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Eric Blanc has covered the teacher revolts in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, and every other state where teachers said “Enough is enough.”
He writes for Jacobin.
Now, he says, the Blue State Teachers’ Revolt is on!
It’s official: Los Angeles teachers just announced they are going to strike on January 10. They’re challenging not just public education privatizers, but the Democratic Party establishment.
After months of contract negotiations, Los Angeles teachers have announced that, unless the LA school district leadership gives a dramatic set of last-minute concessions, they will begin a strike on January 10. The stakes of the struggle could hardly be higher. In the second-largest school district in the country, educators have thrown down the gauntlet against the forces of big business, gentrification, and privatization — including those within the Democratic Party.
The teachers’ revolt sparked by West Virginia has now spread to the “bluest” state of them all, California. LA’s schools show why the crisis of public education can’t be blamed only on Republicans. Huge class sizes, low per-pupil funding, rampant charter schools, over-testing, a lack of counselors, nurses, and librarians — these are the fruit of years of Democratic rule in the city and the state capitol.
“Corporate Democrats are getting money from the same billionaires and corporations as the Republicans,” explains United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) Secretary Arlene Inouye, “so essentially all public educators in this country are targets.” In Los Angeles, deep-pocketed pro-charter ideologues recently installed Austin Beutner — a billionaire investment banker with zero educational experience — as superintendent. Their plan is straightforward: drastically downsize the school district to push students into privately run charter schools.