There has been a tidal wave of teachers taking action in the the United States in 2018. Strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and for the first time ever, in Arizona have made headlines. Educators in the Grand Canyon State, many of whom are Republicans, believe it’s time to raise taxes.
The actions are not limited to teacher salaries but for money for supplies and equipment. This CNN article lays out the issue:
“Inadequate education funding has created the conditions that make teaching the daily struggle that has finally drawn teachers and families to the picket lines: unmanageable class sizes, inadequate resources and facilities, cuts to essential medical and mental-health school services and more…
“To be sure, teacher salaries are also a significant concern: US teachers are paid 30% less on average than other college graduates, and in most states, the average teacher heading a family of four qualifies for several forms of government assistance… According to the Economic Policy Institute, US teachers’ wages have declined relative to those of other college-educated workers since the early 1990s, when they were at their most competitive — and when teacher attrition was much lower than it is today.”
Of course, strategies to discredit teacher strikes have been developed. The “manual” to smear the strikers include “teacher strikes hurt kids and low-income families,” even though students have often supported their teachers’ position
I found this 2014 article Why Aren’t All Teachers Covered By Social Security? I contacted an author of the original report who notes the data statewide are still accurate, though there are some states where charter schools are allowed to opt out that would then be enrolled in Social Security.
A new Rockefeller Institute report highlights equity gap in New York teacher Workforce. “It found no statewide teacher shortage in New York, but school districts with high poverty rates and minority student populations are more likely to face challenges in recruiting and retaining qualified teachers.”
Here’s something from 1855 in Binghamton, NY, a cellphone picture off a microfilm because the print function was not working. It’s a recruitment flyer to get more teachers, and indicates the skills necessary for the task.
Finally, here are some teacher-created, classroom-tested lesson plans using primary sources from the Library of Congress.