For the first time since 1989, Los Angeles teachers are on strike, leaving parents scrambling.
Thousands of teachers and parents shielded by umbrellas under a constant drizzle of rain marched in downtown Los Angeles streets Monday.
Approximately $15 million was lost due to the strike, LAUSD Chief Communications Officer Shannon Haber said Monday afternoon.
Teachers across the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest in the nation, plan on picketing during the walkout. A labor contract dispute has fueled the discord between the district and United Teachers Los Angeles, with several last-ditch meetings failing to produce an agreement between the teachers' union and the second-largest school district in the country.
Meetings took place Wednesday and Friday, after the union rejected LAUSD's proposal that would have added nearly 1,000 more librarians, counselors, and teachers.
LAUSD issued a statement in response to the strike that said that the district had offered UTLA leaders a $565 million package to significantly reduce class sizes, along with nearly 1,200 educators in schools and provide all UTLA members with 6 percent salary raises.
UTLA rejected the district's offer and criticized LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner for going to the state capital instead of being present during Friday's negotiations.
On Sunday, UTLA claimed that no new offer had been made by the district over the weekend and announced that the strike would go into effect, following nearly two years of failed negotiations.
UTLA bargaining chair Arlene Inouye said the union was "insulted" by the offer and called it "woefully inadequate."
Earlier in the week, United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex-Caputo Pearl said he was shocked at Monday's proposal, saying he was surprised the district had "so little to offer."
That did little to stymie many parents' frustrations with the potential strike, as plans were put in place to care for their children.
Some were left stunned that the school board voted to allow volunteers into the classroom without full background checks. The board initially said no to the idea, but changed its position Tuesday ahead.
"I would've thought the district would have learned its lessons from Miramonte and the millions of dollars you paid out in claims," Carl Petersen, who has two special-needs daughters within the LAUSD, said, referring to a LAUSD elementary school teacher convicted of sexually abusing students. "This is one of the reasons we have financial problems."
With criticism also came support.
Several GoFundMe accounts were started to help feed teachers and students if there were to be a strike, despite the district promising to feed everyone.
- Join NBC4 and Telemundo52's Facebook group to find information, resources, and other parents.
- Head's Up Parents - Here's a quick rundown of what you need to know about the strike.
- LAUSD has started a "call in line." Parents can call 213-443-1300 and get information regarding the looming strike. The center will be open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- LA Metro is offering free rides to LAUSD students.
- The Los Angeles Zoo, the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum and the Petersen Automotive Museum are offering students affected by the strike free admission.
- Tacos for Teachers: People are donating to GoFundMe accounts that aim to feed students and teachers if there is a strike. See them here.