Teachers in Southern California have had enough.
“Thousands of Los Angeles teachers plan to strike Monday — raising the possibility of a new wave of “educator spring” activity resurrected in the blue state of California.
The labor unrest in LA is reminiscent of statewide teacher walkouts last year in the red states of West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arizona that had teachers standing up to their state legislatures and governors — even though the battle in Los Angeles features a more traditional labor fight that pits the United Teachers Los Angeles union against district leaders.
The fight is being watched closely in California and elsewhere to see if it is a harbinger of similar teacher labor action in the rest of the state or the nation and whether it could help prod California lawmakers to dedicate more funds for K-12 schools. Newly inaugurated Gov. Gavin Newsom told reporters earlier this month that the magnitude of the issues in LA was ‘profound’ — particularly given the size of the Los Angeles Unified School District — and that ‘the stresses that our teachers are facing are real.’
‘There are pension pressures on our school districts, there are fixed costs on health care that are real,’ Newsom said. ‘Even with the increase in per-pupil spending it’s just simply not enough to reduce these class sizes, and we’re going to have to do more.’
As in most other states where strikes have arisen, California has struggled to bring per-pupil spending back to pre-Great Recession levels, according to an analysis from the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
A teacher walkout in Los Angeles — home to the nation’s second-largest school district — would be the city’s first since 1989, and sure to disrupt a city where 80 percent of school kids qualify for free or reduced lunch.”
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