About 6,500 teachers in two California cities prepared Sunday to join 3,500 of their brethren on strike in six other states in what has become an annual end-of-summer rite.
More than 5,000 teachers are threatening to strike the Sacramento-area school districts and there were plans for a walkout by 1,500 teachers in the San Jose Unified School District. Walkouts in those jurisdictions would affect about 120,000 students.
About 3,500 teachers are already on picket lines in Ohio, Montana, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Idaho, affecting more than 60,000 students.
The disputes involve wages, fringe benefits and classroom issues.
In San Jose, year-old talks broke off Saturday and no new sessions were scheduled. A strike there would affect 29,000 students when classes resume this week. San Jose teachers have worked without a contract since June 30, 1988, and are angry because they were not offered a raise.