Fresno Teachers Threaten to Strike if School Parking Lots Aren’t Turned into Homes for the Homeless

Evan Poellinger | October 11, 2023
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The Fresno Teachers Association (FTA) is demanding that the Fresno Unified School district set aside parking for homeless families, as a part of their larger list of demands – such as free laundry services – as the union prepares to go on strike.

The district has previously stated that it does not plan to bow to the union’s demand, with the district’s chief communications officer saying that, “We do not plan to open our parking lots,” since “education, not housing,” is the school district’s area of expertise.

In addition to the allotment of parking space, the FTA is also demanding that the district set aside $500,000 to provide security for the homeless parking spaces. As reported by the Fresno Bee, 496 students within the Fresno Unified School District were homeless as of the 2022-23 school year, which represents a 30 percent increase from the previous year. Alongside parking and security, the FTA also wants $20 million of funding to contribute toward solving student homelessness in the district.

Other amalgamated demands from the FTA include “$1 million for clothes and school supplies; $1.75 million for creating a food pantry with hygiene products,” along with, “$1 million for free laundry services; $1 million for free yoga; and meditation and low-impact exercise.”

These rider demands are in addition to others related to salary and reducing class sizes. A vote to strike is scheduled to take place on October 18, if the union’s demands remain unmet.

School does, indeed, play an important role in the formation of young people. Yet, it seems that the FTA is looking to take their role several steps beyond, in order to offer room, board, food, and workout facilities. Considering the ways in which schools have usurped parental authority to inculcate particular values, these demands should probably be cause for concern.