LOS ANGELES— Los Angeles Unified School District officials said they will make a new proposal to the teachers union today in an effort to avoid a planned strike Monday — an offer that includes additional funding to reduce class sizes and provide more support for teachers, which comes hours after California Gov. Gavin Newsom released a proposed budget for 2019-20 that would increase spending for public education.
United Teachers Los Angeles is threatening to direct its members to strike on Monday, and reducing class sizes has been one of its demands, although issues over a pay raise, charter schools, the staffing level of nurses, counselors and librarians, and other issues have also been areas of conflict with the district in contract negotiations.
Newsom’s budget would spend a record $80.7 billion on K-12 schools and community colleges, up from the roughly $78 billion included in the previous budget.
“Yesterday, we spoke with state leaders in Sacramento about our shared commitment to public education, and the budget announced today by the governor is a strong statement of those values,” LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “All of the legislative leaders we met with yesterday expressed their commitment to public education.”
Newsom’s beefed-up education budget comes amid a flurry of activity this week surrounding UTLA’s strike threat.
A judge Thursday gave UTLA — which represents over 31,00 teachers, counselor, nurses and librarians — the green light to proceed with a planned strike Monday, rejecting a bid by the district to obtain a temporary restraining order. UTLA had originally planned to start the strike Thursday, but on Wednesday announced it was pushing back the date due to the legal action.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary H. Strobel said that with the collective bargaining agreement between the LAUSD and United Teachers Los Angeles scheduled to end Sunday, there would be no contract to enforce in order to enjoin the teachers from walking the picket line the next day.
Another round of talks between UTLA and the LAUSD was scheduled for 9 a.m. today.