More Teachers on Strike 🏫

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This time in Oklahoma

Teachers in the Sooner state are going on strike to get better pay, benefits, and more education funding. This follows teacher strikes in Kentucky and West Virginia. Oklahoma already passed a bill giving teachers ~$6,000 raises in order to quell the protest, but the teachers union says it's “not enough.” The union is asking for $10,000 average pay raises, along with other demands.

What are the teachers thinking?

They are protesting since funding for Oklahoma public schools has not kept pace with rapid student growth. Teachers in Oklahoma also have close to the lowest average teaching salaries in the U.S., and their schools have experienced $200 million in budget cuts over the last decade.

Leaning Right:

Fox News: Oklahoma approves teacher pay increase but union says it's not enough, walkout still on

National Review: A Better Way to Increase Teachers’ Pay

The right praises the GOP’s quick response to the teacher demands in Oklahoma, calling this the "the largest teacher pay raise in the history of the state”. They also criticize the teachers' union for making the rally all about money. They say we should be focusing on ensuring better performance, not just richer

Leaning Left:

NBC News: Kentucky, Oklahoma Teachers Rally as Rebellion Grows in Red States

Washington Post: Teachers are walking out in multiple states. Blame GOP economics. 

The left is blaming the walkouts in "red states" on Republicans. They say this was the inevitable conclusion of conservative legislator’s “tax cutting mania”. They also insinuate that the ‘unrest’ over education funding in red states may cause setbacks for the GOP during the midterms. The left even talks about how some teachers in Kentucky are “planning to become democrat[s]” after the state passed a pension overhaul.

Is more $$$ the right answer?

Throwing money at the problem here likely won't help. The states need to address the underlying issues - like the low incentives for teachers to improve their teaching. Instead of just increasing salaries, the government might consider pursuing an “evidence-based salary schedule”, as proposed by Jacob Vigdor, where teachers are rewarded for experience and quality. 

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