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LA Unified board returning momentarily into public view

LA School Report | December 1, 2014

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Richard Vladovic elected as LAUSD board president for 2014-2015 yearThe LA Unified school board, gathering again tomorrow, will appear in open session long enough to hear the introduction of a largely symbolic measure, a resolution to support President Obama’s executive order on immigration.

Then, the members will disappear into a closed meeting to review the usual subjects of closed meetings — personnel moves, litigation and the status of labor negotiations, which is now largely focused on the teachers union, UTLA, which remains without a contract.

So far, it’s hard to discern whether the district and UTLA are making any progress toward a new agreement, which would be the first since George W. Bush was still president. For the most part, negotiating sessions have been defined by position-taking, with little effort by either side to find a middle ground.

With that as a backdrop, union president Alex Caputo-Pearl has been asking his members, “Are you ready for a fight,” which taken to its logical conclusion would suggest a strike. A strike would appear to remain some distance off, inasmuch as the district and union have not gotten down to the business of “bargaining” in the conventional sense.

But a strike would seem a perfect denoument to this academic year in LA Unified, already buffeted by the languid pace of digital device distribution, the inept rollout of the student data tracking system known as MiSiS and a turnover in the superintendent’s office.

Anyway, negotiators for the union and the district are scheduled to meet up again on Thursday. One can only hope for the best. Or, at least, progress.


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