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United Teachers Los Angeles Protests Deasy

Parents and teachers wore red as a sign of unity against Deasy's $1 billion budget for iPads. (Photos by Matt Levin)

Listen to Matt Levin's piece for Annenberg Radio News here

The Unified Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) gathered Tuesday at Thomas Starr King Middle School to protest Superintendent John Deasy’s $1 billion budget to provide all of its students and staff with iPads or laptops.

Parents and teachers showed up at the protest wearing red as a sign of unity.

Parents and members of the board have also scrutinized Deasy’s decisions lately.

The UTLA president, Alex Caputo-Pearl, attended the rally.

“John Deasy has to be held accountable,” said Caputo-Pearl. “And we believe that he is responsible for causing problems in this district by destabilizing schools and infringing on due process and destabilizing programs by the teacher jail system.”

Science teacher Linda Howard commented, “There is nothing here to support us. Sometimes I have to depend on support from my parents, my students’ parents and sometimes the students themselves.”   

Tensions escalated in August, after allegations that Deasy and a former chief deputy had been involved in extensive discussions with Apple and Pearson about plans to introduce iPads to the district.

In response to the allegations, Deasy canceled the existing contracts with Apple and Pearson and said the district would reopen the bidding process.

Deasy also has been criticized over the bumpy rollout of a computerized student-information system known as MiSiS, or My Integrated Student Information System.

“This system ended up hurting our most vulnerable students in the district by not having class, not having transcripts when applying to college,” said Pearl.

During the protest, UTLA pushed for Deasy to prioritize district spending on smaller class sizes, fully staffed schools and increased compensation.

Photos by Matt Levin below:

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