Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Tens of thousands of Los Angeles teachers rallied in the city's downtown area Saturday, ahead of a possible strike. (Photo: /Twitter)

"It's About the Students!" 50,000 LA Teachers Join Protest, Accusing District of Hoarding Funds Instead of Investing in Schools

"The community is united behind a UTLA strike if that's what it takes to reinvest in public education instead of cut it to the bone."

Julia Conley

Los Angeles teachers set out to provide a "show of force" on Saturday, with tens of thousands rallying in the city's downtown area to illustrate the power in their numbers, ahead of a potential strike next month.

The city's teachers' union, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), has been embroiled in contract negotiations with the school district for 18 months, with union leaders rejecting the district's latest offer of a three percent retroactive raise starting from July 2017. The teachers are demanding a 6.5 percent raise as well as smaller class sizes and more school support staff.

Carrying signs reading, "Stand with L.A. Teachers" and "Education is a human right," educators, parents, and students rallied at City Hall before joining the union's March for Public Education.

The union argues that the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is flush with cash that could be used to provide teachers with raises in one of the country's most expensive cities, as well as hiring more support staff, nurses, and teachers to cut down on class size—which is at 45 students per class in some schools.

"Amidst the wealth of Los Angeles, we should not have class sizes of 45 students," UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl told the crowd.

"What we have in L.A. is a community uprising. If we strike, it is all of our strike. When we win, it is all of our victory." —UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl

"It's wrong that the District is hoarding $2 billion dollars when they say there's no money for the schools. It's wrong when community schools are starving and charter schools are expanding," American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten said.

In some schools, demonstrators argued, the district's refusal to staff the district properly has led to serious safety risks.

"There is not a nurse in every school every day. Some schools get a nurse one day a week if they're lucky," school nurse Stephanie Yellin-Mednick told the Associated Press. "There is simply not enough of us to take care of the kids."

LAUSD is the country's second-largest school district, serving more than 600,000 students. Teachers are threatening to strike next month if the school district doesn't meet their demands, providing more support for the city's school children.

The Los Angeles police estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 marched on Saturday, while organizers counted about 50,000 participants. The union applauded school communities for turning out to support the city's teachers.

"What we have in L.A. is a community uprising," Caputo-Pearl said. "If we strike, it is all of our strike. When we win, it is all of our victory."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Wall Street-Funded Democrat PAC to Spend $1 Million in Bid to Unseat Tlaib: Report

"Imagine spending $1 million to oust Rashida Tlaib instead of organizing in Detroit to make sure Michigan goes blue," quipped one progressive group.

Brett Wilkins ·


Parents Demand Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty 'For the Sake of the Children'

"We cannot remain silent as the fossil fuel industry and world leaders rob our children of a livable future," parents from 32 nations wrote in an open letter.

Brett Wilkins ·


'We Can Do Better' Than Biden's Paltry Student Debt Relief Plan, Says AOC

The president's approach, said the New York Democrat, is "just enough to anger the people against it *and* the people who need forgiveness the most."

Julia Conley ·


Right-Wing Supreme Court Poised to Make US Gun Carnage Even Worse

The U.S. Supreme Court's right-wing majority could soon "obliterate even the mildest of gun regulations in service of its gun lobby masters."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Enough Is Enough!': Thousands Protest Outside NRA Convention in Texas

"I'm just tired of the NRA subordinating children's rights for gun rights," said one gun lobby opponent just three days after the school massacre in Uvalde.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo