UPDATED 9:10 AM PT — Thursday, January 10, 2019
For the first time in 30-years, Los Angeles teachers may go on strike. The city’s teachers union has been in negotiations with the district for months. The union is demanding higher pay, more support staff, and smaller class sizes.
They are claiming they’ve been blocked from getting resources for decades, and are saying students have been suffering as a result.
“We have been experiencing 25-years of turmoil because of class sizes that are too large, students who don’t have access to counselors, standardized testing that has gone through the roof and has ripped music and the arts out of our curriculum — that is turmoil for 25-years,” stated Alex Caputo-Pearl, President of United Teachers Los Angeles.
This strike comes just months after teachers around the country took to the streets also demanding higher pay. Many of those teachers succeeded, and some even used last year’s midterm elections to run for office with hopes of enacting change within schools.
“In the last year, you saw these mass mobilizations, mostly in red states, in West Virginia and Kentucky and Oklahoma and then in Arizona, of teachers coming together and declaring to the public we don’t have what we need in order to be able to educate your children,” said UCLA Education Professor John Rogers. “While significantly those teachers received strong support from the general public, and I think that’s buoyed the hopes of teachers in Los Angeles that their efforts to call forth greater support will be received well.”
About 35,000 teachers are expected to walk out of classrooms, but more than 500,000 students will be affected. However, union officials said the movement will be beneficial in the long run.
Negotiations are expected to continue on Friday. If a deal is not reached, teachers plan to strike on Monday.