L.A. Teachers Union Pushes Back on Plan For Reopening Schools Due To ‘Structural Racism’ (VIDEO)

The UTLA (United Teachers of Los Angeles), the largest and most powerful teachers union in California, rejected Governor Gavin Newsome’s school reopening plan. Its leaders labeled it a “recipe for propagating structural racism.”

The plan was announced by Newsom and his Democrat supermajority in the state legislature. It provides $6.6 billion in taxpayer funding to accelerate the school reopening process while coronavirus cases drop.

“$2 billion would fund safety measures to support in-person instruction, such as personal protective equipment, ventilation upgrades, and COVID-19 testing. $4.6 billion would fund expanded learning opportunities, such as summer school, tutoring, and mental health services,” the governor’s office press release said.

The plan unexpectedly includes teeth in its enforcement. Schools would lose 1% of eligible taxpayer funding for each day they remain closed past the end of March for kids in kindergarten through second grade.

“Schools in the state’s Red Tier or better would be required to offer in-person instruction to all students in all elementary grades and at least one middle or high school grade, or risk the same penalty,” the press release explained.

UTLA slammed Newsom’s plan, calling it racist.

In a press release, the union claimed that it benefitted rich schools in white areas the most.

“Educators are being unfairly targeted by wealthier and healthier people who are not experiencing this disease in the same way as students and families in our communities. If this were a rich person’s disease, we would have seen a very different response. We would not have the high rate of infections and deaths.”

“Our goals for a safe physical return to schools remain the same: One: LA County must be out of the purple tier. Two: Staff required to return to in-person work must be either fully vaccinated or provided access to full vaccination. Three: Safety conditions must be in place in our schools, such as PPE, social distancing, ventilation, and a cleaning regimen.”

“If you condition funding on the reopening of schools, that money will only go to white and wealthier and healthier school communities that do not have the transmission rates that low-income Black and Brown communities do,” said UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz. “This is a recipe for propagating structural racism and it is deeply unfair to the students we serve.”

Politico reported that the statewide California Teachers Association liked parts of the UTLA’s plan, but made it clear that local unions still have to vote and negotiate on their specific needs.

Los Angeles County is currently in the “purple tier” category of infections, which is the most infected level. However, new infections have been dropping throughout the county and the state.

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