School Board Approves Agreement with United Teachers Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (June 14, 2016) – The Los Angeles School Board today unanimously approved a labor agreement with L.A. Unified’s largest union, United Teachers Los Angeles. Considered a “reopener’” to the contract reached last year, it focuses on teacher evaluations and class sizes in specific areas.

The terms revise the teacher evaluation process and provide additional teachers for secondary schools to add a new elective class, such as visual and performing arts, ethnic studies or reduce the number of students in an existing elective at middle and high schools. The top 55 high-needs schools will each gain an additional teacher to reduce class sizes in fourth- through sixth-grade. To provide more student services, secondary counselors, and psychiatric social workers will get an additional 17 days at schools. No more than 55 students may participate in middle and high school physical education classes.

Regarding performance evaluations, teachers now will have fewer evaluation focus elements, allowing them to go in-depth into their teaching practice and receive more meaningful feedback. After the classroom observation, feedback will be provided quickly. The ratings are “effective practice,” “developing practice” and “ineffective practice.” With these changes, the District and the union believe that teachers will be more engaged in the evaluation process and take greater ownership of their own professional growth.

Superintendent Michelle King said, “The District worked really hard to make negotiations a collaborative process and to create an agreement that will work for a very long time benefitting the students of Los Angeles.”

Several board members applauded the agreement.

School Board President Steve Zimmer said, “As a veteran classroom teacher, I applaud UTLA and the District for working together to ensure that we value our teachers not just in word, but in action. I am confident LAUSD remains on a path to implementing fair and meaningful teacher evaluations that will lead to improved instruction for all students. I look forward to continuing the collaboration that led to today’s approval and thank the rank and file of UTLA for their everyday commitment to our students.”

“As we celebrate graduations, culminations and transition of progress, we express gratitude to all staff, especially our teachers. We thank you for inspiring our children to learn, for strengthening your skills to include more students in this success and for leading our campus towards a culture of opportunity, achievement, and light,” said L.A. Unified School Board Member Mónica García. “Increasing equity and reducing class size in fourth- and fifth-graders are valuable for students and our quest for equity throughout the LAUSD.”

Board Member Scott Schmerelson said, “This agreement is a tribute to what we can accomplish through collaboration and good faith. I am proud and grateful for the opportunity to support an agreement that is a win-win for our district, our teachers and, most importantly, our students.”

“I am proud to be part of a board that values the complex work we ask our teachers to do every day,” said Board Member Dr. Ref Rodriguez. “Since joining my colleagues on this board, I have advocated for smaller class sizes to allow for more personalized learning. Both smaller class sizes and meaningful evaluation processes will move us closer to an increased level of teaching and learning in our classrooms.”

Board Member Mónica Ratliff said, “Many students and parents want smaller class sizes and arts instruction. I strongly support strategic class size reduction and arts instruction. I am proud to support this agreement, which goes even further than the collaborative effort of UTLA and L.A. Unified to create a Class Size Task Force by actually dedicating funds to class size reduction in a number of our K-12 schools with an added focus on arts and electives in our secondary schools.”

The new terms are part of the current 2014-17 contract, which included a 10 percent salary increase.

                                                            ###

Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766

Attached Files