For Immediate Release
April 7, 2014
Contact: Blanca Gallegos
(213) 387-8393, ext. 219
(213) 500-9594 (cell)
SEIU Local 99 Executive Director Courtni Pugh issued the following statement on today’s release of LAUSD’s “Local Control and Accountability Plan”:
“The cafeteria workers, teaching assistants, custodians, bus drivers, and other education workers of SEIU Local 99—many of them the ‘working poor’ of LAUSD—believe that Governor Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula is intended to ensure that every child receives a quality education in a safe, healthy, and supportive environment. As California begins to reinvest in its schools, we must recognize children’s needs both inside and outside of the classroom and ensure that school jobs are good jobs in our communities.
“The District’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) takes a strong step in the right direction by investing much needed resources to serving students with special needs. Special needs students make up a large portion of the population that the LCFF is intended to target. Our neighborhood schools have enormous responsibility—and potential—to address persistent inequities, close the educational achievement gap, and serve as vibrant community centers for students and families. After decades of disinvestment, we are finally moving in the right direction with the LCFF. But we must start with the basics. Every student has a fundamental right to the essential services that make learning possible, such as clean restrooms and classrooms, safe playgrounds, and healthy meals.
“While we are encouraged by the District’s strong investment in serving students with special needs, we urge Board Members to build standards in the LCAP to ensure that all students can learn in a clean, safe, healthy and supportive environment. Although their educational needs may vary, all students must have basic support services that directly impact their ability to learn and succeed in school. As the LCFF invests in our neediest students, we must not disrupt or neglect current programs and services that benefit all children, such as clean classrooms, sanitary restrooms, essential nutrition, safe and on-time bus rides, support in the classroom (especially for the most vulnerable student populations), safe playgrounds, secure campuses, up-to-date technology, and school advocates who connect with their parents and give those parents a voice.
“We look to the District to implement the LCFF in a way that invests in our children and restores essential student services that were cut drastically during the Great Recession. Nearly half of our members are parents or guardians of school-age children. They also are among the lowest paid employees in the Los Angeles Unified School District, their children officially falling into the ‘low-income’ category that Governor Brown’s LCFF will serve. The District has a unique opportunity with these dollars to do the right thing for their children, the children of the working poor.”
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SEIU Local 99 is a union of nearly 45,000 education workers who provide services essential to student learning in K-12 schools, early education centers and homes, administrative offices, and community colleges throughout Southern California, including teacher aides, custodians, cafeteria workers, gardeners, bus drivers, child care providers, Head Start teachers, and others dedicated to serving the whole child. Nearly 50% of SEIU Local 99 members are also parents or guardians of school-age or preschool-age children.