Strikes Empty Desks

reason: Teachers Union Closes L.A. Schools Yet Again

It should be normal for classroom teachers to be in classrooms for students. But, when children’s education becomes a jobs program rather than an education program, then educating children takes the back seat — if students have any seat at all.

Matt Welch from reason updates us on the current Los Angeles school shutdown created by the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) and the United Teachers Los Angeles union (UTLA).

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the country’s second-largest, closed its doors Tuesday on the first of a three-day solidarity strike by teachers who are backing a 30 percent pay raise plus $2 per hour “equity wage adjustment” for custodial workers represented by the powerful Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Keeping kids locked out of schools has become quite the specialty for United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). The union struck for six days over contract negotiations in January 2019, then successfully pressured LAUSD leadership to keep school buildings closed for more than a year after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, despite Southern California’s famously temperate and ventilatable weather.

Still more students would have been turned away from the schoolhouse doors had the pesky legal system not gotten in the teachers’ way. In the fall of 2021, as part of the long-awaited full reopening of government-run public schools, the LAUSD imposed one of the nation’s only vaccine mandates on students ages 12 and up. That requirement was scheduled to be backed by the physical barring of an estimated 34,000 unvaccinated students in December 2021, but the district postponed enforcement at the last minute, then was successfully sued by the parent of a non-compliant 12-year-old.

Matt Welch,