Tens of thousands of Los Angeles teachers strike

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tens of thousands of Los Angeles teachers are striking after contentious contract negotiations failed in the nation’s second-largest school district.

Members of United Teachers Los Angeles voted last year to walk off the job for the first time in 30 years if a deal wasn’t reached on issues including higher wages and smaller class sizes. The strike began Monday.

Months of talks between the union and Los Angeles Unified School District ended without a deal.

Schools will stay open. The district has hired hundreds of substitutes to replace teachers and others who leave for picket lines.

The district says the union’s demands could bankrupt the school system. It’s projecting a half-billion-dollar deficit this budget year and has billions obligated for pension payments and health coverage for retired teachers.