Education

This Is How The Los Angeles Teacher Strike Compares To Others

Screenshot/ Twitter via United Teachers Los Angeles

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter
  • Los Angeles Unified School District teachers walked out of classes after negotiations with the United Teachers Los Angeles union were not met.
  • The union is demanding smaller class sizes and increased pay among other initiatives.
  • The Los Angeles strike is part of a string of strikes seen in other states like Arizona, North Carolina and West Virginia.

Teachers in Los Angeles walked out of classes Monday, to demand smaller class sizes and increased pay and to oppose the conversion of public schools into charters.

Metro stations were packed and many marched outside in the rain.

WATCH:

The United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) union has more than 30,000 members, a majority of which are expected to strike, according to NBC 4.

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) estimated 3,500 people are protesting, according to a press conference Monday.

Despite being the second largest school district in the country, Los Angeles may not see the largest number of strikers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded “work stoppages,” which includes strikes and lockouts, based on public news sources between January and June 2018. More than 376,000 public educators were involved in protests during this time period. The states included were North Carolina (123,000), Arizona (81,000), Colorado (63,000), Oklahoma (45,000) and West Virginia (35,000), Labor Notes reported.

The protest comes after 20 months of negotiations between UTLA and LAUSD. The union’s demands of the district included:

  • Use $1.9 billion in unrestricted reserves for smaller class sizes and increase staffing.
  • Invest more in early, bilingual and special education.
  • Address how more than $600 million has gone toward charter schools instead of public schools.

The district, currently running a deficit of $500 million, claims UTLA wants a plan that would cost $786 million per year, NBC 4 reported.

WATCH:

“LAUSD is on the brink of fiscal insolvency – a stark reality that has been acknowledged by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and other elected officials, UCLA Education Professor Pedro Noguera, President Obama’s former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the Los Angeles County of Education, several forecasts commissioned by multiple LAUSD superintendents and the Los Angeles Times,” a statement from LAUSD said.

The district is keeping schools open for the time being though it may prove difficult. LAUSD hired 400 substitute teachers and reassigned more than 2,000 administrators with teaching credentials to make up for the missing teachers. Many students are expected to be supervised in auditoriums or gymnasiums, according to NBC 4. (RELATED: Los Angeles School District Braces For Massive Teacher Walkout, But Officials’ Preparation Might Spell Disaster For Students)

One million meals are planned to be provided per day as 80 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. Nearly a quarter of students are also English language learners.

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders both supported the teacher strike on Twitter.

UTLA did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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