First-Ever Strike of Charter School Teachers Set for Today


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Parents and students at The Accelerated Schools plan to deliver a petition to the charter school organization's chief executive today, demanding an end to a teachers strike after an attempt to do the same the day before ended with him calling police.

“Outraged parents are determined to have their voices heard and will be returning” this morning “to again attempt to deliver their petition in support of teachers' demands,” according to a statement by United Teachers Los Angeles, which represents The Accelerated Schools' teachers.

“The petition calls on Williams and the charter school's board of trustees to negotiate a fair contract for teachers and to end the bitter strike at the three schools.”

The statement said parents and teachers entered the school premises Thursday demanding to speak to Williams, “but rather than meeting to discuss resolving the ongoing work stoppage and its impact on teachers and students, Williams called the police.

“Outraged parents are determined to have their voices heard and will be returning (this) morning to again attempt to deliver their petition in support of teachers' demands,” the statement said.

About 80 Accelerated teachers will be striking for a fourth day today. The strike is the first by charter school teachers in California's history.

Negotiations between teachers and The Accelerated Schools began 20 months ago and the top priority was slowing the pace of teacher turnover, according to a statement from the UTLA earlier this week.

“Between last year and this year, 40 percent of teachers left the schools,” the statement said. “The instability caused by high turnover hurts students and the school's ability to deliver a high-quality educational program.”

The union wants what it calls “common-sense job protections” to allow teachers to advocate for their students without fear of reprisal. The exact nature of those job protections was not immediately disclosed. Competitive health benefits are also a demand of the union in order to retain highly qualified, veteran teachers, the union said.

Photo: Getty Images


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