In Los Angeles schools, when there are no nurses, teachers help kids with broken bones and fevers. Psychologists talk children down from hurting themselves or others. Many students arrive at school knowing little English. Interventionists step in and give them an extra hand.
All are members of the teachers union, who work at schools at least eight hours a day and then often go home to take calls from parents, grade papers and write reports.
Much of the public discussion about a potential teachers strike Thursday has centered on the rhetoric from union and district leaders. The union wants higher pay, smaller class sizes, and more nurses, counselors and librarians in classrooms to “fully staff” schools. It wants more of a say in how charter schools share campuses. In speeches and slogans, those goals may seem distant and abstract.
But they aren’t for the 31,000 teachers union members inside schools, who might deal with students with many needs or teach classes so large that there aren’t enough desks to go around.
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