30,000 LAUSD Teachers Walk off the Job in First Strike since 1989

Daily News (Los Angeles, CA), January 14, 2019 | Go to article overview

30,000 LAUSD Teachers Walk off the Job in First Strike since 1989


After two years of often bitter wrangling over a new contract, Los Angeles Unified School District teachers — more than 30,000 of them — walked out Monday in the first strike at the massive public school system since 1989.

The picketing began early on a rainy and chilly morning. Teachers donned ponchos, with umbrellas at the ready. They chanted their demands and held up signs lettered with those same messages. And by midmorning, thousands from all quarters of the district converged on downtown LA for a march from LA City Hall to the district’s headquarters.

As teachers chanted, union President Alex Caputo-Pearl, a veteran LAUSD teacher, was telling the world through a megaphone at John Marshall High School in L.A. that district teachers were in “a battle for the soul of public education.”

“Here we are on a rainy day in the richest country in the world, in the richest state in the country, in a state that’s blue as it can be — and in a city rife with millionaires — where teachers have to go on strike to get the basics for our students,” Caputo-Pearl said as he stood with local and national supporters at a rainy morning news conference.

“The question is,” he added, “do we starve our public neighborhood schools so that they (become) privatized, or do we re-invest in our public neighborhood schools for our students and for a thriving city?”

#LAUSDstike teachers gather for rally at#Los Angeles city hall pic.twitter.com/u6gt4Bz6r0

— David Crane (@vidcrane) January 14, 2019

#LAUSDStrike Teachers gather in front of #LosAngeles city hall for #Strike rally Monday pic.twitter.com/IYFzxHZf3T

— David Crane (@vidcrane) January 14, 2019

Marcello Lopez and Jessica Iovine are special-ed preschool teachers for #LAUSD. pic.twitter.com/6uVVfsSsfi

— Bradley Bermont (@bradleybermont) January 14, 2019

Acoss the vast district, from San Pedro to Sylmar, thousands of teachers took to the picket line outside in the cold rain while inside, students, administrators, district officials, substitutes and staffers tried to find normalcy in a not-so-normal day.

At Colfax Elementary School in the San Fernando Valley, rain-soaked parent Samantha Dorf walked up and down a long picket line of teachers, leading chants:

Dorf: “What do we want?”

Teachers: “Fair Contract!”

Dorf: “When do we want it?”

Teachers: “Now!”

Parent Samantha Dorf and 4th grader Otis Bush on the Colfax Elementary picket line @ladailynews @UTLAnow #redfored #noteachersnoschools pic.twitter.com/2uHO94tmgC

— Sarah Reingewirtz (@sarahimages) January 14, 2019

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Picketers hold signs that illustrate two of their demands — smaller class sizes and more nurses on campuses — early Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, as an LAUSD teachers strike began as rain fell. (Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News)

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UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl at an LAUSD teacher picket in front of John Marshall High in Los Angeles Monday morning on the first day of a teachers strike. Teachers walked out of classrooms from more than 900 schools in the district. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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Students are joining teachers on the picket line at Marshall High School in Los Angeles on an early and rainy Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, as an LAUSD teachers strike began. (Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News)

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LAUSD teachers picket in front of John Marshall High in Los Angeles Monday morning on the first day of a teachers strike. Teachers walked out of classrooms from more than 900 schools in the district. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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LAUSD teachers picket in front of John Marshall High in Los Angeles Monday morning on the first day of a teachers strike. Teachers walked out of classrooms from more than 900 schools in the district. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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LAUSD teachers picket in front of John Marshall High in Los Angeles Monday morning on the first day of a teachers strike. …

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