We can improve learning outcomes and future achievement for all students. To meet our students’ unique needs, we must collectively work to address class sizes and staffing, resources for special education, and curriculum and access.
Here’s what we are fighting for:
Class Size + Staffing
An essential victory from the 2019 UTLA strike was the elimination of Section 1.5 from the contract, which had allowed the district to ignore class size averages and caps unilaterally. The win created enforceable limits for the first time in decades as the initial steps in a multi-year struggle to reduce class sizes dramatically. Our contract demands must continue that work, including:
- Class size reduction across all grades and school types;
- Caseload reduction for Special Education teachers, DIS providers, and HHS staff;
- Elimination of combination classes;
- Greater limits on the displacement of teachers;
- Increased hiring of HHS and DIS staff;
- More classroom paraprofessionals, climate coaches, campus aides, and supervision aides;
- More Counselors, School Psychologists, PSAs and PSWs, certificated Visual Art, Music, Dance and Theater teachers, and full-time PE teachers in elementary schools.
Curriculum + Access
For too long, access to a fully resourced school has been determined by a student’s ZIP code. We are working for all students to have access to a diverse and engaging curriculum and the opportunity to thrive.
- Community-connected/project-based/advocacy-based curriculum with financial literacy, vocational, culinary, nutrition, and racial justice infused teaching across all subject areas;
- Elimination or dramatic reduction of standardized tests not required by the state or federal government;
- Enhanced library services and resources for all elementary schools;
- Expanded access to dual-language programs and multilingual education;
- Greater educator input in curriculum development;
- Increased access to Ethnic Studies and culturally relevant curriculum;
- Increased access to electives in secondary schools and expansion of electives to elementary schools;
- Increased opportunities for tutoring, field trips, campus clubs, student programs, and enrichment activities;
- Systematic inclusion of social-emotional learning in all curricula.
Special Education in LAUSD is underfunded by nearly $1 billion, negatively impacting all students. The federal government committed 40 years ago to fund 40% of the Special Education costs for public schools but has never fulfilled that promise. Special Education educators and students have also struggled within a system made worse by LAUSD’s lack of effective support. An essential victory from the 2019 UTLA strike was the creation of a new article in our contract that explicitly addresses Special Education issues. We need our new contract demands to build on that work, including:
- Accelerated expansion of inclusion programs with greater stakeholder input;
- Assignment protection for baseline assistants;
- Caseload reduction;
- Enforceable class size caps;
- Increased support for the management of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and IEP related Assessments;
- Program-specific budgets;
- Public support from LAUSD for the Fulfill the Promise national campaign to hold the federal government accountable to finally meeting its legal obligation under IDEA to pay 40% of Special Education costs for school districts;
- Reduced grade-level spans.