LA Teachers Union Demands Police Defunding, Medicare for All, and Charter School Moratorium Before Reopening Classrooms
Are Medicare for All, a moratorium on charter schools, and defunding the police necessary for reopening classrooms?
What’s the story?
- A teachers union in America’s second largest school district has released an extensive list of demands before educators return to the classroom amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but while many provisions involve hygiene or testing, critics have derided some of the demands as being part of an ideological wishlist.
- The union, known as the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA), represents roughly 30,000 teachers in the Los Angeles area. UTLA’s members work primarily in the Los Angeles Unified School District, which is the second largest in the country and has already determined that it will continue with online learning pending the approval of a deal that parents groups say raises “significant concerns about the well-being of students and is an insufficient improvement over the failed remote learning environment too many families experienced last spring.”
- UTLA released a 17 page report detailing the “safe and equitable conditions” that must be met for classrooms to reopen. For example, it includes three pages of policies related to community preparedness, physical distancing, testing & tracing, and protections for high-risk students & employees.
- UTLA’s demands also include the creation of a single-payer “Medicare for All” program, a moratorium on the formation of new private charter schools, and the defunding of police to shift the “astronomical amount of money devoted to policing” to education, housing, and public health.
- However, Los Angeles County spends significantly more money on education than law enforcement. According to 2017 data compiled by USAFacts, Los Angeles County spent 36.4% of its budget on education versus 11.8% of its budget on law enforcement. Put differently, LA County spent a total of $6,454.18 per capita in 2017, of which $759.41 went to law enforcement and $2,349 went to education.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / onurdongel)
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