LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner reportedly suggested to the press this week that students may be occupied with computers in the absence of teachers, saying, “There are ways to educate kids that don’t rely on a physical body”—a comment that was slammed by many parents and students in the district.
Rather than education, as the city’s Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) chapter noted on Twitter, Beutner’s background is in investment banking. DSA compared his secretive plan to divide the LAUSD into 32 networks to decentralize authority and create a “leaner, more efficient” school system, to a “private equity sale.”
LAUSD has offered only a six percent raise to teachers, and in talks on Monday offered to spend $75 million to help reduce class sizes and hire more support staff—but UTLA has rejected the school district’s claim that it needs to use its $1.86 billion reserve to fund operations with its current budget.
“I think what you’re seeing is people want to make conditions better for children and for themselves,” Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, told CNN about the impending strike. “A strike is not a first resort for anyone. It’s a last resort—especially for teachers who are asked to do more with less every day. And enough is enough.”
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