California’s largest local teachers union on Monday slammed the state’s new school reopening plan as “a recipe for propagating structural racism” hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic lawmakers unveiled their compromise proposal.
The United Teachers of Los Angeles’ strong condemnation is a bad sign for Newsom and Democrats who spent months working to strike a deal on legislation they believe will spur districts to reopen. Los Angeles Unified is the second largest district in the nation with about 600,000 students — and by far the largest in the state with roughly 10 percent of California’s public schoolchildren.
“We are being unfairly targeted by people who are not experiencing this disease in the same ways as students and families are in our communities. If this was a rich person’s disease, we would’ve seen a very different response. We would not have the high rates of infections and deaths,” UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said at a news conference Monday. “Now educators are asked instead to sacrifice ourselves, the safety of our students and the safety of our schools.”