Mediation Continues for Los Angeles Teachers
Tuesday, October, 23, 2018
Despite ongoing efforts to remedy the contract dispute between the Los Angeles Unified School District and its teachers, the two sides seem far from a resolution and the teachers’ union is hurling accusations at the school superintendent.
According to the union, Austin Beutner held “lavish meetings with charter school advocates.” The union made its claim based on information from Beutner’s district calendar, which it was able to review because of a public records request it made. The calendar showed 34 meetings over a four month period at locations including Pacific Dining Car, the members-only California Club, the Hilton Checkers, and the Bel-Air Bay Club in Pacific Palisades.
During that time, Beutner visited school campuses just 29 times.
Said one union member after learning of the meetings, “Beutner must explain to the public why he was at these expensive restaurants and clubs during school hours.” There are also questions about whether county credit cards were used to pay for the outings.
As part of the ongoing labor mediation sessions, union members want more accountability measures for charter schools and have criticized school board members for what they believe is a trend toward charter schools.
The district did not respond to the accusations concerning the meetings and issued only a statement confirming the upcoming mediation session and stating, "L.A. Unified remains committed to resolving the issues through the mediation process.”
The union’s criticism of Beutner is ongoing and they have in the past complained that he is an investment banker, former LA deputy mayor, and has a lack of experience in education. Following the first mediation session, the union accused him for spreading disinformation.