As Los Angeles temperatures soared this September, the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) and its allies demanded that the Los Angeles United School District (LAUSD) bargain over their comprehensive climate justice proposals and take immediate action to address the extreme heat searing LA schools. The announcement for a September 6 press conference stated,
In the midst of LA’s worst heatwave of the year – and a climate crisis that hits Black and brown communities the hardest – LAUSD is completely unprepared to deal with extreme heat. Despite broken AC units and hot asphalt schoolyards, the District has rejected parents’ pleas for even temporary shade from the sun.
The UTLA, together with parents, students, and community representatives, made a series of climate justice bargaining proposals to address the climate crisis in LA schools as part of its common good “Beyond Recovery” platform. But the LAUSD has refused even to bargain over them.
The UTLA’s bargaining proposals for “Healthy Green Public Schools” include:
- Create strategic plan for a Green, Clean, Free, and Healthy LAUSD, including but not limited to: conversion of buses, installation of solar panels, use of school land for collection of clean water, creation of schools as cooling zones, creation of schools as climate change/grid shut-down resiliency centers, and increased healthier food options
- Provide support for school/community gardens to feed students and families
- Shaded and appropriate play areas for all students
- Support of local struggles for environmental justice and equity
- Increase healthy food options for students and families that address food insecurity, nutrition, culture, and support of environmentally sustainable and worker-friendly food sources
- Expand green spaces and tree planting at schools
- An LAUSD audit on green practices, including energy use, carbon emissions, air quality, and water use