Strike FAQ For Parents
When Will A Strike Start, and How Long Will It Last?
A United teachers Los Angeles strike will start Monday, Jan. 14. There is no telling how long a strike will last. The last strike was in 1989 and lasted nine days.
Will the Teachers Be On Strike At My School?
Teachers at all LAUSD neighborhood schools, magnet schools, pilot schools, dual language immersion schools and affiliated charters will go on strike. Teachers at independent public charters authorized but not operated by LAUSD will be working and will NOT be on strike, but parents may still face picket lines, especially if the charter co-locates with a district school where teachers are striking. If your child attends a charter school, and you are not sure whether it is independent or affiliated, you can check this list.
Will Schools Be Open During A Strike?
State Preschool Programs and LAUSD Early Education Centers will be closed during a strike, except for Preschool Collaborative Classrooms. For a list of these schools, click here. LAUSD says all other schools will be open during normal hours, meals will be served and some form of instruction will take place. Principals will be working and most likely so will some other school staff. LAUSD has hired substitute teachers and will send administrators with teaching credentials to schools. But kids may be learning in large groups in auditoriums or cafeterias. Ask your principal for your school’s plan.
If I Keep My Kids Home During A Strike, Are Absences Excused?
Absences will be unexcused unless you can provide a note saying that your child is ill. LAUSD receives funding based on attendance so keeping your child home will mean less funding for your child’s school and less money for LAUSD to meet teacher demands. California law calls more than three unexcused absences truancy, and parents can be fined. It’s unclear how strictly truancy laws will be enforced during a strike. Your school principal has discretion. Some principals are signaling that kids may come to school for attendance taking at the start of the day and have parents bring them home shortly afterward without being penalized. Check with your principal. LAUSD says no student will be prevented from graduating for failing to attend during a strike.
May I Volunteer To Help At School During A Strike?
Yes, as long as your principal approves, extended family members may volunteer. LAUSD has waived requirements for fingerprinting and TB testing during the strike but will still check parent volunteers to make sure they are not in the sex offender database.
Will My Child Be Safe?
LAUSD says yes. However, schools will not have the normal ratio of adults to kids, and nurses will also be on strike. LAUSD has expressed concerns about the safety of some of its highest-needs kids with severe disabilities. Parents of high-needs kids are welcome to attend school with their kids, if your principal permits it. Police officers will be at every secondary school throughout the day, and officers will be at elementary schools during drop-off and pickup to help keep kids safe.
Will Afterschool Programs Be Open?
Yes, afterschool programs will be operating. Students who participate in fee-based after-school programs on LAUSD campuses may be allowed to attend, even if they are not in school. Children in Beyond the Bell programs may only participate if they attend school. Please check with your principal for details.
Why Doesn’t LAUSD Just Meet UTLA’s Demands?
LAUSD says it wants to meet UTLA’s package of demands for salary increases, class size decreases and more hiring. The entire package, however, would cost billions, and unless the district gets more state funding, meeting the demands would lead to insolvency and a state takeover of LAUSD. The superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education has said that if LAUSD were to meet all of UTLA’s demands without making cuts elsewhere, the County would remove decision-making authority from the Board and reverse any decisions that would add to the risk of insolvency.
How Do I Get More Questions Answered?
LAUSD is setting up a hotline to answer parent questions during the strike. Call 213-443-1300.
*This document will be updated as new information arises.