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An LAUSD Strike Survival Guide: What You Need to Know


Here’s a guide to coping with the Los Angeles Unified School District’s three-day strike that begins Tuesday morning.

The basics

The strike, which will last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, would include as many as 65,000 workers.

Schools would be closed during a strike.

That is leaving parents struggling. Officials are distributing food on school days and helping with childcare for families. The district is also preparing academic materials for students to take home.

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School bus driver John Lewis chats with his colleagues at the end of his day last week in Gardena. Lewis will be among those affected by the strike.

(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

who attracts attention

The strike would be spearheaded by SEIU Local 99. Local 99 represents about 30,000 workers, including bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria and other food service workers, campus security assistants, teaching assistants, and assistants for students with disabilities.

Local 99 would join a solidarity strike by the United Teachers of Los Angeles, which represents 35,000 teachers, counselors, therapists, nurses and librarians.

In case of strike, there will be no classes. Except for limited child care on some campuses, schools will be closed to students because officials said they cannot ensure adequate supervision.

However, the district encourages employees who are willing to report to work during their normal workday, even though they are unlikely to perform their usual duties.

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Parents wait outside a school.

Parents wait to pick up their children at 153rd Street Elementary School in Gardena.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

food distribution

With 80% of students from low-income families, the school system plays an important role in providing breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner Monday through Friday.

Such meals will continue in a limited way. Families will be able to pick up prepackaged meals from some two dozen locations throughout the school system on Tuesday alone, and only from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Each family can receive six meals per student, for breakfast and lunch at each one of the three days of strike.

The district has experience of the pandemic in distributing a large number of meals. One difference this time is that the workers who provided the backbone of that aid, including workers in the cafeteria and central kitchen, will be on strike. Local 99 also represents bus drivers, paraprofessionals, security aides, and custodians.

LA Unified is welcoming volunteer help in meal distribution.

A parent wearing a mask waits by a school.

Jessica Aguilera, a mother, waits to pick up her children at 153rd Street Elementary School.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Child care

Nonprofit organizations, sports leagues, community groups and other government agencies have worked to expand their hours and offerings during the three-day strike. Places are limited and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Dozens of campuses, among 1,000 in the school system, will provide supervision between 8 am and 6 pm. This supervision will be provided by Beyond the Bell staff, who typically provide activity and homework supervision from the end of the school day until 6 p.m. A map of the district indicates sites that will accept students.

That same map identifies the location of 18 Los Angeles County parks and recreation sites who will offer a walk-in program with balls and equipment to pick up and a gym open from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm County sites close 30 minutes before school district sites. When available, county sites will allow access to computer labs to complete school assignments.

Meals will be provided both in the district and in the county.

County libraries will also be open and welcoming to children.


For students who want to keep busy with school work, especially if they have access to the Internet, there is almost an overload of resources that are published online and activity packets available for families to take home.

All work is optional and will not count toward the student’s grade. An event scheduled for next week, the SAT college entrance exam, has been rescheduled for the first week after spring break.

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