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Local News in Brief : Teachers Stage Walkout

Teachers in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, who undertook a silent protest in March to press their demand for higher pay, staged a one-day strike Wednesday.

Supt. James E. Johnson said 70% of the teachers and 30% of the students were out of school for the day. The Hacienda La Puente Teachers Assn., which represents nearly 1,200 employees, including 865 classroom teachers, estimated strike participation even higher, at more than 85%.

The district kept its 33 schools in Hacienda Heights, La Puente and the City of Industry open by hiring 150 substitute teachers and sending administrators to classrooms. Striking teachers said they will return to classrooms today.

The district and teachers have reached tentative agreement on a 9% pay increase, but the district wants to be able to cut back on the increase next school year if state funding falls below expectations. Teachers staged a “day of silent protest” in March, conducting classes by writing assignments on blackboards and through gestures, but refusing to talk to students and administrators.

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