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Opinion

Readers React: LAUSD’s impending teachers strike shows the desperate need for a parcel tax measure

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On Aug. 23, L.A. Unified teachers at Thomas Starr King Middle School in Los Feliz talk after casting ballots on whether they will allow their union’s leadership to call a strike.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Kudos to teachers and the Los Angeles Unified School District for seeing the need to work with Sacramento to increase state funding for K-12 education. (“Why Los Angeles teachers may have to strike,” Opinion, Jan. 6)

In the meantime, let’s presume positive intentions on both side of the negotiating table. Teachers need a raise and increased staffing, and the district needs to maintain the managerial prerogative of supervision. That being said, there is still the sticky question of fiscal solvency.

Therefore, the board of education needs to initiate a parcel tax plan soon to replenish the district’s reserves. If the board delays, then the district should be divided into approximately six independent school districts with their own boards and budgets. It is conceivable that these new local education agencies will be better motivated and equipped to meet the needs and values of their respective communities.

The L.A. Unified board is living on borrowed time. Let’s hope it has the courage to move forward with a tax initiative.

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Tom Kaminski, Manhattan Beach

The writer was a principal in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

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To the editor: Thank you for providing the space for United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl to clearly set forth the reasons why LAUSD teachers are on the verge of taking the drastic measure of going on strike.

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It is a sad fact that in addition to all of the duties they must attend to, teachers are burdened with the additional task of advocating for their students.

As a primary school teacher, I wished to just be able to “do my job” in the classroom, but I finally realized and accepted that fighting for the well-being of my students was another part of my job. Other teachers know this, and some parents do, but the general public is largely unaware of how many hats we teachers have to wear.

I urge readers to look beyond the rhetoric and seek the facts, and to pressure the LAUSD to do the right thing and bargain in good faith.

Michele Harris-Padrón, Santa Barbara

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