Why L.A. teachers are striking and how it affects the country

Teachers and their supporters picket outside John Marshall High School in Los Angeles, California on the first day of the teachers’ strike, on January 14, 2019. – Teachers of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second largest public school district in the United States, are striking for smaller class size, better school funding and higher teacher pay. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)

BY: Nina Joung

While teachers continue to strike in L.A., the issues they’re fighting for are not new battles — they’ve been felt across the country for years.

What do these teacher protests say about the state of U.S. education?

Here’s what you need to know about the L.A. teacher strike:

  1. 3 Reasons to Pay Attention to the L.A. Teacher Strike | KQED: The magnitude of the LA teacher strike makes it a powerful example of teachers starting to get fed up with the current state of the education system across the country.
  2. Tale of two LAUSD schools | Los Angeles Daily News: Though separated by just nine miles, these two L.A. schools experience the strike in very different ways — shedding light on the income gap in L.A.
  3. Opinion: Charter schools are draining LA’s public schools. That’s why I’m on strike | PBS Newshour (Op-ed): 

    “On paper, my school looks good … But we fight a constant battle against low enrollment due to competition from charter schools.” – Adriana Chavira writes as a Los Angeles teacher, a former reporter and a product of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

  4. What’s different about this wave of teacher strikes | PBS Newshour (April 2018): The L.A. teacher strike isn’t the first time these issues have surfaced across the country. Here’s a reminder of the teacher strikes and walkouts that occurred last spring in Arizona, West Virginia, Kentucky and Oklahoma.
  5. Are charter schools monopolizing public resources? | PBS Newshour (April 2014): Competition with charter schools is not unique to the L.A. teacher strike. In 2014, PBS Newshour’s coverage of charter schools in New York reported on a similar concern around public funding of charter schools.