It follows teacher walkouts in other states that emboldened organized labor.
A massive teachers strike in Los Angeles, the nation's second-largest school district, is all but inevitable starting on Monday after the two sides did not renew negotiations over the weekend.
United Teachers Los Angeles previously said its 35,000 members would walk off the job Thursday for the first time in 30 years if a deal wasn't reached on higher pay and smaller class sizes.
In the first walkout since 1989, the 30,000 teachers represented by United Teachers of Los Angeles will go on strike after 21 months of failed negotiations. Students will receive instruction from administrators and substitute teachers.
United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl speaks at a conference on January 13, 2019.
"We're in a battle for the soul of public education", said UTLA President Alex Pearl-Caputo.
District officials said it was imploring the union to reconsider, adding that it rejected the new offer without proposing a counteroffer.
It spread from conservative states with "right to work" laws that limit the ability to strike to the more liberal West Coast with strong unions. He's a former UTLA member and now part of the California Teachers Empowerment Network, which describes itself as a nonpartisan information source for teachers and the public.
Abram van der Fluit, a Los Angeles teacher opposed to the strike, said in a statement on Sunday that colleagues who agree with him are "fearful" of speaking out against the union.
"I don't support the rationale for the strike as articulated by UTLA", he said.
School officials say that while they have a sizable reserve now at about $1.8 billion, that money will dwindle in the next few years because of growing pension and health-care benefit costs and that the price tag of the union's demands would bankrupt the district.
The dispute is different from the so called "red state teachers revolt" that led to prominent strikes in Arizona, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Kentucky, where teachers challenged austerity measures pushed by Republican legislatures that crippled school budgets.
Van der Fluit, a 20-year LAUSD veteran who teaches high school biology, said the union should prioritise other issues including creating access to vocational education classes and providing options for students who want to pursue careers that don't necessarily require a college degree. Teacher's strike when they have no other recourse, when there is no other alternative.
"So we're going to have a normal day at school", Superintendent Austin Beutner said in an exclusive interview only on CBS 2 News.
Beutner has said his plan to reorganize the district would improve services to students and families.