Editorial: UCLA is obligated to provide Lab School with resources necessary to succeed
By Daily Bruin Staff
Feb. 2, 2023 9:46 p.m.
Editor’s note: Editorials do not represent the views of the Daily Bruin as a whole. The board encourages readers to respond to our editorials at dailybruin.com/submit.
Not long after the University of California-wide United Auto Workers strike ended, new calls for fair labor practices have emerged – this time, from the teachers of a younger demographic of students.
UCLA takes pride in promoting innovation through creative learning approaches at its Lab School, affiliated with the UCLA School of Education & Information Studies for pre-K through sixth grade – yet fails to consider its faculty’s demands for efficient resources and greater support in teaching.
Last Wednesday, the faculty of the UCLA Lab School held a walkout outside Moore Hall, demanding the institution bargain in good faith and refrain from unfair labor practices. This strike comes after the administration refused attempts to negotiate propositions geared toward improving the Lab School’s functioning.
In addition, the faculty of the Lab School have noted that this push is driven largely by the poor quality of education. But amid these concerns about the quality of education at the school, nothing is being done by the institution.
A demonstrating teacher at the Lab School said the school staff presented 20 proposals, including requests for teaching assistants in all classrooms, timely hiring of instructional assistants for students with specific needs, and proper substitute coverage in the absence of teachers, for the institution to amend current teaching and learning practices.
However, UCLA rejected the faculty’s proposals under the claim that the institution has no obligation or responsibility to do so.
As a multibillion-dollar institution, there is simply no excuse for UCLA not to provide its teachers with the resources they need for their classrooms to thrive and run efficiently.
The university has also remedied other propositions from other schools, such as Geffen Academy at UCLA. This leaves the Lab School faculty with the impression that their concerns are not as valid as other faculty from different schools – leaving them at a disadvantage and with an unwillingness to voice their concerns to the institution.
The unequal treatment and distribution of resources across campuses not only affect teachers but impact the students’ quality of education and learning experience.
Innovation is derived from input and feedback, something that the faculty at the UCLA Lab School take seriously and that the administration should as well. The UCLA administration should reconsider how they treat faculty concerns from each institution with fairness and in adherence to the relevant labor laws.
The Lab School faculty have every right to be appalled by the unfair treatment they have faced. Their petitions are reasonable as they promote the very purpose of UCLA’s Lab School – continuing a legacy of innovative research in education.
The issues at hand must be fixed as soon as possible so that the faculty can resume their vocational call of being educators in a classroom setting and children can continue to learn to the greatest extent.
An investment in the Lab School is an investment in our future generation of leaders.
It’s clear that while the faculty have the best interests of their students at heart, the institution does not. The editorial board stands in solidarity with the Lab School faculty.