Los Angeles teachers are on strike for the first time in 30 years demanding smaller class sizes, more support staff, and pay raises. The teachers are part of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), which is the second largest school district in the nation. As teachers strike for better conditions for their students, a GoFundMe campaign made sure they will stay fed to continue their fight. The campaign, called Tacos for Teachers, brought taco trucks to various United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) picket lines across Los Angeles County Monday, Jan. 14, the first day of the strike.
Thousands of teachers in the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) union are on strike demanding better conditions for them and their students.
The strikes are impacting more than 900 schools and about 500,000 students. Schools are still open and students are being supervised as teachers strike and protest against Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
Students, parents, and Los Angeles residents have been showing support for the teachers by joining the protests and through social media posts.
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#Repost @hollenbeckms_utla ・・・ Students stand with their teachers! #utla #lausd #united #la #losangeles #boyleheights #day2 • • • #UTLAStrong #StrikeReady #WeAreLA #redFored #StopStarvingOurPublicSchool #allin4respect #StopTheBillionairePrivatizers #kidsfirst #wearepublicschools #ArmMeWith #schoolslastudentsdeserve #LAUSD #HandsOffOurSchools #TeacherStrike #StudentsDeserve #StudentsnotSuspects #union #Teacher
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According to USA Today, some teachers are more concerned with class sizes as they are trying to manage classes with 50 students.
Parents who can have chosen to keep their student shome during the strike in solidarity with the teachers.
Standing with #LAUSD teachers today by keeping my kid home (cause I can). I support #publiceducation, I support better pay, I support parents, I support students, I support #LAUSD and #UTLA. #LAUSDStrike
— Carolina H. Malone (@CarolinaHMalone) January 14, 2019
The LA teachers strike comes just one year after major teacher strikes throughout West Virginia. In the end, the state of West Virginia raised wages for teachers to end the strike, which gave hope to other teacher strikes throughout the country. However, the LA teachers strike is the biggest protest of educators.
Tacos for Teachers!, a GoFundMe page raised money to make sure teachers are fed and energized for their fight.
CREDIT: CREDIT: UTLA GoFundMe
The campaign was started by Democratic Socialist of Los Angeles (DSA-LA) and the Los Angeles International Socialist Organization (ISO-LA) to show solidarity with the teachers and staff who are on strike. Max Belasco, a community organizer for DSA-LA, says the campaign took off after collaborating with ISO-LA and agreed they wanted to create an avenue for support for teachers. He notes that many of his colleagues are part of the UTLA union so this issue hit close to home for him. Many people have asked about ways they can give back to instructors and Belasco thought that food was the best option here.
“Obviously we want people to come out and support but many work during the hours they’d be striking so why not show solidarity in the form of tacos,” Belasco said. “Everyone in LA loves tacos and if it helps feed our hard-working teachers even better.”
Belasco says the contributions have been much larger than originally anticipated as he expected to receive about $1,000 to have one taco truck. However, donations have surpassed its campaign goal of $5,000. By Tuesday, the second day of strikes, the campaign has raised over $22,000 to feed teachers on strike.
The strike has gotten national attention and support from teachers across the country who have contributed to the campaign.
Taco trucks are driving to schools and feeding hungry teachers on strike. pic.twitter.com/jFtXt3xc5b
— Steve Saldivar (@stevesaldivar) January 14, 2019
“What’s cool is we’ve gotten support from teachers across the country in places like Chicago and even Virginia,” Belasco said. “The country is watching the strike and they’re giving to a good cause as well.”
The LAUSD is nation’s second largest school district and stretches across 710 square miles across LA county. Seventy-three percent of its students are Latino and are low-income as more than 80 percent of its students get free or reduced-price lunches. Belasco says these teachers are striking for more than just pay raises but better teaching environments that include smaller classrooms and new materials.
“These teachers are fighting for the future of these kids and are taking leave without pay because they believe its a fight for not only for public schools in LA but for education,” Belasco said.
Teachers are being treated to more than just tacos as students and community members pitch in to feed the teachers.
Today I bought doughnuts for the teachers at my school that were standing out in the rain on strike and every single one of them thanked me for just a small gesture. This women deserves the world. She helped pay for my future out of her own pocket. I stand with them ♥️ #UTLA pic.twitter.com/yPHAUFEJ7B
— Daxy (@duushuu) January 15, 2019
These small gestures from students have kept teachers energized in their battle for better teaching conditions.
It’s clear that the communities they serve are behind them and their fight.
The fight goes on! Support the @UTLAnow any way you can… our family dropped off donuts to our local elementary school strike line this morning. 🍎 #UTLA #UTLAStrong #WeStandWithLATeachers #SupportOurTeachers pic.twitter.com/8wCqg92L0i
— Simran Baidwan (@sbaidwan) January 15, 2019
Parents of LAUSD students are posting photos and messages of support calling on others to get behind the teachers who educate and care for their children.
As the strike enters its second day, teachers are standing firm in their fight.
— Eric Bruins (@ejfbruins) January 15, 2019
Red is the color of solidarity for the teachers strike. #RedforEd
Only time will tell if the strike initiates the change that teachers are demanding.
Day 2 #UTLA strike literally right outside our building. Over 30,000 teachers from the 2nd largest district in the nation are on strike demanding raises. I don’t blame them. Provoke CHANGE!!! Historic days in LA. pic.twitter.com/vjE2KqlR9Z
— ••€ΘΔCH ΙΞΥΙΞ•• (@issac1823) January 15, 2019
Do you stand with the teachers on strike? Let us know.