Negotiations between the Los Angeles Unified School District and its teachers union were set to resume early this morning after Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, who is mediating the contract dispute, canceled a meeting Wednesday night.
Brown, who presided over a two-day state economic summit that ended Wednesday, decided it would be more productive to reschedule the session rather than work late into the night. Today's meeting will be the third joint session between the two sides in the last week. Brown has said he is confident that a new offer can be forged before the Feb. 23 strike deadline set by the union.
In a demonstration of solidarity, thousands of teachers this morning are expected to conduct informational picketing before class starts and will hand out leaflets about a union-produced television show that will air on Sunday.
The strike threat was prompted by a 12% teachers pay cut imposed by the district in October to help close a $400-million budget deficit. Teachers have also complained that the district's budget priorities do not focus on classroom education.