Striking  West  Virginia  teachers  won  swift  and  decisive  triumph;  Oakland  next?

Striking West Virginia teachers won swift and decisive triumph; Oakland next?

By Anne Rowe for DPS board, March 30, 2019

2019 has actually seen a string of vibrant and effective instructors’ strikes that constructed on last years’ #RedForEd strikes: the new wave of strikes goes beyond paychecks and moneying, though, and takes objective at charter schools as a system for the stealth privatization of public education.

The problem, long considered too complex and controversial for instructors’ unions, has turned out to be a winner. First the LA instructors got rid of some of the biggest dark-money spenders and billionaire backers in the country’s second-largest school district; then came Denver; and now teachers in West Virginia (who won famous victories in 2018 in fights over pay and moneying) have won another triumph in a strike that targeted charter schools and privatization, to prevalent public support.

The West Virginia teachers only had to walk out for two days to score overall, definitive triumph.

The next strike to watch is Oakland, a city where public advocacy has currently struck pioneering blows for openness and accountability by public authorities, getting rid of huge spending by private interests.

Oakland is likewise a city on the front lines of racial discrimination, displacement, gentrification and inequality, and the city’s schools are the front lines of these fights. 30% of Oakland’s pupils are in charter schools, thanks to a cycle that underfunds and under-resources public schools, leaving parents with little choice however to send out their kids to privatized, openly moneyed charters, siphoning even more public loan out of public schools, making their scenario even worse.

There are special difficulties in the Oakland strike — lots of working class moms and dads see the charters as the only schools that used their kids a reasonable opportunity at a good education — however Oakland teachers get to build on the success of the LA instructors, whose strike triggered state action on charter transparency and oversight.

As soon as the walkout in West Virginia solved, a teacher strike in Oakland, California, rapidly flamed up.

That strike resembles the strike in Los Angeles in which instructors demanded much better pay, smaller sized class sizes, more nurses, therapists and other support staff, as well as an end to the spread out of charter schools. But the unfavorable effect of charter schools is most likely even worse in Oakland, where the charters enroll 30 percent of the trainees in the district and siphon over $57 million from the public schools. To even more accommodate the charters, the district has announced prepares to close 24 public schools.

As of this composing, Oakland instructors are still on strike, declaring in their most current press release, “When 19 out of every 20 teachers … [are] walking the picket line joined by parents, when our rallies draw in thousands, when 97 percent of our students stay home—it’s clear that this community wants what [the instructors’ union] needs.”

The Quick Success of the West Virginia Teacher Strike Reveals What Takes place When Progressives Join the Battle Versus School Privatization [Independent Media Institute/Common Dreams]

(via Naked Capitalism)

(Image: Oakland Education Association)