Friday, March 30, 2018

Ravitch - Kentucky: Teachers Walk Out in Response to Legislators’ Attack on Pensions

The teacher wildfire in Trump territory keeps growing.
I wanted to repost this piece from Diane.

Schools in eight Kentucky school districts were closed Friday as teachers across the state protested Republican changes to their pension system, CBS News reports.
In Lexington and Louisville — the state's two largest school districts — hundreds of teachers took sick days or refused to show up for work after state lawmakers passed a bill changing the structure of pension benefits for future teachers.
The strike may be hard for reformers and the libertarians in the GOP to understand: the teachers in Kentucky are not striking for themselves but for their profession.
This wildcat strike follows weeks of protest by teachers to the Legislature and the Governor.
The action in Kentucky follows the wildcat strike in West Virginia and precedes the likely walkout in Oklahoma, scheduled for Monday April 2. Teachers in Oklahoma demand higher pay (pay in Oklahoma is at or near the worst in the nation despite a booming energy industry in the state that gets huge tax breaks).
These strikes and walkouts are happening in states where unions are not strong. In fact, Kentucky,  West Virginia, and Oklahoma are "right to work" states.
Note to reformers: If the Janus decision goes against the unions, you will still have to contend with the power of organized teachers. No matter what law is passed, teachers who are underpaid and disrespected have the power to walk out. There are not enough TFA scabs in the nation to replace them all.
No teachers, no schools.

Kentucky: Teachers Walk Out in Response to Legislators’ Attack on Pensions

by dianeravitch

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