The Interests of Schoolchildren

LAUSD teacher strikeMore than 30,000 teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) went on strike this week. LAUSD serves 640,000 students and is the second biggest school district in the country.

The mean annual wage for LAUSD teachers is $75,000.

In the local reporting I’m seeing on the strike, teachers and union reps are unanimous in saying that they’re striking for the benefit of the schoolchildren.

I’m reminded of something Albert Shanker — former president of the United Federation of Teachers (1964-1984) and the American Federation of Teachers (1974-1997) — used to say:

When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren.

I can’t say for certain that the LA union reps are being disingenuous but it does make sense that they’d be representing the interests of the people who are paying them.

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