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LA Teachers Union Says Newsom’s Campus Reopening Deal Is Unfair To Hard-Hit Districts

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UTLA president Cecily Myart-Cruz addresses members during a Facebook Live video on Monday, March 1, 2020. Screenshot/UTLA Facebook Live
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The leader of L.A.'s teachers union sharply criticized Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislative leaders for their plan to bring the youngest elementary students back to campuses as early as April 1.

United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) president Cecily Myart-Cruz called the plan “a recipe for propagating structural racism.”

The plan offers more than $6.6 billion in reopening aid to K-12 schools — including $2 billion in incentives for schools to open up grades K through 2, even in situations when a county remains in California’s most-serious “purple tier.”

Myart-Cruz said that would put hard-hit school systems, like Los Angeles Unified, at a disadvantage:

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“If you [use] condition funding on the reopening of schools, that money will only go to white and wealthier schools that don't have the transmission rates that low-income Black and brown communities do.”

Myart-Cruz said LAUSD campuses should not reopen until L.A. County exits the purple tier, until all staff are vaccinated and until the union comes to an agreement with the district on a set of safety protocols.

The UTLA president’s statement stands in contrast with the leaders of the two statewide teacher unions, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers:

UTLA members are voting this week to decide what conditions would be necessary for them to return to the classroom.

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