Flooding  State  Capitol,  West  Virginia  Educators  Save  Public  Education  From  Privatization  Scheme

Flooding State Capitol, West Virginia Educators Save Public Education From Privatization Scheme

By Anne Rowe for DPS board, March 20, 2019

This post has been updated.

West Virginia instructors renowned Tuesday afternoon when they learned the strike they had staged had helped force the state House of Delegates to vote down an education reform bill that would have pulled financing away from public schools, rerouting it to private and charter schools and hurting students across the state. The pro-privatization costs stopped working in a 53 -45 vote.

The victory marks the second time in the past year that instructors in the state have utilized civil disobedience to force legislators to invest in public education.


A year after triggering a across the country movement of teacher uprisings, instructors from across West Virginia flooded the state capitol building in Charleston on Tuesday to battle a bill they caution would drain loan away from public schools and seriously damage trainees.

Despite the inclusion of the very pay increases they fought last year to win, the instructors are calling on state legislators to reject an education reform bill (S. B. 451) due to the fact that it also consists of financing for charter schools and voucher programs which the state instructors union states would pull much-needed funding from public schools.

“By striking, we’re basically stating, ‘We refuse to take your pay raise under these conditions because we understand how bad privatization will be for our trainees and our schools,'” Jay O’Neal, a teacher in Charleston, informed Jacobin.

Lawmakers in the state House of Delegates and Senate have actually discussed various versions of the proposition in recent days, the most recent of which would permit 7 charter schools to operate in West Virginia, which currently has none. The costs would also fund 1,000 vouchers for trainees with unique requires, which critics state really undermines those students as opposed to assisting them.

Teachers argue lawmakers have rushed through the procedure without asking for their input and many think the costs is in fact punishment for the triumph they won during last year’s nine-day strike.

“This is not reform, this is retaliation,” Brandon Wolford, a unique education teacher and president of the Mingo County Education Association, informed Jacobin. “Nothing in this proposal would make things better for trainees or staff. How does bringing in uncertified teachers [by legalizing charters] assistance our kids? How does taking public money and putting it into private hands help our schools? Unfortunately, the politicians are listening to the leading one percent rather of listening to us.”

Most school districts revealed Monday thata they would go on strike, after the Senate sent out the last version of the expense to the House. Teachers in the Capitol cheered Tuesday early morning as it was announced that all 55 counties across the state had closed schools and that the Capitol building was at maximum capacity.

The instructors’ strike in West Virginia late last winter season kicked off the across the country #RedForEd movement, which most recently has actually taken off in Denver and Los Angeles and is expected to come to Oakland, California this week as instructors across the nation demand living earnings and an end to business tax cuts that take away funding from their students.