State Watch

LA teachers begin first strike in three decades

Thousands of Los Angeles public school teachers will go on strike Monday for the first time in 30 years.

After a brief delay, the United Teachers Los Angeles will strike following months of failed negotiations over pay raises, class sizes and school staffing. About 30,000 teachers are expected to participate.

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent Austin Beutner told LA’s CBS 2 News that the district is attempting to have a “normal day” in the district.

“[Students will] be fed, they’ll be greeted by the same principal that greets them every morning at the door, and they will be learning,” Beutner said.

{mosads}Students in the district, the nation’s second largest, will be taught by 400 substitute teachers and 2,000 reassigned administrators during the strike, according to CBS 2 News.

Preschools in the district will be closed, and early education centers will only be open for special-needs students.

The LAUSD teachers are demanding a 6.5 percent immediate pay raise to go into effect within one year, in addition to “fully staffed” schools. The district has offered a 6 percent raise over two years of a three-year contract.

The district released its latest offer Friday, according to CBS 2 News, offering an additional $24 million and 200 more teachers than their previous offer.

Beutner told CBS 2 News that he hopes the union “comes back to the table.”

“We have to bargain, we have to finish the contract negotiations, that’s how it gets resolved,” he said.

The teachers’ union postponed the strike amid a conflict with district officials over whether the district was given enough advance notice of the strike. Union leaders said they alerted the district in December that they planned to strike beginning Thursday, but the district said it was not done through the proper channels.

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