The union representing 33,000 Los Angeles Unified School District teachers has renewed its call for more regulation of charter schools.
At a news conference Friday, United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl called for a moratorium on new charter schools.
"It is time for a cap on charter schools in LAUSD,” Caputo-Pearl said outside UTLA's headquarters in Koreatown.
“Enough is enough," he added. "Civic leaders must enact a cap on charter schools in L.A. for the health of the civic institution of public education, and to create the time and space to investigate and root out issues of private gain, conflict of interest, lack of financial transparency, equity in service to students, civil rights and more."
Charter schools are publicly financed but operate independently, and have been a source of conflict between UTLA and LAUSD. One reason is because the majority of the schools are non-union. Also coming into play is that when students leave traditional public schools for a charter school, state funding goes with them.
Gov. Jerry Brown has been a supporter of charter schools and previously vetoed bills that would tighten regulations on them.
While the teachers’ union has been vocal about charter schools, the issue is not directly tied to its current contract negotiations with LAUSD.
Earlier Friday, LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner sat down for an interview with Spectrum News 1, and addressed union complaints about the proliferation of charter schools.
"We have about 500,000 students today in traditional public schools, about 125,000 in charter schools and those number aren't changing much," Beutner said.
Earlier this week, UTLA announced it will strike on January 10, if a labor agreement is not reached before that date.
Overcrowded classrooms, lack of school counselors, psychologists, librarians, and inadequate technology are among the concerns laid out by the union.
UTLA has asked for a 6.5 percent pay increase retroactive to July 1, 2016, and criticized district officials, saying LAUSD has a "record breaking'' reserve fund of about $1.8 billion that should be used to make improvements in school staffing.
Beutner has previously said the district is willing to negotiate with UTLA, but he warned that increasing salaries would lead to less money being allocated for other areas.
City News Service contributed to this report.