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The public needs to back up its support of L.A. teachers with more money for education

The public needs to back up its support of L.A. teachers with more money for education
UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl announces the vote by teachers to accept the contract offer by the LAUSD on Jan. 22. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles, and the L.A. Unified School District both want to provide the best education for all students, the best working environment for all employees and a positive future for public education.

The settlement of the teachers’ strike is a victory for both sides, but it is not a solution for the future problems that will continue to exist. We as a society must realize that our children deserve the best we have to offer, and we must adjust our priorities and demand more from elected officials. Our funding models must also change.

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Our educators and their students are the future of our country.

Edward A. Sussman, Fountain Valley

The writer is former superintendent of the Downey Unified School District.

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To the editor: When L.A. Unified teachers went on strike 30 years ago, I was just returning from three months of unpaid maternity leave. I suppose I was so overwhelmed with my first baby at age 40 that I really don’t remember how it was at school.

I do remember being thrilled with the raise we won, but (and pay attention, today’s teachers) a few years later we got a substantial pay cut that took years to recover. I remember buying a new car, only to have my salary cut by about the same amount as the monthly payment.

Just 10 years ago, the economy was lousy, thousands of teachers lost their jobs and more kids were stuffed into fewer classrooms. So, as a 40-year teaching veteran, I wish my fellow educators manageable class sizes and professional paychecks.

Cheryl Clark, Long Beach

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To the editor: I am enormously relieved after the teachers’ strike. Here’s why.

First, the strike seems to have achieved significant success in meeting UTLA’s demands.

Second, the tenacity, passion and bravery of the strikers and their supporters have established indisputably that the teachers of Los Angeles will not be messed with anymore.

Finally, LAUSD will no longer take Los Angeles teachers for granted or get away with their shameful mistreatment and exploitation of the true educational agents in this city.

I believe a great reckoning will be coming for the LAUSD board members in the next election.

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Clive Leeman, Ojai

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