United Teachers Los Angeles, the main representative for teachers in LA’s Unified School District, has laid out a list of demands that the city has to meet for the union to agree to reopen schools again. Not surprisingly, most of these demands have little to do with education.
UTLA is demanding the defunding of police departments so that the money allocated to law enforcement can be allocated to public education. It also says that charter schools must be shut down because they drain resources from district schools. Put simply, this means that charter schools that offer a better education than public schools are attracting more students.
The list of demands also includes a Federal Medicare for All program, new state-level taxes on wealthy taxpayers, and a federal bailout of the school district.
The UTLA ends with the bizarre statement asserting that the only people who benefit from reopening schools in August are billionaires and politicians, even though billionaires and politicians don’t send their children to public schools in the first place.
The demands above don’t even include the “major provisions” the UTLA is calling for. The union wants to sequester students in small groups during school hours, force students to wear masks and other forms of protective equipment, and redesign school layouts to help students maintain social distancing standards.
However, these demands don’t really matter. Since the UTLA is unlikely to get all its other politically-motivated demands met, it’s also unlikely to open public schools anytime in the foreseeable future.
Sadly, it won’t be the rich or even middle-class parents who lose out. Private schools, online schools, and homeschooling are all viable options for those who can afford the high fees or are able to work from home. However, many poor and lower-middle-class parents will find it extremely difficult to provide their children with a basic education while holding down a job. What’s more, many of these individuals don’t have a good internet connection in their home, and can no longer go to a library or local cafe to make up for it.
Far-left activists claim to care about the poor and needy. However, their policy proposals make it clear that this is far from the case. Shutting down charter schools that provide a top-tier education, defunding law enforcement, and demanding massive amounts of funding while providing lousy services will destroy the lives for the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, it seems that the district won’t be restarting regular schooling for the foreseeable as it is too busy playing politics.