California teachers go on strike all across L.A.

yesOn January 14, 2019, teachers all across Los Angeles went on strike, demanding higher school funding in able to provide a better learning experience for their students and to get better pay than they currently had. This strike was much different than a previous well known strike in West Virginia; there are many more students and teachers being affected in the Los Angeles strike than the prior. According to KQED News, there are 14,000 more teachers being affected than the West Virginia strike and nearly 400,000 more students. “With 640,000 students, and about 500,000 enrolled in the district’s public schools, Los Angeles represents the second-largest school district in the United States. It is second only to New York City… The L.A. strike also involves 34,000 teachers.” (McHenry-Sorber, 2019). These teachers are asking that they would receive a higher pay, higher school funding, more staff, or all of the above. According to Howard Blume and Sonali Kohli from The Washington Post, “The Los Angeles teachers union, like those in other places, is asking for higher wages. And, as in some other places, the union also is seeking more staffing to make classrooms less crowded.” Another common thread between multiple news sources seems to be they are going on strike due to the requirement of better wages, smaller class sizes, bigger staff sizes, and a higher budget for schools. One reason some teachers could be upset could be due to charter schools. According to KQED news, “Since 2008, the charter industry in Los Angeles has grown 287 percent. According to the L.A. teachers union, the charter schools are effectively siphoning away $550 million per year from the district’s traditional public schools.” This could be a reasonable cause for a higher budget towards public schools; charter schools are taking some of the funding they need for their own schools and causing them to suffer instead. And all the while this is all happening, you may ask how will the schools operate? Simple answer to that question, the same as usual. According to Christopher Weber of PBS news, “Bus service was normal, breakfast and lunches were being served, and ‘students are safe and learning,’ Superintendent Austin Beutner said at a press conference. The district has hired hundreds of substitutes to replace educators and staff members who left for picket lines, a move that the teachers union has called irresponsible.” As a result of the Los Angeles teachers going on strike, the schools would remain open while the teachers would continue to protest. They would protest to try and get reform in their schools in the form of higher wages, larger staff, smaller class sizes, and a bigger budget for the school.

 

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