The United Teachers of Los Angeles on Tuesday reached a tentative agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District to end the weeklong strike and take steps to adequately fund the second-largest public school system in the nation. A summary of the tentative agreement was obtained by LAist and can be viewed here; the contract will now go to a vote among the 33,000 union members and the LAUSD School Board.
The strike ending with fairly major concessions by the school district is welcome news for both the workers and the families that attend LAUSD schools. As The New York Times reported, the teachers agreed to end the strike after winning a 6 percent pay raise and caps on class sizes.
Under the deal, class sizes will be reduced over the next three-and-a-half years to the levels laid out in the union’s 2014-17 contract, and a full-time school nurse will soon be present on every school campus in the next three years. Additionally, a joint committee made up by union teachers and school administrators will hash out a plan that will reduce the amount assessment-oriented testing by 50 percent.
The union also raised the issue of charter schools throughout its protests, pointing out the white flight tendencies as a crucial factor in underfunding the district. But because any real headway on this issue requires action in the form of state legislation, the union settled for an agreement from the Board of Education that they will “vote on a resolution to call upon the state to establish a charter school cap,” per the summary.
The strike marked the eighth time in the past year that teachers in the United States have rallied, walked out, or gone on strike to protest paltry funding for public education. It’s also an evergreen reminder for all the underpaid and under-appreciated workers out there: direct action works.