Another Looming School Shutdown

Exactly 3 years ago, our school district shut down because of COVID. What started with 2 weeks extended well, well, well past that. For health reasons, my kids didn’t return to a district classroom until this past August even though they reopened, to some extent, about a year after the shut down.

Now we’re on the verge of another shut down, albeit shorter and not due to a health emergency. Next week, our district could close every school for strikes for 3 days, which is a heck of a lot shorter than before, but, still. I had hoped my daughter’s Kindergarten year would be beautiful and flawless, unlike her brother’s Kindergarten year when he got to figure out how to learn at home.

Anyways, the union that basically represents the school support staff plans on striking, and the teachers’ union will join in solidarity. That means no one will be on campuses. I don’t know the ins and outs of it, I don’t know all the issues, I don’t fully know both sides. All I know is the union is making demands and the district is open to negotiating, but there also seem to be deeper issues. The one thing I know for sure is, after teaching my kids at home for 2.5 years, I appreciate every single person who makes a school campus function. I fully support the unions. For one, they want to be paid more and get more hours, and, being in L.A., yeah, everyone needs every cent they can get. My husband and I should be able to buy a house, yet we can’t, so how can someone support a family on $25000 a year? This city is absolutely nuts.

The thing I hate most, though, are the statements our new superintendent keeps making. I feel like he’s holding us, the students and families, hostage, trying to persuade the union to negotiate in order to keep schools open. Yes, I know many families need schools to be open. Yes, I know the learning gap is still huge and shutting down schools for just 3 days could be detrimental. But I don’t like being dragged into this fight. I feel like I’m supposed to beg the union to please negotiate and agree to what the district is laying out just so my kids can go to school for those 3 days. I don’t like it one bit. I’d rather pull my kids from the district, but they’ve become quite attached to their school.

So, I don’t know what’s going to happen next year. Maybe there will be a deal and there won’t be a shutdown. Maybe there will be 3 days where I get to teach my kids again. I don’t know, but I know I’m currently recovering from being under the weather since the weekend and maybe this is the universe saying I’m going to need whatever rest I can get now in order to get through those days.

Either way, I just can’t believe we’re on the verge of shutting down again.

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