Friday, March 30, 2018

How Oklahoma Will Be Different From West Virginia - EIA, Antonucci

In West Virginia all 55 superintendents and school boards closed schools for the duration of the strike. That isn’t happening in Oklahoma... Mike Antonucci,
With many Oklahoma teachers planning to walk on Monday, we will try to drill down. One thing to point out is that many of the teachers from Oklahoma may have been Trump supporters - especially if you heard Larry Cagle at the Jacobin event. He said here it's Trump people against Trump people. See:
Tulsa went 65% for Trump.

This is a story played down by all those excitable children on the left who think the same militancy is sweeping everywhere but they don't want to talk about how many of the most militant may fall into their "deplorable" category. This is especially true about my colleagues in NYC who think they see over the rainbow but really don't want to talk to people in the UFT who just might end up being more militant than the rhetorical militancy they lug around with them.

Another one of the major stories on OK is how the grassroots teachers are more militant than the union leaderships in the NEA and AFT, with the AFT being less militant - hey, it's Randi. In an upcoming post tomorrow I will connect some of those dots.

But here Mike Antonucci, a right wing anti-union guy, provides some very useful information on

How Oklahoma Will Be Different From West Virginia

It seems nothing will stop a teacher walkout in Oklahoma next Monday. The state House passed a substantial tax increase to pay for average salary increases of $6,000, but it’s still short of what the unions are asking for. Besides, the strike has a momentum of its own now.

No one is quite sure how long the work stoppage will last, and some school boards have already authorized closures of a week or more. But don’t expect an exact rerun of the West Virginia strike. There are already significant differences.

For one thing, West Virginia is a state with 55 county school districts. Coordination and unity of purpose were relatively easy to achieve. Oklahoma has more than 500 school districts, the vast majority of which employ fewer than 100 teachers.

In West Virginia all 55 superintendents and school boards closed schools for the duration of the strike. That isn’t happening in Oklahoma.

A consortium of school administrator organizations surveyed 264 districts that account for 80 percent of the state’s K-12 enrollment. It found 172 districts will close for at least a day, with 48 of those prepared to close indefinitely.

That leaves 92 districts remaining open, or haven’t decided yet. In at least some of these, the teachers themselves voted against a walkout.

But the amount of participation isn’t the key to success or failure. The previous Oklahoma teacher strike, in 1990, forced the closure of only 143 school districts. It still resulted in a tax increase to fund higher teacher salaries. Coincidentally, that strike was also preceded by a teacher strike in West Virginia.

Even if the amount of participation is down, the amount of dedication may be up. The unions will turn out their members, but as in West Virginia, fewer than half of school employees in Oklahoma belong to a union. The number of non-members who walk out will determine the strength of the strike.

Also, teachers in districts that remain open will have to use personal days in order to join the rallies. Sacrificing pay or a benefit isn’t something the West Virginia teachers had to do.

While the circumstances are different, the result will be the same. Oklahoma teachers will get a big raise. Teacher unions across the country will ride this train as long as it reaches its destination. And as long as the economy is good, it will.
Here are a few articles I posted on Ed Notes recently on OK:

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