Students Walk Out Over Proposed Teacher Changes

200 teachers will have to reapply for their jobs. Only about 100 would make the cut.

Hundreds of students walked out of class in Huntington Park High to protest a teacher shake-up by the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Students were upset over a series of teacher layoffs and major staff changes the district says is necessary to fix Huntington Park's history of poor performance that includes a 54% graduation rate.

Hundreds left class at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning and marched peacefully along the seven-mile journey LAUSD's Administration Building at 3rd and Beaudry where a public meeting on the issue was held. LAPD officers where on hand monitoring traffic and student safety.

Tuesday afternoon, the Board of Education approved a "reconstitution" plan to replace at least half the school's staff by July. The move is part of a larger, district-wide restructuring of several schools the district hopes will boost sagging test scores.

Under the plan, 200 teachers would have to reapply for their jobs. Only about 100 would make the cut.

"This is about making this school better and greater so that all kids achieve, not just 5%," said school board member Yolie Flores.

United Teachers of Los Angeles, the union that represents the teachers, disagreed and expressed anger over the decision.

"If the board of education had provided the help these people needed for the last ten years, there could have been change here," said Betty Foster, a UTLA board member. "Reconstitution has not proven to be effective anywhere its been tried."

Several students tried to attend the school board meeting but were turned away. School officials said two students had already spoken on their behalf earlier in the day.

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