With teachers' strike settled, campaign for more education funding begins

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The six-day Los Angeles teachers' strike ended with a warning from the County Office of Education that the new contract puts the LAUSD budget in peril, falling below its needed reserve fund.

The deal gave teachers a 6 percent pay raise, gradual class size reduction and more support staffing in counselors, nurses and librarians. The governor asked the state superintendent to conduct a study on the effect of public charter schools, but he did not call for a charter moratorium that teachers also wanted.

Appearing on Eyewitness Newsmakers in separate interviews, Superintendent Austin Beutner and UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl agreed the district needs more revenue from Sacramento. They expressed hope Gov. Gavin Newsom will add money to the K-12 budget when the new state budget is enacted this summer.

K-12 is 40 percent of the state's budget. Almost all of LAUSD's money comes from the state, which collects local taxes and distributes it. The district budget is $8 billion.

Both Beutner and Caputo-Pearl agreed the walkout raised public awareness.

"The benefit of the conversation in the last month is many more people support public education," said Beutner.

"Our members did something, raising awareness for funding and other issues," Caputo-Pearl said.

A measure revising Prop 13 qualified for next year's ballot, allowing increases in business property taxes. If approved, it will generate billions more dollars. A local parcel tax of as much as $600 could be on the same ballot.

"It's consistent with what we said throughout," Beutner said. "We spent every nickel we have in the classrooms, we have to go out and find more nickels."
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.