UTLA’s Strike Excuses Don’t Hold Water
Alex Caputo-Pearl, head of the United Teachers of Los Angeles, has made smaller class size one of the demands the union will strike for. Larry Sand shows how class size makes little if any difference in the Orange County Register. Nice try, Alex. Good show, Larry! Now Mr. Caputo-Pearl will have to find some other excuses.
Under the leadership of its combative President Alex Caputo-Pearl, the United Teachers of Los Angeles is planning to strike, very possibly in January. The union has a laundry list of demands, some of which the Los Angeles Unified School District has agreed to, in part. But unlike the union, LAUSD is constrained by fiscal realities, and has county and state auditors waiting to pounce if it missteps.
UTLA’s main order of business — not surprisingly — is a salary increase for its teachers. But a close second is the class-size issue. The union is calling for an across-the-board cut, while the district is offering to reduce class size in 90 “high-need” schools. According to the latest data, the pupil-to-teacher ratio in Los Angeles is 19.7, not exactly an unreasonable number. While that is above the national average of 14.5 to one, it is far below the 1955 level when the ratio of teachers to students in public schools was 26.9 to one.