California teachers union proposes letting homeless people squat in school parking lots as strike looms

The request calls for $500,000 in security costs alone.

A California teacher's union by the name of the Fresno Teachers Association has said that it will go on strike and thus refuse to do the job of teaching students should the Fresno Unified School District not allow homeless people to show up at the high school parking lots, among other things.

The Association's call for the district to accommodate the homeless, which requests $500,000 for security costs alone, was part of its "last, best, and final" contract offer that was sent to the superintendent.

"We do not plan to open our parking lots as FTA is demanding," Fresno Unified School District chief communications officer Nikki Henry told Fox News. She additionally noted that the district has expertise with "education, not housing."

"While we are committed to ending homelessness, we are doing so through our realm of expertise and partnering with those whose realm of expertise is housing," Henry continued.

The communications officer also pointed out that the district provides services to foster homeless youth via Project ACCESS, which provides emotional, academic, and financial assistance to those in need.

Fresno Teachers Association President Manuel Bonilla, who drafted the contract offer to the Fresno schools superintendent, told Fox News that the parking lot to assist homeless people is not "a major sticking point" and has not been talked about at the bargaining table.

"Is it the school system’s job to fix everything in regards to societal things? Absolutely not," Bonilla reportedly said. "There are ideas on how we might do it because nobody else is thinking about these things."

Other demands from the union include $1 million for clothes and school supplies, $1.75 million for a food pantry with hygiene products, and $20 million to address student homelessness.

Also among the wants was $1 million for free yoga in addition to meditation and low-impact exercise, and a $500-a-day pay for substitute teachers, according to another report

"Instead of coming to the table and designing something with us, they’d rather scrutinize the idea and shut down the conversation," Bonilla complained. "Our ideas are not the end all, be all; they are a starting point."

Henry emphasized that even if the district is not able to reach an agreement with the teacher's union, it remains "well-prepared and will ensure that [the] schools stay open, safe, and full of learning."

She additionally said that students "cannot afford another school closure after the pandemic."
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