LAUSD to add instructional days over next two school years

Ratification votes are scheduled next week for a tentative agreement that would allow the Los Angeles Unified School District to add three instructional days to its calendar each of the next two school years.

The tentative agreement with the district's two largest unions announced Friday also continues the district's three-week winter break for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years. There will be a voluntary three-day Winter Recess Academy during the first week of winter break to provide targeted instruction and enrichment, meals and supervision for students.

The first day of classes for the 2023-2024 school year will be Aug, 14, under the tentative agreement with United Teachers Los Angeles, which represents the district's teachers, and Service Employees International Union Local 99, which represents its service workers.

Winter break will begin on Dec. 18, with the Winter Recess Academy taking place from Dec. 18-20. Classes will resume Jan. 8. The last day of school will be June 11, 2024.

Teachers will be paid for one additional day of teaching under the agreement, with the district converting two days teachers had to work when no students were on campus into instructional days, according to UTLA.

Teachers will have the option of choosing to work one extra day at the beginning of the year to set up and one extra day at the end of the year to put things away and would be paid for those days, according to UTLA.

The tentative agreement also resolves charges pending before the Public Employment Relations Board, with the district dropping its unfair practice charges against UTLA and SEIU Local 99 alleging the March strike was unlawful and the unions' unfair practice charges against the district.

"While UTLA and SEIU 99 remain confident we would prevail in PERB hearings on all of the charges, it is in the interest of both UTLA and SEIU 99 members to try to reach an agreement on all of the issues within this school year -- especially since a victory at PERB would have only resulted in LAUSD being ordered to negotiate, by which point the 2023-2024 school year would have already started," according to a statement from UTLA.

The additional days of instruction make up for the three lost days when schools were closed during the three-day strike by SEIU Local 99 members in March. The lost days dropped the district under the 180 instructional days required by the state law, forcing the district to make them up on a two days to one ratio over the next two school years or face a financial penalty, estimated by UTLA at more than $100 million.

The tentative agreement requires ratification by members of UTLA and SEIU Local 99. UTLA has scheduled a ratification vote from 8 a.m. Tuesday through 11:45 p.m. Thursday. SEIU Local 99's ratification vote will be held Wednesday through June 9.

"In all decisions, student learning and the well-being of students, families and employees are the district's top priorities," the district said in a statement. "We are confident that this agreement supports our north star - - ensuring every child in the district has the instruction and support needed to graduate ready for the world."