It’s only Natalia Ramos’s first year on the job. But the 24-year-old high school music teacher is already taking part in a historic moment: the first teachers’ strike in Los Angeles in 30 years.
Ramos was one of more than 30,000 teachers who went on strike on Monday, demanding better pay, smaller class sizes and a pause in the growth of charter schools.
Ramos explained she doesn’t have the materials she needs to teach her classes, including up-to-date music and folders for sheet music.
The strike began after contract negotiations broke down between the teachers’ union — the United Teachers Los Angeles, or UTLA — and the school district. Los Angeles Unified School District is the second largest in the country. More than 600,000 students are affected by the strike.
On Tuesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted that he’s “proud” of the teachers.
“This impasse is disrupting the lives of too many kids and their families. I strongly urge all parties to go back to the negotiating table and find an immediate path forward that puts kids back into classrooms and provides parents certainty,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement on Monday.
The school district lost $15 million on the first day of the strike, LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner told ABC7 News.