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ERIC Number: EJ1199914
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Statewide Strikes are a Shot across the Bow. Forum: After the Teacher Walkouts
Anzia, Sarah F.
Education Next, v19 n1 p52, 55, 57, 59 Win 2019
Teacher strikes and walkouts in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, and elsewhere grabbed public attention last spring, but these wildfires of statewide activism are unlikely to spread far. In most states, teachers have unique and powerful advantages in local politics--advantages they are unlikely to give up anytime soon--and they are already active in state politics as well. It is only in states that share certain key characteristics with West Virginia where the recent teacher walkouts might inspire more political action at the state level. In this article, Sarah Anzia discusses how teachers' organizations in most states are influenced by the issues that most directly affect the key decisionmakers--the local school districts. In most places, many decisions about teacher compensation and school operations are hammered out through collective bargaining, a process in which teachers union representatives are direct and equal participants alongside school-board representatives. This bargaining power affords a built-in avenue of influence that most teachers have at the local level but not at the state level. Like any group of individuals with shared interests, teachers face a quandary when considering collective action. They stand to be better off if they unite as a group to push for policies in their favor, but for the individual teacher, participating in those efforts is costly. Not much will change in the states where teachers unions are already strong and highly active in both state and local politics. But in states with historically weaker unions, policymakers should pay attention--and the message to them is clear: you can only roll back education spending so much before you provoke a rebellion by the millions of people whose livelihoods depend on it. [For "Will Unions Shift Their Focus to the Statehouse? Forum: After the Teacher Walkouts," see EJ1199916.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A