2017 UTLA Leadership Conference Recap
More than 650 UTLA site leaders powered up for the school year ahead at the UTLA Leadership Conference from July 28 to 30 at the Bonaventure Hotel.
July 28, 2017 — In his Friday night speech, UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl blasted the dismal level of school funding and introduced a bold concept—20 by 20—to fund LA schools at $20,000 per pupil by the year 2020.
“If public education is to survive and thrive in Los Angeles, it is time for us to call the question on why our schools are being starved,” Caputo-Pearl said. “Jumping from $11,000 to $20,000 is aggressive, but it is far from crazy. Several other states, far poorer than California, are already in the $20,000 per student range.”
- Keron Blair, Executive Director, AROS
- Angelica Salas, Executive Director, CHIRLA
- Gervaise Clay & Jackson Potter, CTU
During the conference, core training covered how to organize effective worksite structures to enforce the contract, defend members’ rights, and build a successful contract campaign. UTLA is in bargaining with a comprehensive package of proposals for the Schools LA Students Deserve on critical issues such as competitive pay, class size, staffing, testing, school climate and student discipline, and enhanced professional rights.
At the PACE reception on Saturday night, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, one of the leaders of the Trump resistance in D.C., shared a little of her fire, and educators talked with Tony Thurmond, the Assemblyman taking on a billionaire-funded candidate in the state superintendent race in 2018.
During general sessions, site leaders heard from parents, students, and critical community partners, including CHIRLA, Reclaim Our Schools LA, the California Alliance for Community Schools, and the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools. While the challenges we face are big, we have local, state, and national allies fighting with us. In an energetic conference-closing speech, Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools Executive Director Keron Blair spoke about the righteousness of our struggle.
“They starve our schools, call them failing, and then blame teachers and say that private interests are the way forward,” Blair said. “We didn’t pick this fight but we're ready to fight, and when you fight for public education, you are fighting for kids to get a fair shot and that is worth everything.”
Year In Review Video
2017 Leadership Conference Sponsors
- NTA Mangement
- Bush, Gottlieb
- First Financial Credit Union - www.ffcu.org
- Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein
- Trygstad, Schwab & Trygstad, www.trygstadlaw.com