It is illegal for public employees to strike in the state of West Virginia. The teachers have gone all-in anyway, and are currently in the eighth day of a wildcat strike that encompasses all of West Virginia’s fifty-five counties. The state’s legislators have rejected the agreement that Governor Jim Justice presented last week that would have returned students to their classrooms. It doesn’t appear that the strike will end any time soon. Nor will the striking teachers’ commitment to providing food to the one in five students who live in poverty in their districts end soon either.
Teacher salaries in the state rank forty-eighth in the US. One teacher noted that a manager at a fast food restaurant close to her school makes more money than she does. According to recent data from the Department of Education, “teachers tend to be white, female, and have nearly a decade and a half of experience in the classroom.”
Once again we see a female dominated profession pushed into penury while at the same time reaching into their own limited resources to continue helping their students. [Read more…]