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Talks 'Making Progress' to End LA Teachers' Strike


FILE - Teachers and students rally in the steps in front of Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, Jan. 16, 2019.
FILE - Teachers and students rally in the steps in front of Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, Jan. 16, 2019.

Marathon talks to end a teachers' strike in America's second-largest school district were reportedly "making progress" Monday, but the strike will continue into its sixth day Tuesday, even if a deal is reached, union representatives said.

Some 30,000 teachers in the Los Angeles school district walked off the job on Jan. 14, demanding higher pay, smaller class sizes and more support staff.

Union leaders said even if the two sides reach an agreement before the start of the school day Tuesday, teachers will not be in class because the contract has to be ratified by union members.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, whose office is mediating the talks, sounded an optimistic note Monday.

"The parties are still at the table, and I am optimistic that we have the momentum to take those final steps toward bringing our teachers and young people back into their classrooms,'' he said in a statement.

The teachers' main complaint is that the classes in the school district are so large, the students sometimes don't have desks, forcing them to sit on the floor or on window sills.

The school district has about 600,000 students in kindergarten through grade 12.

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