Beyond Recovery platform. I am disappointed by the levels and layers of disrespect we are met with by district officials over the last seven months. LAUSD does not feel the urgency we feel as educators who see and witness our student’s struggle. Our public schools provide instruction for all. We accept the unhoused, we accept those that face food insecurity, and we are there for our students who need social-emotional support pre-pandemic and during the pandemic. We want our students, teachers, and schools to thrive. We want solutions through our Beyond Recovery Platform!” said Guenevere Alapag-Spiller, 4th-grade teacher at Monte Vista in Highland Park and UTLA Bargaining Team Member.
Following the most recent bargaining session on Thursday, December 1, LAUSD would not commit to classrooms and restrooms being cleaned on a daily basis, pay parity for credentialed elementary grade level teachers, or a reduction in class sizes across school sites.
“How can LAUSD claim to believe in investing in our students’ futures when they aren’t even willing to invest in their present? And let’s not forget, any investments in the past are because our school communities fought tooth and nail for them. The district has had seven months to work with us on the educator shortage crisis to make sure every student has a classroom teacher, a school nurse, a librarian, and a counselor. They have had seven months to work with us to add more mental health support for students, fund special education, and address our students’ urgent needs for stable housing, immigration support, and healthy, green schools. Instead the district has chosen to sit on 3.4 billion dollars in reserves while educators work a second or third job. UTLA educators are in schools with students every day, we cannot ignore the reality of what we and our students are facing. LAUSD – it’s time to step up. There is no more time to lose. Come back to the table in January with real solutions, not excuses. And know that we are ready to fight for what our schools need” said Cecily Myart-Cruz UTLA president.
UTLA was joined by Dr. Rocio Rivas, LAUSD School Board Member-elect for District 2.
“We have a chance to recover and restore from the most challenging experience of our lifetime. We have the opportunity to overcome this with the Beyond Recovery platform. We need smaller class sizes. We need to reduce the caseload. We need to provide individualized attention, love and compassion to our students. We need to expand Community Schools. We need to reimagine school safety. And we need to expand our Black Student Achievement Plan. It’s time to rebuild and it’s time to empower ourselves. It’s not just about getting back into the classroom, it’s about being whole again. And it’s time for the district, teachers and our students to be whole again, “ said Dr. Rocio Rivas, LAUSD School Board Member-elect for District 2 and LAUSD Parent.
The Beyond Recovery Platform demands include:
- A nurse every day at every school
- A fully staffed library at every school
- Smaller class sizes
- Increased salaries to attract and retain educators
- Support for Special Education programs
- More counselors, psychologists, and school social workers
- More arts, music, ethnic studies, dual-language programs, tutoring, outdoor education, field trips and other enrichment programs for students
- A school district that supports housing, environmental, immigration, and COVID recovery needs in our communities
View the full Beyond Recovery platform here.