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Shorter L.A. School Year

December 20, 1992

Despite your rhetoric, it is clear that The Times has decided that classified employees, most of whom live in the district and send their children to LAUSD schools, are expendable (editorial, Dec. 9). It is clear that The Times believes the district should give the teachers whatever they want, no matter how fiscally irresponsible that may be and no matter how many classified employees have to pay the price.

Although The Times writes "All district employees have a valuable role," it clearly believes that the teachers' role is far superior. It is this elitist attitude that demeans the contributions all of us make and has fostered a climate that explodes in displays of violence and rage such as occurred during the April riots.

The Times would have us believe that only teachers teach. Such a notion belies the fact that, according to former Supt. Bill Anton, 40% of the teaching done is done by paraprofessionals--classified employees.

It is classified employees who keep the schools clean and maintained, get our kids to and from school safely, feed our children and yes, even teach them.

WALTER BACKSTROM, Executive Director, SEIU Local 99

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