Educators and supporters pack San Pedro Street in downtown Los Angeles at a rally outside the headquarters of the California Charter Schools Association in Los Angeles. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

L.A. teachers’ strike stretches into Day 3 with no resolution in sight

LOS ANGELES _ Tensions remain high between the teachers union and Los Angeles Unified School District officials as the first Los Angeles teachers’ strike in 30 years continues into its third day with no resolution in sight.
United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl repeatedly called Superintendent Austin Beutner a liar during an early morning news conference on Wednesday.
Caputo-Pearl accused Beutner of sending mixed messages about whether students who missed school during the strike would be punished.
“He is trying to create chaos and confusion and fear,” he said.
No new talks appear to have been scheduled between the union and district. The two sides repeatedly have blamed each other for that. Caputo-Pearl suggested that news about fresh negotiations could come later in the day.
He took issue with Beutner’s contention that it is the union that is refusing to bargain, calling that assertion “a straight lie.”
The union wants smaller class sizes, higher pay and more full-time support staff at schools. The district has said it does not have the money to meet all the demands.
Meanwhile, as the strike continues, LAUSD is losing millions of dollars each day because a lot of students are not coming to school and state funding is tied to attendance. The district reported that 143,993 students _ about a third of the district’s total enrollment _ attended class Monday, resulting in a net loss of $15 million after subtracting the unpaid wages of strikers. Attendance ticked up slightly on Tuesday, the district said, with about 20,000 more students on campuses.
Given the amount of money the district is losing for every day of the strike, there could be pressure on the union to settle soon if it wants to achieve any of its big-ticket goals.
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