Sierra Club Angeles Chapter Congratulates UTLA Teachers for New LAUSD Agreement

  • Posted on 24 January 2019
  • By Yvonne Martinez-Watson
The Sierra Club Los Angeles Inspiring Connections Outdoors program has teamed up with teachers in LAUSD public schools for 37 years to provide leaders and funding for outdoor educational experiences for students of all ages. 
Photo credit: Catherine Ronan

The Sierra Club Angeles Chapter congratulates the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) for their success in reaching an agreement with the LA School District and effectively ending the 6-day old teacher’s strike. The Conservation Committee joined the Environmental Justice Committee of the Angeles Chapter to support the teachers strike.

The Chapter applauds the UTLA for achieving these environmental justice goals: smaller class sizes; more nurses, counselors, psychologists, and librarians; a greater investment in Adult Ed, Early Ed, & Bilingual Ed.

Many LAUSD campuses are located in disadvantaged communities of color, disproportionally affected by bad air quality, water contamination, exposure to lead and other sources of environmental pollution. UTLA teachers and support staff serve in schools where 80% of the students come from disadvantaged and low-income families of color.

The agreement between the UTLA and the LAUSD includes a plan to increase green space - and a victory for the environment! This entails the creation of a "Joint Green Space Task Force" between LAUSD, UTLA and the City of Los Angeles. The agreement states that they will "be charged with presenting a plan which involves removing bungalows, removing asphalt, creating greener play areas, water retention systems, and Community School Parks, by December 2019."

Why does the Sierra Club care about environmental justice? An important part of the Sierra Club’s mission is "to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment." The classroom environment is a vital part of the human environment. All students deserve a safe, uncrowded, well-funded learning space with teachers and requisite support staff to meet their educational and health needs.

The Sierra Club and the UTLA support public education for the common good. This includes everyone: all ages at all levels of ability and in all languages. 

Labor Equity and Justice promotes a living economy for all.

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