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The Latest: Striking LA teachers return to bargaining table

January 17, 2019
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Spanish teacher at Hamilton High School, Jose Ramos, left, joins teachers during a strike in front of Hamilton High School in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. Los Angeles school administrators urged the union to resume bargaining as tens of thousands of teachers planned to walk picket lines for a third day Wednesday, after being joined on strike for the first time by some of their counterparts from independent charter schools. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the Los Angeles teachers strike (all times local):

9:15 p.m.

Striking Los Angeles teachers will return to the bargaining table.

The office of Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday night that the union and officials of the nation’s second-largest school district have agreed to resume contract talks at noon Thursday. His office says it will facilitate the negotiations.

The third day of the walkout saw tens of thousands of educators walking picket lines in the rain and many parents also kept their children home.

Student attendance has plummeted during the strike to less than one-quarter of usual numbers.

The district says the absences have cost it about $69 million in state funding.

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5 p.m.

The Los Angeles Unified School District says student absences during the ongoing teachers strike have cost the district about $69 million over three days.

Officials estimate slightly more than 132,400 students attended LAUSD’s 1,240 schools on Wednesday — 22 percent fewer than on Tuesday.

Attendance has plummeted during the strike to less than one-quarter of usual numbers.

Because state funding is dependent on attendance, the student absences cost the district money. At the same time, LAUSD doesn’t have to spend millions on teacher pay during the walkout.

No contract negotiations have been scheduled since talks broke down last week. Teachers plan to walk picket lines for a fourth day on Thursday.

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12:30 p.m.

The Los Angeles Unified School District says students who miss classes during the teachers strike will be marked absent, but whether they face consequences will be at the discretion of each school’s principal.

Teachers walked picket lines again Wednesday as the union head hinted that contract talks could resume soon.

Schools remain open, but attendance is about a quarter of the usual numbers. Many parents are concerned that little learning is happening with the minimal staffing.

The LAUSD says state law does not excuse absences in case of a strike, and students are expected to come to school. But the district says in a statement that “principals will work with students and families on attendance.”

Officials say school hours, meals and morning and after-school programs will not change during the walkout.

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8:01 a.m.

The Los Angeles teachers strike has entered a third day.

Teachers are on the picket lines Wednesday and rallying under rainy skies outside a high school.

United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl told the crowd there will be information later in the day about when the union will return to the bargaining table.

He offered no additional details on the resumption of talks, which broke down last week.

Teachers are pressing for higher pay, smaller class sizes and more support staff that school officials say could lead to bankruptcy.

Schools remain open, staffed by substitutes, and the district says attendance is at about one-quarter the usual numbers.

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10:30 p.m.

Los Angeles school administrators are urging the union to resume bargaining as tens of thousands of teachers plan to walk picket lines for a third day.

Striking teachers vow to take to the streets again Wednesday despite a forecast for heavy rain across the city.

There have been no plans for the two sides to re-start negotiations after talks broke down last week. Teachers are pressing for higher pay, smaller class sizes and more support staff that school officials say could lead to bankruptcy.

Schools remain open, staffed by substitutes, and the district says attendance is at about one-quarter the usual numbers.

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