School Workers Say Passage of Public Choice Resolution Fails to Fully Protect a Key Component to Student Learning


Terry Carter, Spokesperson
213-700-5617 |

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

LAUSD bus drivers, custodians, classroom aides, food service workers, and other classified employees—a majority of them also LAUSD parents—are hopeful that the School Board’s decision today to expand opportunities for innovative school operators will have a positive impact on student success. However, we are deeply disappointed that the resolution leaves out a key component to student learning—stable and secure jobs with a living wage and health benefits. While workers are pleased to see some protections, they don’t go far enough and they don’t protect all employee classifications.

“As a parent, I support efforts to give my children an excellent education. But as a worker who provides for my family, I think the Board failed to understand how a good job helps a student learn. It’s very hard for any child to learn when there is poverty and instability at home—no matter how good the school is,” says Lilia Garcia, a School Supervision Aide at Norwood Elementary School.

Hiring non-District subcontractors will not serve the students of LAUSD. Living wages and health benefits that the District provides have been key ingredients for preventing high staff turnover. By creating good jobs in the neighborhood, schools have been able to attract workers who stay for many years, getting to know entire families and providing stability for students as they grow up. These elements will be lost if school operators are simply pushed to hire the lowest-bidding contractor.

SEIU Local 99 is a union of more than 43,000 dedicated education workers who guide our children from preschool and kindergarten, through grade school, high school, and at community colleges. We are teachers, paraeducators, custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, first responders, and others working in schools, colleges, and administrative offices throughout Southern California. We are part of SEIU International, the fastest-growing union in North America with 2.1 million members.

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