By: Jessie Karn
History was made on January 14th, 2019 in Downtown L.A. on Grand Park, people walked for a change in an unfair system.
The walkout had a lot of light shined on the situation and issues with their educational programs and system in Los Angeles. Many may think the walkout was just for a pay raise but the teachers were asking for a lot more.
The teachers when they were establishing what they wanted to change, they focused more so on the students’ well-being. The teachers asked for practical changes to be made that most students would feel as those should be no-brainers.
The teachers were seeking for smaller class sizes so the students would be able to have a better learning environment, one teacher had a picket sign that said “173 students… 1 teacher not okay”. This picket sign can be seen in many pictures from the strike considering how astounding that number is, this was one of the many issues the teachers and students of LAUSD were facing.
Students at many of the schools in the LAUSD only had a nurse on campus one day of the week, resulting in medical issues being put on the teachers or faculty. The teachers taking on the job of being a school nurse usually do not have much prior experience with one’s state of wellness and had to interrupt their lessons to aid students.
A pay raise was also on the list of things the teachers wanted to receive a 6.5 percent increase in their wages from their strike, due to the teachers not receiving a fair raise in the past couple years or so. The teachers of the LAUSD were taking on the jobs of being an educator, a nurse, and a counselor because of the lack of faculty working at the school.
This strike was no average strike considering LAUSD is the second largest school district in the nation with around 480,000 students enrolled. This strike was for the well-being of those 480,000 students and to establish a sense of fight for a better environment for students to receive their education in.
The teachers also came out with their own newsletter regarding the whole strike and reasoning behind their strike. To counteract the school district had their point of view on the situation put onto the front of a newspaper. Usually, this would never be seen from an average school strike but since LA has the second biggest district in the nation it seems expected.
The strike ended on January 20th, 2019 and because of how long the strike lasted the school district lost more than $100 million from students not attending school. During that time the district had to hire thousands of substitutes to keep the students in school.
From the strike they came to these compromises in court, “6 percent pay raise (3 percent retroactive to last school year and 3 percent for this school year); nurses at every school by fall 2020; 30 community schools with local control by spring 2020; 17 new counselors; and full-time librarians at each middle and high school by fall 2020” (NBC News).
The teachers achieved their goal of creating an improved learning environment, it was accomplished on January 20th of 2019 through a non-violent strike. This strike has made history for showing that teachers truly care for their students well being and will go to extreme lengths to improve the students learning environment.