NEWS BRIEFS : Teachers Aides Agree to L.A. Unified Pact

After more than a year of often-bitter negotiations, the Los Angeles Unified School District board approved a two-year contract with its 10,000 teaching assistants, 70% of whom are bilingual Latinas.

The assistants, members of Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union, will receive a pay raise and also will be eligible for medical benefits if they work at least four hours per day. The contract also provides more money and benefits to assistants who take college classes toward their teaching credentials.


Civil rights groups have launched an investigation into what they describe as a disturbing escalation of hate crimes and violence by U.S. law enforcement officers against immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border. The groups plan to issue a report that will include recommendations on how to reduce the violence.

A new agency will oversee the development and preservation of Olvera Street under a measure adopted by the Los Angeles City Council. The agency, to be run by seven trustees, will take jurisdiction over Olvera Street and Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Park away from the City Department of Recreation and Parks.


Jimmy Santiago Baca, a well-known Chicano poet, will teach poetry and creative writing this spring at Santa Monica College. Baca taught himself to read and write while serving a prison term in Arizona.

Carlos Viramontes has been elected chairman of the board of the Mexican-American Opportunity Foundation, a Latino social services organization. Viramontes is special markets manager for Anheuser-Busch Inc.

Fernando Oaxaca, a local business executive, has been named president of the board of the newly established Mexican Cultural Institute of Los Angeles. The board includes prominent Mexican-Americans and Mexican government officials. Mexico is providing $250,000 in initial funding to promote Mexican cultural and educational activities in the Los Angeles area.

Monte Perez has taken over as director of the Southern California office in Pasadena of Educational Testing Service. He has been with the testing service since 1986.

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