LA teachers go on strike in 2nd-largest US school district

Tens of thousands of Los Angeles teachers went on strike today after contentious contract negotiations failed in the nation's second-largest school district.

Teachers union President Alex Caputo-Pearl told a cheering crowd of teachers marching in pouring rain "students, we are striking for you." Members of United Teachers Los Angeles voted last year to walk off the job for the first time in three decades if a deal wasn't reached on issues including higher wages and smaller class sizes.

Months of talks between the union with 35,000 members and the Los Angeles Unified School District ended without a deal. It follows teacher walkouts in other states that emboldened organized labor.

Schools will stay open because the district with 640,000 students has hired hundreds of substitutes to replace teachers and others who leave for picket lines. The union has called it irresponsible to hire substitutes and called on parents to consider keeping students home or join marchers.

Dawn Kamber