LAUSD sees higher attendance rate in 1st week of school as teachers union contract talks continue

The union filed an unfair practice charge against LAUSD for adding four extra optional days to the academic calendar.

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BySid Garcia via KABC logo
Saturday, August 20, 2022
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Los Angeles students, teachers and staff wrapped up their first week of school, and though attendance is up and campuses are fully staffed, some teachers aren't happy about some extra days added to the academic calendar.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles students, teachers and staff wrapped up their first week of school, and though attendance is up and campuses are fully staffed, some teachers aren't happy about some extra days added to the academic calendar.

On Friday, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho toured Murchison Street Elementary near Boyle Heights.

He was accompanied by Mayor Eric Garcetti and State Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo.

The new superintendent said attendance is up compared to last year's first week of school.

"We started with last year about 50% of our kids chronically absent ... daily attendance of about 77%. This year, we're going to end the week with an average attendance exceeding 93% based on what we've detected," said Carvalho.

The superintendent also said the district is fully staffed with credentialed teachers.

However, the union representing teachers has now filed an unfair practice charge against LAUSD for adding four extra optional days to the academic calendar.

The union said the extra days could cost the district well over $100 million and is money the union says could be used to fund other programs.

This comes as the district and teachers are trying to agree on a new contract.

"We're going to get this done," said Carvalho. "I believe that people of good will can carve out common ground and negotiate a contract that reflects support for teachers but also focuses what's good for kids."

Garcetti and Carrillo, who grew up in the area, pledged their support to help fully fund what the district needs to not only compensate teachers and staff, but also pay for resources students will need from pre-K through high school to help them learn and be safe at school.

"We know that there are no boundaries between a child's life," said Garcetti. "We don't say there's a city and a school district, we say there's a child and we need to make sure that we serve them and I love what I see so far."

"The state of California is leading the way across the nation of assuring that every child, regardless of zip code, has a free breakfast and lunch while we provide additional resources for educators and teachers across the state," said Carrillo.