L.A. teachers union calls for restoring full school year
The morning after a state tax measure passed, teachers union officials in Los Angeles called for a full restoration of pay for employees and for bringing back a full school year for students in the L.A. Unified School District.
The passage of Proposition 30 by state voters on Tuesday means that the current budgets in school districts are protected from $5.4 billion in cuts that were otherwise scheduled to take effect. Proposition 30 does not provide for new revenue immediately, but a union statement spoke of a different school-funding landscape.
“We recognize that Proposition 30 will not fix all our schools’ fiscal problems, but it is a tremendous step that is expected to cancel teacher furlough days and bring back the 180-day school year,” said Warren Fletcher, president of United Teachers Los Angeles on Wednesday. In his statement, Fletcher underlined the word "expected."
To balance this year’s budget, teachers had accepted up to 10 unpaid furlough days — five of them being instructional days for students.
L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy said Wednesday that he is optimistic about achieving a partial restoration. He estimated that the school system could return up to three days of instruction to the schedule.
How this would affect school calendars was unclear Wednesday. The current schedule calls for a week off from school for Thanksgiving, which is fast approaching; normally that week would include three school days. There are no current plans to reopen schools for all or part of the week of Thanksgiving, said district spokesman Tom Waldman.
Proposition 30 will increase the sales tax by a quarter-cent for four years. And for seven years, it raises taxes on individuals after their first $250,000 in income and on couples after their first $500,000 in earnings.
The measure passed statewide with 54% of the vote. In Los Angeles County, voters supported the temporary tax increase with a plurality of 60%.
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— Howard Blume
Photo: Union member Mariana Molina holds a Proposition 30 placard at a rally Monday in support of the measure in Panorama City. The L.A. teachers union is calling for the full school year to be restored with the passage of the proposition. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images