Los Angeles

Parents Scramble to Find Childcare Options as Teachers' Strike Looms

Los Angeles teachers say they are ready to strike on Monday if they can't come to an agreement in labor negotiations.

What to Know

  • United Teachers Los Angeles is delaying the start of a possible teachers strike until Monday.
  • Schools are sending out notices to parents saying their children are still expected to be in school.
  • Schools will operate at their normal times and normal meals will be served.

More than half a million families in Los Angeles are scrambling to figure out what to do with their kids next week if the planned teachers' strike happens.

Valerie Stoneking said she plans to bring her daughter to work at her hair salon on Melrose Avenue.

The hairdresser at Harper Salon in West Hollywood, works long days while her 7-year-old daughter Berlin Richards attends Carpenter Community Charter School in Studio City.

Stoneking says if LA teachers go on strike next week she got permission from salon owners to bring her daughter to work.

"I'll come in and she'll go in a back room, Stoneking said. "I'll have her reading, try to keep up homework. Maybe I'll let her watch a movie. She'll be happy with that."

LA Unified School District administrators say if the strike goes on, all 1,000 schools will remain open and meals will be served as usual. Students are expected to attend and will be supervised by district staff, substitute teachers, and volunteers.

But Stoneking isn't comfortable sending her young daughter to school under those conditions.

"If the child was older and can fend for themselves it might be OK, but if they're younger ... no way."

Stoneking says she received a letter from the superintendent last week warning that her daughter should not miss any more school days.

"It was an intimidation tactic to say my kid has missed five days," she said. "I better not miss anymore, But I'm not sending her. They can come after me."

Stoneking says she's prepared to stand by the teachers if there is a strike, but she's not sure what she'll do about child care if a walkout goes on for more than a week.

"I don't know," she said, indicating she might pay a babysitter or pull together with other parents in the same situation.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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