The Teachers Union Strike in LA

The subhead on Monday’s Wall Street Journal article on the United Teachers Los Angeles union strike against the Los Angeles Unified School District says it all.

Nearly one in five LA public school students attends charters unaffected by the strike; union wants a cap on them

Herein lies one more proof of the disingenuousness of the UTLA. While the UTLA is striking, demanding a cap on the number of charter schools (and money, money, money), all the while holding Los Angeles’ public school students hostage to their demand, the charters are open and actually educating their students.

With its strike demand, the UTLA is ignoring the enormous opportunity that should be available for the children of LA: the two systems of schools could complement each other.  Instead, the union has chosen to present the situation as a zero-sum game. The contrast couldn’t be sharper.

It’s no wonder the union wants to eliminate what it sees as its competition; it can’t stand the clarity the charters’ existence and performance provide in the union’s zero sum.

Cynically, the union’s demand for money, is nothing more than what unions do; although, here it’s also a smoke screen.


In the end, the LAUSD caved completely. In addition to a 6% pay raise and more than $400 million in additional money to be spent on the union, there’s this:

Union President Alex Caputo-Pearl said the agreement goes beyond contractual issues and addresses “having accountability and regulations on charter schools,” including how to give traditional schools a bigger say when charters are given space on their campuses.

Never mind that that space was available to the charters because the union’s schools weren’t using it. No, contract matters, as Caputo-Pearl just confessed, had little to do with the union’s strike. Now they have near-veto say on what their competition will be allowed to do. That’s to the great harm of the children this union has pretended to want to protect.

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