The Hunting Horn

LAUSD Teachers Strike After Needs Not Met

Zoë Sutliff, Staff Writer

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Students throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District showed up to empty classrooms on Monday as approximately 34,000 teachers from the LAUSD walked out on strike. After many weeks of heated discussions with the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), the negotiations for how much money to spend on more school staffing and teachers’ raises, and whether or not the school district has that kind of money, went nowhere. As a result of that, the strike against LAUSD started on Monday, January 14, 2019, and left approximately 500,000 students without teachers for the school day. The school district encouraged students to report to school during the duration of the strike, but only a third of the students actually attended school on the first day of the strike. LAUSD is bringing substitute teachers from the city to fill in for the staff on strike, but that subject becomes difficult and parents are not willing to send their children to school with such  minimal staffing. “This impasse is disrupting the lives of too many kids and their families,” Governor Gavin Newsom said. “I strongly urge all parties to go back to the negotiating table and find an immediate path forward that puts kids back into classrooms and provides parents certainty,” Newsom continued. It’s not only teachers who are going on strike. Parents, students, and non-teacher employees are joining the strike as well. But why are the teachers striking? Teachers are asking the LAUSD for pay increases. Their current salary range is $44,000 to $86,000 a year. Teachers are asking the district to increase their salaries by 6.5 percent. The district has offered a 6 percent raise over the course of two years out of a three-year contract, though the UTLA wants that raised to 6.5 percent. The teachers are also asking the district for smaller class sizes. In a statement, the UTLA said, “Most class sizes surpass 30 students — upwards of 46 students have reportedly been counted in some classrooms.” The LAUSD recently offered the UTLA 105 million dollars in order to reduce class sizes, but the union refused, stating that the offer would only cover the next school year. In a statement, the LAUSD said, “We are extremely disappointed and frustrated that union leadership has turned down our offer and – once again – failed to put forth any proposal to try and resolve the issues of class size and salary.” Teachers are asking for “better staffing,” including school nurses, librarians, and counselors at all L.A. schools in order to “fully staff” the district. The Los Angeles Unified School District and the United Teachers Los Angeles union are currently negotiating all of these issues. By the time this article was released, the LAUSD strike came to an end on January 23, 2019, with teachers returning to their classrooms and returning to regular school life. The results of the strike resulted in class size reductions, approximately 300 additional school nurses, over 80 new teacher librarians, and one counselor for ever 500 students. LAUSD has also agreed to a three percent raise for teachers within the district.

 

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LAUSD Teachers Strike After Needs Not Met