Teachers in Los Angeles go on strike on Monday. My wife teaches math in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and tells me that her colleagues are all charged up. The teachers have chosen to wear red as their strike color, so the picket lines and demonstrations will have coordinated look.
The teachers are unified in their disdain for the district superintendent, Austin Beutner, a billionaire known for being pals with local power brokers; he did a stint as publisher of the Los Angeles Times; he was a failed candidate for mayor, and he is a tireless promotor of privatizing schools. Teachers love to deride Beutner for having no experience in education, although he created a lovely charity for giving eyeglasses to poor children and he’s a bigwig behind Cal Arts, the excellent, Disney-created art college. Beutner is seen as a union-busting oligarch and a bad guy in teachers’ circles.
We see red-clad groups of protesting teachers all over town this weekend and we’ll see lots more next week. I rarely draw local cartoons, but there’s good reason for this one. The local newspapers oppose the teachers so my cartoon may not get much press, but my wife will carry it on her sign.