LA Teacher Protest
The L.A. Unified School District is facing a huge budget shortfall – $718 million, to be exact – and they’re looking at the possibility of laying off nearly 9,000 workers. It’s really a horrible situation for students, teachers, parents, and everyone else.
But the response of the teachers seems a bit silly to me:
A raucous group of nearly 50 teachers and a few parents disrupted the board meeting. The group announced it was staging an act of civil disobedience and came prepared to be taken away in handcuffs. Some had previously volunteered to be arrested.
However, district officials made no move to carry out arrests and the group abandoned its effort.
“We got our message across. We made the best of it. We’ll move on from here,” said A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles.
Teachers said layoffs will increase classroom sizes, get rid of some of the younger, more energetic teachers due to seniority rules, and eliminate innovative programs.
First, in a district with 36,000 teachers, and over 48,000 employees, a group of (almost) 50 made up of parents and teachers isn’t really moving, but putting that aside, look at the reasons they give for opposing the layoffs. Of course, it’s true that classes will get larger, younger teachers will have to move on, and some programs will have to be eliminated. But none of those are relevant to the problem of a budget shortfall.
The group rightfully mentions that “frills” should be cut first. I don’t know how much the district’s TV station costs to run, but if it isn’t self-supported through advertising, it needs to get shut down and sold off.
But the average teacher salary in LA is around $50,000. If they lay off all 8,800 teachers they’ll still have to come up with $278 million in other budget reductions. Life is hard facing massive job losses, and the possibility of being out of work long term. But these teachers seem to think they can just walk in and demand that everyone keep their jobs, even when there is no money to pay for them. Is this illustrative of the entitlement mindset that seems to be so prevalent in the current era?