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msanthrope's Journal
Posted by msanthrope in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Oct 11th 2010, 08:50 PM
Sharail Reed filed suit against her school district. She got an injunction and a settlement. The teacherís union will object to that settlement. UTLA Challenges ACLU

The background:

LAUSD was sued by a group of gutsy 7th and 8th graders who were tired of the California State budget cuts hitting their schools disproportionately. Injunction, Page 3, line 25 They lost teachers, whereas schools that had more well-to-do student populations lost significantly less, or none at all. Id.

Why? Seniority. Teachers with seniority in the LAUSD tend to leave poor schools for richer ones, leaving the youngest teachers at the worst schools. So when the budget cuts hit, the last-one-hired, first-one fired union rule went into effect, hitting primarily poorer schools. Complaint, p.3, lines 5-20.

Markham, where Sharail goes, lost 30% of its teacher population. Injunction, Page 3, line 25 Other schools lost 50 to 72% percent of teachers. Complaint, p.3, line 19. The District wide average? 6.6%. Injunction, Page 3, line 25.

Sharail, and other kids, filed on equal protection grounds. And she won an Injunction. Even better, the LAUSD woke up and realized that they had a duty to Sharail and students like her.

So instead of a long court fight, the Plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU, and the District agreed to a settlement that protects 45 of LAUSDís poorest schools from losing most of their teachers.

Who objects? The teacherís union. UTLA Challenges ACLU

The District did argue they had to follow the contract, protecting the 'property' interest of teachers, but teachers have no vested interest in a contract that voids fundamental rights. Injunction, Page 7, lines 24-26

Nor does state law protect the seniority system, since seniority can be suspended if equal protection is violated. Injunction, Page 7, lines 12-16

This is parent/student reform via the courts. And fundamental rights are trumped by no contract.

Hereís the statement of Sharail Reed, filed with her Complaint.

My name is Sharail Reed. Iím in 8th grade at Markham and when I grow up I want to be a psychologist or a lawyer.

This suit is about how itís wrong for us to have so many different teachers and not really to be learning. In my history class this year I had so many different teachers that it was a blur. They would write their names on the board and the next day the name would be erased because the teacher would be gone. One time we stood outside the class most of the period after the bell rang waiting for a sub to show up.

Iím part of this suit because Iím standing up for what I believe and what I know is right. I donít want this to happen to somebody else. I've already been through it and I want it to stop right here. Iím trying to make a difference so the 7th graders here wonít have a bunch of subs.

SNIP

I know in other schools none of the teachers left because of the budget cuts. Itís not fair for my school to lose so many teachers. It feels like everyone else is learning except for us. It feels like weíre a lower class school and like weíre not as thought about as other schools. When it comes down to it, we all want to learn but when we donít get the opportunity to learn weíre left with nothing.
Statement of a Heroine

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