Of course, while the teachers' union states that it is striking to improve conditions for the students, the strike leaves many vulnerable children without a reliable place to go during the day. Schools remain open, serve meals to eligible children and provide pre-school and after-school programs and reliance on volunteers, substitute teachers and non-district education staff to provide any appearance of instruction and extracurricular support to students who do show up. But it is unclear how much and how the strike is likely to cause enormous stress for hundreds of thousands of low-income LAUSD parents, many of whom do not speak English, while they are struggling to find out what options for childcare are available in a sprawling city where traffic congestion is rampant and public transport can be unreliable. The children may also miss out on valuable learning opportunities that teachers may not have the time to return to when they return to the classrooms; the ad hoc lessons that are offered to the children who are present can only go so far.
Some observers challenge the starting point that race and, especially Latino identity, is a key force behind the story of the strike. Critics such as Jeanne Allen, who founded and supervised the Center for Education Reform, which advocates charter schools, marks the eruption of a teacher union's last desperate attempt to maintain control over a school system amid declining public support for collective education. negotiate and in the aftermath of a recent decision by the Supreme Court that limits the fundraising capabilities of trade unions. Janelle Erickson, a spokeswoman for LAUSD, pointed to United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl as the mastermind behind the rebellion, referring to a speech he made back in 2016 to suggest that it has been in the making for more than two years. The fact that most teachers of L.A. are people of color, many of whom relate to the students who teach them, is remarkable but coincidental, that's how it goes. Caputo-Pearl's campaign against charter schools and other forms of privatization & # 39; in education, Erickson argued in an e-mail, is the driving force behind this outage.
None of the class teachers with whom I spoke even mentioned Caputo-Pearl, and few of them talked about charter schools. Instead, when asked how their own background made their conception of the strike possible, almost every LAUSD teacher I interviewed used the word & # 39 ;. For many if not most Latino middle-aged LAUSD educators today, teaching emerged as one of the few access points to the middle class, according to Maria Brenes, the executive director of InnerCity Struggle, a non-profit organization focused on improving of the lives of young people in Eastside LA The cost of living in Los Angeles has increased enormously in recent years, leaving many class families, let alone those who depend on the salaries of teachers, unable to buy a house.