More than 30,000 Los Angeles public school teachers are currently on strike, demanding changes that include significantly reduced class sizes and salary increases.
“It is unacceptable to have teachers come in and then leave because the conditions are too hard and the pay isn’t enough,” Alex Caputo-Pearl, the Director of United Teachers Los Angeles, the union representing the teachers, told CBS Los Angeles.
While the average teacher’s salary at a Los Angeles Unified school is $75,000, higher than the national average of $59,000, the extremely high costs of living in the area are unsustainable for L.A. teachers. (According to Payscale.com, the cost of living in Los Angeles is 43% higher than the U.S. average—and housing costs are astoundingly 127% higher, too).
Meanwhile, L.A. public school class sizes are big and can compromise learning conditions for students, who are unable to receive equal attention.
Currently, the Los Angeles Unified School District has nearly half a million students enrolled, many of whom are picketing alongside parents and teachers, severely impacting attendance across schools.
And if you can’t join them on the picket front lines, you can still do your part and help send in some hearty back-up.
A GoFundMe Campaign called “Tacos for Teachers” has been set up, bringing tacos, burritos, and coffee to schools across Los Angeles where teachers and students are picketing.
Set up by the International Socialist Organization and Democratic Socialists of America, the campaign is partnering with Zingo Tacos, a local taco joint, who are sending their taco trucks throughout the city.
The campaign has surpassed its current goal of $15,000 with over $32,000 already raised, but is still accepting donations. Any funds not used on tacos or coffee will also be allocated to the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, a grassroots organization devoted to social and political issues in California.
“It’s L.A.,” Victor Fernandez, one of the taco truck operators told the L.A. Times. “What else are you going to bring?”