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LA teachers count ballots from strike-authorization vote

LOS ANGELES — The union representing teachers in the huge Los Angeles Unified School District is counting ballots cast in a strike-authorization vote.

If approved in Friday’s count, the authorization would give leadership of United Teachers Los Angeles permission to call a strike.

The vote comes amid a stalemate in lengthy contract talks with the nation’s second-largest school district.

UTLA says that if the strike is authorized, teachers will hit the picket lines unless the union and school district reach an agreement that addresses teachers’ demands on pay raise, smaller class sizes and others.

Teachers around the nation have been pursuing better contracts with walkouts and protests. The movement started earlier this year in West Virginia, where a strike resulted in a raise, and spread to Oklahoma, Kentucky, Colorado, Arizona and Washington state.