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Opinion

Readers React: Shame on LAUSD for hiring highly-paid outside substitutes to work during a teachers strike

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Students depart Belmont High School in Los Angeles on Jan. 7 after the first day of class in 2019.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The article on the Los Angeles Unified School District’s contingency planning for the impending teachers strike says: “The district also promises that students will receive instruction. But with the regular teachers gone and substitute staffing thin, it’s hard to know what that instruction will look like.”

This is a recipe for chaos. At any grade level, substitute teaching is very difficult at best. It takes a really skilled, experienced and highly competent substitute to “teach” in someone else’s classroom. I don’t think much “instruction” will be going on under the conditions these substitutes face.

That these people will be paid significantly more than the substitutes already employed by the district for crossing the picket lines is beyond disgusting. Shame on LAUSD for even considering this plan. They should get back to the negotiating table and support their teachers.

Diana Wolff, Rancho Palos Verdes

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The writer is a professor emeritus of education at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

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To the editor: As a retired LAUSD teacher, I resent the district’s strategy of hiring outside substitute “teachers” who will be paid more than regular substitutes.

These workers, along with district administrators who hold teaching credentials, will theoretically run the schools during the strike. The implication is that anyone off the street can do an adequate job teaching.

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Therein lies the LAUSD administration’s problem: It has an underlying institutional disrespect for the classroom teacher, a trained teacher’s professionalism and skills, and a trained teacher’s need for resources to provide an excellent education.

Dan Hennessy, Arcadia

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