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What the LA Teachers Won, and How They Won It

Through their historic strike, Los Angeles teachers have taught working people across the country how to fight back and win.

Eric Blanc17 July 2019

What the LA Teachers Won, and How They Won It

This article was originally published by The Nation magazine and is republished here with permission. Read the full text of Eric Blanc's article here.

Red State Revolt: The Teachers' Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics is 40% off until Monday, July 22 at 11:59PM EST as part of our Jacobin sale!

Los Angeles teachers took on the billionaires and won. After months of systematic organizing and over a week of striking, educators on Tuesday voted by an overwhelming majority to support a tentative agreement that codified major wins for LA public schools. These include smaller class sizes, a nurse in every school, more counselors and librarians, steps against charter schools, and a slew of “common good” demands regarding social justice-issues like immigrant rights, racial profiling, and green spaces at schools.

It would be hard to overstate the importance of this victory in the country’s second-largest school district. Against considerable odds, Los Angeles teachers have dealt a major blow against the forces of privatization in the city and nationwide. By taking on Democratic politicians in a deep-blue state, LA’s strike will certainly deepen the polarization within the Democratic Party over education reform and austerity. And by demonstrating the power of striking, LA educators have inspired educators nationwide to follow suit.

With new walkouts now looming in Denver, Oakland, Virginia, and beyond, it makes sense to reflect on the reasons why LA’s school workers came out on top—and what their struggle can teach people across the United States. Here are the five main takeaways.

To continue reading, please see the full article in The Nation.

Formerly a high-school teacher in the Bay Area, Eric Blanc writes on labor movements past and present. He is the author of Red State Revolt: The Teachers’ Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics (Verso Books, 2019).

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