Los Angeles teachers are walking the picket lines in front of their schools this morning. This is the first time since 1989 the district teachers have striked. They are striking for:
” better pay, smaller classes, less standardized testing, charter school regulation and more counselors, librarians, and nurses.”
“For special education teacher Mike Finn, the top issue is class-size. He says the 46 students that he has in one composition class is unmanageable.
“I have watched class sizes go up and up,“ he said. He said when it comes to preparing students for college, “everybody’s talking class size.”
Last week a teacher that striked back in 1989 sent an open letter to all the teachers planning on striking.
“This isn’t just a protest on the streets, passing out flyers,” wrote Mandel, who now teaches Film, Arts and Media at Pacoima Middle School. “You need to think about the ramifications of what you’re about to do. You need to think about the reasons you’re out there on the line. And you should be a little scared.”
Some students are walking to picket lines with teachers.
“A few Marshall High students joined the protest rather than going inside.
“I cannot stress how important this strike is to me,” said Lola Babich, 15, a sophomore, to the crowd. “Teachers are the most important people in my life.”
With 45 kids in a classroom, she said in an interview, “it is so hard to focus.”
The teachers are picketing their schools this morning and then heading downtown for a rally.
While striking may encourage the district to give a little money it won’t be enough to hire enough teachers to create smaller classes. Because then you need the infrastructure to hire more teachers and have more classes. Schools are at compacity. And California has a huge debt that cannot be repaid now. So while I support these ideas, the reality is that California is not in a position to give more. It just doesn’t have it.
UAF Contributor Marie Penetranti