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The Los Angeles Teachers’ Strike: It's Not Just About Wages

Members of the largest Los Angeles teachers’ union plan to walk out of LAUSD classrooms. Some demands: smaller classes, more resources, better pay.
After #RedforEd walk-outs swept the country last year, L.A. teachers plan to strike for things like more staffing, and less testing.
After #RedforEd walk-outs swept the country last year, L.A. teachers plan to strike for things like more staffing, and less testing.Jae C. Hong/AP

Under her union contract, Los Angeles special education teacher Lorena Ramo is meant to teach a maximum of 14 special education students per class. But these days, at the Ellen Ochoa Learning Center in the Los Angeles Unified School District where she works, she’s serving more like 20 or 21, with no assistant to support her. For the school’s 1,000 total pupils, there is one school psychologist, and a single school nurse, who splits her time between three buildings.

“It’s not about not doing the work,” Ramo says. “But when we have so many students with so many different learning needs, it’s hard to meet them where they’re at—there’s not enough time in the day, not enough support, and not enough resources.”