Years of frustration over class sizes, salaries and a shortage of school counselors and nurses have boiled over for more than 30,000 members of United Teachers Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Unified School District has made offers to try to prevent the walkout, but the teachers' union said they're not enough. So unless the warring sides find a solution fast, LA teachers will go on strike for the first time in 30 years.
"We want an agreement that works for our kids -- that gets to a place where we're not dealing with 50 kids in a classroom, where we're not dealing with 40% of our schools having a nurse for only one day a week," said Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of the UTLA union.
Despite the expected absences of 32,000 teachers and staff members, classes will continue at all schools. About 600,000 students could be taught by more than 2,000 reassigned administrators and about 400 substitute teachers, the school district said.
Exactly how that would work out logistically remains uncertain.
"It's case by case, school by school," said Shannon Haber, chief communications officer for LAUSD. "We're going to have to troubleshoot on the day of."
While the teachers' union acknowledged the impact of the upcoming strike on thousands of families, UTLA also invited families to join them on the picket lines.
"While every family will make their own decision on whether to send their child to school in the event of a strike, having many parents and allies on picket lines will be powerful and transformative," the union said.
What do both sides want?
Both the union and school district say they want smaller class sizes, bigger teacher salaries and more counselors and nurses in the district's roughly 1,000 schools.
The big debate revolves around how to fund them.
Union members say they want LAUSD to pull from its $1.86 billion in reserves to increase school staffing and to boost teachers' salaries by 6.5%.
"We have been in negotiations with LAUSD since April 2017. We have been working without a contract for almost one year," UTLA said in a statement
. "Even with $1.