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Teacher Strikes Are About a Lot More Than Paychecks


Teacher Strikes Are About a Lot More Than Paychecks

Negin Owliaei

Teachers across the United States are having a moment.

Educators are building on the momentum from West Virginia, where striking teachers won a 5 percent pay raise for state employees. Now the protests have spread to Arizona, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and the nation’s capital.

The educators are winning broad public support, but some politicians aren’t pleased.

Teachers are displaying a “thug mentality,” Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin complained. They’re asking for too much, like a “teenager wanting a better car,” according to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.


I see- they’d rather support a Wall Street crook than a teacher making nothing.


My mother was a ninth grade science teacher. I would go to her classroom many weekend afternoons and help her weigh samples for experiments and such. I still honor her by reading the students’ comments in her yearbooks from time to time. She was a godsend to those students, many of which came from homes of unfortunate luck and history. I am sure that she helped some climb up the ladder (when it still existed). She was my inspiration and I can only hope that my academic career properly honored her memory.


Public education is under attack on many fronts:
Teachers and administrators are asked to assume more roles of the family to teach kids everything from the facts of life to “just say no to drugs”.
School facilities are allowed to become rundown by inadequate funding for routine maintenance and up keep making them increasingly depressing places to either work or go to be educated.
Teacher to student ratios are increasingly requiring teachers to engage in glorified daycare and mob-control in their class rooms.
Every child’s “right to an education” is nullified by no commensurate “responsibility to behave properly” while in school.
The “educational establishment” in state “departments of education” and university “schools of education” are constantly coming up with new educational requirements which require going to night or summer school in order for teachers to maintain their certifications to teach.
So now teachers in poorer and deeper red states are acting in a contrary mood and people wonder: Why? Go figure.