Fact Check: Is LAUSD Required to Hire Teachers / Lower Class Sizes?
Alexander Russo | June 12, 2013
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LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy and perhaps a couple of School Board members would rather give teachers raises and fund programs with any new money coming in rather than hire back teachers and lower class sizes.
But is it up to them? Hiring teachers and lowering class sizes is contractually required, according to LAUSD teacher Brent Smiley:
“I’m all in favor of getting a raise,” commented Smiley, who is also an officer of UTLA’s political action committee, known as PACE. “But the Superintendent needs to understand that his predecessor negotiated a set class size level. If the good Doctor Deasy wants to use the money for something else, then he must go back to the negotiating table.”
Well, according to LAUSD General Counsel David Holmquist, Smiley is mistaken: “There is nothing in the current Collective Bargaining agreement between UTLA and the District requiring an automatic lowering of class sizes,” Holmquist told LA School Report. Though, Holmquist added, “UTLA is certainly free to make such a proposal.”
Even if there’s nothing in the contract requiring restoration of certain staffing levels, Smiley and the teachers union may still get its through the class size resolution introduced by several Board members last week, endorsed by UTLA, and scheduled for a vote on Tuesday.