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LAUSD Workers Strike. Students With Special Needs Receive Little Support

A family of four at an LA Dodgers game. From left to right there is a woman with a backward baseball hat on, a girl with medium-length brown hair, a boy  and a man with a mustache, both with brown hair and blue baseball hats with the L.A. logo on it.
Vanessa, Gigi, Jude and Leonard Gonzales at a Los Angeles Dodgers game. The family lives in the west San Fernando Valley and is navigating the Los Angeles Unified shutdown this week. "They deserve to be treated with dignity, and that needs to show up in their pay," Leonard said of the striking school staff.
(Courtesy Leonard Gonzales)
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Throughout any given day, students within the Los Angeles Unified School District interact with various school district workers, and it’s not just their teachers.

Students with special needs suffer the consequences of the strike

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Bus drivers make sure they get to school on time. Cafeteria workers ensure they have food to eat. Classroom aides support students with special needs, giving them the tailored small-group or individualized learning to set them up for success. Custodians make sure the school buildings are clean and safe. Our young Angelenos with disabilities — along with the rest of the nation’s kids with special needs — have the right to a “free and appropriate public education.”

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But the students who need the most support in the classroom are not receiving it right now because the district workers — 30,000 of them to be exact — are on a three-day strike. They are seeking a 30% increase in their wages over the next four years among other demands.

Today is supposed to be the last day.

My colleague Mariana Dale spoke with some of the families who have kids with special needs and are heavily impacted by the strike. She also talked to some of the striking workers about their roles and the hardships they face with their current conditions. There are also resources for parents who need guidance with child care during the strike.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More news

(After you stop hitting snooze)

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  • The California State University system will soon have a dual admissions program. My colleague Jackie Orchard has more details on the “Transfer Success Pathway” program. 
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  • It’s almost the freakin’ weekend, my friend. We have tons of events in store for you. Are you a comic book fan? Attend WonderCon at the Anaheim Convention Center where there will be a masquerade, gaming tournaments and an artist’s alley. Outfest Fusion: QTBIPOC Film Festival is for sure going to be a blast with a showing of Little Richard: I Am Everything, The Stroll and Soft. It's Women's History Month, so turn up the volume for six female-fronted bands at FEMcore at the Corbin Bowl. 
  • A few years ago, we had a special interstellar visitor to our solar system called ‘Oumuamua, but it might not be an alien or a spaceship as one would hope. Now scientists have an explanation behind this fascinating object, and it has to do with hydrogen inside water-rich ice. 
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  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

Wait... One More Thing

Cheap Fast Eats: K-Town After Dark Edition

A man with light skin tone, short brown hair, and glasses, wears a red, white, and brown flannel long sleeve shirt sits next to a man with medium skin tone and dark brown hair with glasses and a gray jacket. They both hold a hot dog on a stick. They just took a bit and melted cheese is connected from their mouths to the hot dog. They are squinting their eyes.
Gab Chabrán and Brian De Los Santos eat Two Hands dogs in Koreatown.
(Brian Feinzimer
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These past few months I’ve had to change my diet preparing to run 26.2 miles, so if I must say so myself, I’ve earned eating junk food at least for a week.

Enter Gab Chabrán, our food and culture associate editor.

If there’s one thing Gab will do for me, it’s make me go outside in the pouring rain and spend my money on some good food. He’s done it again in the latest edition of Cheap Fast Eats.

Let’s go to Koreatown … after dark. So, I’ve never really had a chance to explore K-town at night before. That's going to change soon after reading about Korean-style corn dogs at Two Hands. I’m going to have to leave Hot Dogs On A Stick alone for a minute so I can try a Spicy Dog with spicy sauce and Hot Cheetos powder.

I know I have you salivating. Read Gab’s latest article to learn more about these neat corn dogs and what in the world is inside an “Asian American pizza.” Brian De Los Santos also joined Gab on an adventure to check out some of the restaurants. Listen to the latest podcast episode here.

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