Dear friends and partners,
This week, I brought a resolution before the LA Unified Board that aimed to empower schools, principals, teachers, and parents with more hiring freedom to choose the best fit for their school communities and bring an end to the practice of forcing teachers into assignments against their wishes or those of the school community.
My goal is to ensure that all students in LA Unified have access to a great education. I believe that this resolution would have brought us closer to that goal—not because teachers are the problem, but because teachers are undoubtedly the solution.
Respecting teachers as professionals is about more than just a salary increase. It’s about ensuring they are happy and supported—and we do that by treating people who choose to take on one of the most difficult and important jobs in the world with respect and autonomy. People are happier and more effective when they are at places where they want to be.
Many of my colleagues raised insightful questions and concerns, and I thank them and our district staff for a thought-provoking conversation around this policy proposal. I wish the Board spent more time during board meetings debating these important policy questions.
One of these concerns was about cost. There may be a cost to implementing this policy, but I believe there are ways to minimize the financial impact, and it is far outweighed by the cost of not doing this—the cost borne by students.
Some of my colleagues expressed that they agreed with the ideology behind the resolution, but remained wary of unknown factors and other obstacles. As elected officials, I believe it is our duty to turn ideology into policy, and to surmount barriers rather than succumb to them. We can see hiring autonomy helping some of our school communities thrive—it’s an option for some and should be a policy for all. I will continue working toward this goal so that every student in LA Unified has access to a high-quality education.