We find that amidst a crisis, it can be difficult to sift through the opinion pieces, the personal anecdotes, and the vast volume of media out there. With the LAUSD teacher’s strike, Starfish Impact has put together a quick reference guide to the facts and a list of sources for further information so that each individual can be informed and have the tools available to them to learn more if they choose.
Just the Facts
- This is the first LAUSD teacher’s strike in 30 years.
- The teacher’s strike was authorized by a UTLA vote in August 2018 by 98% votes in support. Over 81% of members voted and UTLA membership is made up of approximately 35,000.
- Approximately 32,000 teachers went on strike as of January 14, 2019 affecting 640,000 students in the district.
- California spends approximately $8,000 – $13,000 annually on education per student (range depends on the metric used). As an interesting foil, California spends $81,000 annually per prison detainee.
- More than 80% of LAUSD schools don’t have a full time school nurse.
- The district has among the highest-class sizes in California, despite being the richest state in the nation. It ranks 48th relative to the other 50 states. Again, this metric depends on what data is used and thus some reports calculate California being ranked as high as 22 out of the 50 states (plus the District of Columbia).
- Special education teachers were authorized by a judge to strike which means that students who have Individual Education Plans will not receive their education and care by their normal teachers.
- More than 80% of LAUSD students receive free or reduced price lunches.
- There are over 20,000 students experiencing homelessness in the school district
Sources for Additional Information
- Los Angeles Unified School District website
- United Teachers Los Angeles website
- University of California InfoCenter comparison of state spending on corrections and on education
- National Center for Education Statistics website
- California Legislative Analyst’s Office website
- California Department of Education Data & Statistics website
- California State Budget through the Department of Finance website
- EdSource comparison of per-pupil spending in California
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