"If you liked it, you shoulda put a ring on it." Single Ladies by Beyonce
LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District) is the second largest school district in the United States. They also have one of the most powerful teacher unions in the country. So, when they strike the rest of the country listens...
Wait what happened? This strike was over wages of support staff. It lasted 3 days from March 21-23. In most school districts, support staff wages drag far behind teachers and administrators. In LAUSD these job include teacher assistants, aides to children with special needs, cafeteria staff, custodians, and bus drivers. Without them, schools will not function.
Wages for these employees varied but on average most were making under 30K per year, averaging $16.91 per hour. The educators of LAUSD went on strike to raise their pay, fighting against "poverty wages" in one of the most famous cities in the world. They have settled at a new average hourly wage of $23.85.
...So how does this effect us? School support staff workers are often in vulnerable positions. Though they are typically part time, they work the maximum hours to be considered that (like 37.5 hours per week). They work very hard and often have to adapt to work outside their role. For example it's not uncommon for them to substitute teach or drive extra bus routes. These positions require specific training and for those working in the classroom a bachelor's degree is preferred (and in some states required).
And what I really want to drive home here is- most districts are paying these incredibly valuable essential workers meager hourly wages . It was a very big deal when my former school district raised wages to $16.50 hourly. Now, I see that was the wage LAUSD workers were going on strike over.
Keep an eye out on other districts in California, Arizona, and large cities. Like other LAUSD strikes, I predict this will start a cascade of changes/protests over the next year.
What's New? (contains affiliate links)
💙 Nashville: Yesterday there was a devastating school shooting in Nashville, TN. If you want to support those impacted, GoFundMe has 2 verified fundraisers. To learn more about necessary policy and change, look at Everytown.org which is dedicated to ending gun violence in the US.
📝 Tales from a Teacher: I uploaded 2 new cute videos- The first is a short story describing how a student stealing pencils from me made me rethink my approach to teaching...and to life . It's great for a little inspiration. The second is a compilation of three teaching stories you may have seen on my tiktok. Good for a quick laugh.
👩💻 Behind the Scenes: Since it is the end of Q1 this week, I'll be taking some time to analyze data. This will help me understand what kind of content to make. Next week I'll share a roundup of my top videos from this quarter.
☕️ Tea Time: I drink a lot of tea. I always want to try loose tea (sans tea bag) but never found a method I like to steep it. My sister in law (hi sis 👋) got me the perfect solution . Now I always have fresh tea ready to drink.
🍿 Movie: I am a huge Gina Rodriguez fan, and recently watched her movie Someone Great on Netflix. It's about three best friends that go on an epic night out to help one of them feel better after a tough breakup. It's got cameo appearances by RuPaul and Rosario Dawson. You'll laugh, you'll dance, and you'll cry.