The Los Angeles teachers’ strike extends to its 6th school day as roughly 30,000 teachers walkout due to unmet union demands. The teachers union raised concerns that class sizes are overpopulated, teachers are underpaid, not enough staff and resources to support low-income and special-needs students who aren’t getting enough help. LAUSD, the second largest district in the country (only behind New York), accounts for about 9% of all California students. However, 85% of the LAUSD students are below the poverty line, roughly 75%
are Latino, and many of its students perform poorly on standardized tests. In California, the “per student spending” is about 13% below the national average, and when adjusted for costs of living across different states, California ranks
41st out of the 50 states on per student spending.
So what do the teachers want?
“The teachers’ union is demanding
smaller class sizes, less standardized testing, a 6.5 percent salary bump (retroactive to last year), more support staff (meaning counselors, nurses, librarians, and the like), and hopefully a 2 percent bonus.” Although the LA school district claims that these demands would cost about $3 billion and lead to bankruptcy, it has given a counteroffer of “a 6 percent raise spread over the first two of the next three years, 1,200 more educators, a full-time nurse at every school, more librarians and counselors, and knocking class sizes down to 35 students max for grades four through six, and to 39 students max for high school.” According to the LAUSD, it claims the strike has brought a loss of $97 million as of Jan 17th. The reason is because the California funds schools based on daily attendance. So the more students out of school due to the strike, the more money the school district loses.