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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Los Angeles’s Largest Teachers’ Union Is Out of Control

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Sonia Vasquez, 39, and her daughter Angelique Sepulveda, 4, leave a back-to-school clinic for coronavirus testing, vaccines, and free backpacks, in Los Angeles, Calif., August 12, 2021. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) Thankfully, a pair of statewide ballot initiatives would allow parents to fight back.

When they show you who they are, believe them. Teachers’ unions have shown their true colors over the past 18 months by consistently prioritizing their own interests over the needs of families — and some of them are so drunk on power that they can’t seem to stop.

Last year, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) gave away the game in its report on safely reopening schools, which was packed with unrelated political demands such as a wealth tax, Medicare for All, police-free schools, and a ban on charter schools. And the union doesn’t appear to have learned from the ensuing public-relations disaster, judging from an exclusive interview its president, Cecily Myart-Cruz, recently gave to Los Angeles magazine.

In the interview, conducted after more than a year in which Los Angeles public schools have been closed to in-person instruction, Myart-Cruz insisted that “there is no such thing as learning loss.” Even if it weren’t wholly inaccurate, that claim would be awfully self-serving, given that UTLA and other teachers’ unions are largely responsible for that year-plus of shuttered schools. And one must ask oneself: If it were accurate, what would that say about the quality of in-person education provided by those schools when they’re open?

Of course, though, they aren’t open, and teachers’ unions are still refusing to commit to rectifying that problem — according to Los Angeles’s interviewer, “nothing [Myart-Cruz] said during our interview would have done much to allay” parents’ “concerns” about continued remote instruction. UTLA is, however, calling for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for all eligible students, as well as stricter quarantine rules.

The chaos of the past 18 months has been very profitable for the public-school monopoly. Teachers’ unions can hold children’s educations hostage and leverage the resulting disorder to lobby for additional resources from taxpayers as a precondition of returning to normalcy.

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