Los Angeles teachers began their first strike in 30 years Monday to demand smaller class sizes, better pay, and an increased number of support staff, according to the Los Angeles Times. Schools in the district struggled to remain open as an estimated 31,000 teachers and support staff walked off the job. “Let’s be clear, educators don’t want to strike,” United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl told the assembled strikers. “We don’t want to miss time with our students. We don’t want to have less money for the car payment or less money for the school supplies that we always end up buying ourselves.”
On Friday, negotiations between United Teachers Los Angeles and the L.A. Unified School District ground to a halt, which precipitated Monday’s strike. The district had reportedly offered a full-time nurse for every elementary school, $130 million in increased funding, and another 1,200 staffers to help shrink class sizes. But that staff increase was only guaranteed for a year—which caused the union to reject the offer. At the moment, the Los Angeles Times notes, no new talks have been scheduled.