LAUSD superintendent offers grim prognosis for mediation with teachers union

FILE - Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner speaks at a press conference on Weds., May 2, 2018.
FILE - Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner speaks at a press conference on Weds., May 2, 2018.
Kyle Stokes/KPCC

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L.A. Unified school superintendent Austin Beutner is not optimistic that state-run mediation with the district’s teachers union will resolve their contract dispute. The superintendent’s comments come less than a week after teachers voted to give their union leadership the power to call a strike if those talks fail.

“I’m open-minded, but I'm not optimistic," Beutner told a gathering of LAUSD principals Thursday, "because we’ve been at this 18 months and UTLA hasn’t changed their list of demands."

"It’s hard for me to understand," Beutner continued, "how we can go to mediation and say, 'We want you to accept our offer that would bankrupt us.' I don’t know how the district can respond constructively to that other than 'no.'"