Los Angeles school officials hire strikebreakers as teachers prepare for walkout
Dan Conway and Jerry White
4 January 2019
With a walkout by 33,000 teachers in Los Angeles, California set to begin on January 10, school officials are hiring hundreds of strikebreakers and have threatened to keep schools open during the strike. “We have hired substitutes,” Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent Austin Beutner declared Monday. “We have made plans as to alternate curriculums for days that there is a strike, but our goal is to make sure schools are safe and open, so kids continue to learn.”
The hiring of an estimated 400 substitutes is largely symbolic and will not keep the 600,000-student school district operating in the event of a walkout. Nevertheless, Beutner and other district officials, acting on behalf of powerful corporate and political interests in the city and the state, are throwing down the gauntlet to teachers. The political establishment, dominated by the Democratic Party, has no intention of acceding to the teachers’ demands for increased pay and school funding, let alone an end to the privatization of public education.
Beutner’s professed concerns for the well-being of school children is a fraud. Beutner is not an educator, but a highly-skilled Wall Street operator. In 1993, Beutner was tapped by the Clinton administration to manage a special USAID fund involved in the pillaging of state-owned assets in the former Soviet Union, enriching himself and other US investors while leaving behind a social catastrophe. He has been tasked with the same job in Los Angeles: the dismantling of the public schools and handing over its assets to charter school operators and…