The first day of the LAUSD teacher strike resulted in some pretty hefty losses.
Los Angeles schools Supt. Austin Beutner said that only a third of the district's students showed up, which he said would cost the district $25 million in state funding based on attendance, the LA Times reports. He said the district suffered a $15 million one-day loss after subtracting the $10 million in unpaid wages for the strikers.
Beutner suggested the teachers union and its 31,000 members who walked off the job should join with the district and push Sacramento to find better funding for schools.
“Let’s build on the renewed attention on public education in our community,” Beutner said during a news conference Tuesday morning. “Let’s bottle it. Let’s put it on our buses and let’s go to Sacramento.”
This is the first strike in 30 years for United Teachers Los Angeles. The teachers are ultimately demanding better pay, smaller class sizes and more support staff.
“The strike is clearly having a big impact on the Los Angeles area,” Beutner said. “To state the obvious, we need our educators back in our classrooms helping to inspire our students students.”
Many LAUSD students live in poverty and rely on the schools for shelter and a meal during the day.
All schools will remain open during the strike.
Negotiations between United Teachers Los Angeles and LAUSD Friday resulted in no agreement to the educators' demands. District officials stated they don’t have the money to cover everything teachers are asking for, while union leaders have accused the district of “hoarding” funds.
Alex Caputo-Pearl, the president of UTLA, said Tuesday that members are “prepared to go as long as it takes” to get a fair contract.
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