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L.A. Schools Hire 400 ‘Scabstitutes’ as Teachers’ Strike Looms

LOS ANGELES, Calif.—With the United Teachers Los Angeles union planning to strike Jan. 10, the Los Angeles Unified School District has hired 400 “substitutes” to keep schools open. “We have hired substitutes, we have made plans as to alternate curriculums for days that there is a strike,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said Dec. 27. “It is outrageously irresponsible for Supt. Austin Beutner to force this strike when the district holds $1.9 billion in reserves and it is even more irresponsible to think that 400 substitutes can educate more than 600,000 students,” UTLA responded Dec. 28. The union said it believed that hiring teachers from outside its bargaining unit was illegal, and that it was considering legal action to protect the more than 2,000 regular substitutes it represents. Kindergarten teacher Kimberly Slater Haim told the Los Angeles Daily News she had heard the district is paying strikebreakers $400 to $500 a day, “a lot more than we make.” The two sides appear close to an agreement on raising pay, but the district insists that union demands for smaller class sizes and hiring more counselors, librarians, and nurses would increase its $500 million annual deficit to more than $800 million. Read more

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