The union that represents Los Angeles Unified School District teachers called today for increased funding for schools that they say are still suffering from the recession with shuttered programs, large class sizes and underpaid teachers.
Members of United Teachers Los Angeles passed out pamphlets to parents at schools throughout the district, including at Roy Romer Middle School in North Hollywood.
Warren Fletcher, president of UTLA, said that 16 months after Proposition 30 passed, class sizes at schools throughout LAUSD remain too big, without crucial staff. He said teachers who sacrificed during the recession by taking furlough days have not had a salary increase for the past seven years.
"Now it is time for the dollars from Proposition 30 to find their way to the schools, to re-staff schools, to bring class sizes back down," Fletcher said outside Roy Romer Middle School, where he says the library remains closed.
Fletcher said it's time for the board of education to take action.
"It's not sustainable and it's not right," Fletcher said. "It hurts kids."
In January, the UTLA sent a letter to the LAUSD school board to ask for a 17.6 percent salary increase retroactive for the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.
"In light of both the passage of Proposition 30, and the steadily improving California economy, the governor and the Legislature have made it clear that it is their intent to fully fund schools, and to repair the damage done to schools by the recession," the letter states.
The last raise LAUSD teachers received was in 2007, according to the union.
LAUSD spokesman Tom Waldman said the district had no official response to the UTLA's actions. Superintendent John Deasy has previously said he believes teachers and district employees deserve pay hikes, although those discussions will be carried out as part of union negotiations.
—City News Service