LA HABRA (CBS) — Teachers in the La Habra City School district are walking the picket line for a second day in a row in protest of cuts to pay and health benefits that school district officials want to make permanent.

Talks between the school district and the La Habra Education Association, which represents the district’s teachers, broke off Tuesday afternoon, prompting the strike, California Teachers Association spokesman Bill Guy said. The CTA includes the La Habra Education Association.

Many of the district’s parents honored the picket lines and did not bring their children to school.

“By our calculations, about a quarter of the students were held out of school (Wednesday),” Guy said. “From the comments we got from parents we expect a lot less (Thursday).”

Teachers picketed in front of all of the district’s nine schools, with the largest group at Imperial Middle School, 1450 S. Schoolwood Drive.

The “big sticking point” is the board’s insistence on making the cuts permanent, Guy said. That was also what prompted teachers in the Capistrano Unified School District to go on strike in April. That walkout lasted five days before board members agreed to revisit the cuts if the district’s fortunes improved.

School board member Sharon Brown said district officials have proposed some language in the teachers’ contract that would end the cuts if the economy improves and the district receives more funds from the state, but union leaders have rejected the offers.

Hango said the cuts were necessary because of declining revenue from the state.

District officials expect to save $220,000 over two years with the cuts.

Union leaders expect a large number of teachers to attend today’s school board meeting. No negotiations are scheduled, Guy said.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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