More than 32,000 Los Angeles teachers and staff took to the streets on Monday to demand smaller class sizes, more support staff at schools and better pay.

It was the first strike by Los Angeles teachers in 30 years. Despite cold rain, the teachers carrying signs saying “On Strike for Our Students” stood in picket lines Monday morning, demanding smaller class sizes, more nurses, counselors and librarians, higher wages for educators and more accountability for charter schools.

“Today is the beginning of a new day for our students! We’re on strike because our students and our classrooms cannot wait any longer,” United Teachers Los Angeles tweeted.

“We cannot continue on without the nurses, counselors and librarians our students need.” Weeks of heated negotiations between the United Teachers Los Angeles union and the Los Angeles Unified School District went nowhere, leading to the teachers’ strike. “Of course we want a pay raise, but the main issues are class size reduction and to end the privatization of public schools with unregulated charter growth,” a veteran teacher was quoted by reports as saying.

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