Los Angeles

Thousands of LAUSD Students Head Back to Class

More than a half-million Los Angeles Unified School District students will head back to campus Tuesday as classes resume at the nation's second-largest school district.

Streets will likely be more congested in many neighborhoods as parents shuttle their children to school or buses maneuver through traffic delivering students. The start of school also means traditional warnings for motorists to be extra careful of students walking to class.

The school year marks the first for Austin Beutner as LAUSD superintendent, and he plans to tour a variety of campuses and meet with students and staff throughout the district to mark the first day of classes.

Beutner will begin the day with an early morning tour of Edward R. Roybal Learning Center before attending morning roll call at the Los Angeles School Police Department as officers deploy. Beutner is also scheduled to visit classrooms and meet staff at campuses including University Pathways Public Service Academy at Charles Drew Middle School, Coeur D'Alene Avenue Elementary in Venice, San Fernando Senior High School, University High School Charter in West Los Angeles and the Ellen Ochoa Learning Center in Cudahy.

The excitement of the first day of school will be slightly overshadowed by the lingering possibility of a teachers' strike. United Teachers Los Angeles, the union representing district teachers, declared an impasse in contract talks last month, leading to the appointment of a state mediator.

Should mediation fail to bring the sides together, a fact-finding period will follow, after which the union could potentially call a strike.

The union has been asking for 6.5 percent salary increases, along with steps to lower class sizes, reduce standardized testing and implement "accountability measures'' for charter schools. The district has offered ongoing 2 percent salary hikes, along with a one-time 2 percent bonus and a $500 stipend for materials and supplies.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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