Oakland Unified School District teachers are poised to strike on Thursday, making the Bay Area district the latest participant in a wave of educator activism. The union’s requests echo many heard across the country over the last year for higher pay, more counselors and nurses, and smaller class sizes.
Denver teachers reached a tentative deal just last week that secured an 11 percent pay raise plus built-in cost-of-living increases for teachers. And in West Virginia, teachers staged a walkout on Tuesday, nearly a year to the day after their nine-day strike last year launched the nationwide movement. The strike, in protest of proposed legislation that promotes school choice, forced nearly all of the state’s 55 counties to cancel school for the day.
The legislation in question in West Virginia would give the teachers a 5 percent pay raise on top of a 5 percent boost they already received as part of the strike resolution in 2018. It also would open the door for statewide charter schools and establish education savings accounts that could be used for private schools. Teachers have decried the latter two provisions, saying that they are retaliation for their strike action last year. The state House of Delegates voted Tuesday to table the bill indefinitely, but the teachers said they would keep the strike going one more day to make sure the legislature didn’t try to resurrect the effort. Another education bill up for discussion Wednesday in the House would fulfill the promise of another 5 percent raise. —L.E.