- Now that teachers in the Sacramento City Unified School District have completed their one-day strike, where might the next union action take place? A new analysis by the Center for American Progress suggests that districts and states with the lowest average teacher salaries might be the ones to watch.
- Of the 10 states with the lowest salaries in 2018, with adjustments made for the cost of living, seven experienced either a strike, a walkout or a rally. And in 13 of the 25 districts with the lowest average teacher salaries, educators have taken “direct action, and another nine districts are in states where teacher or legislative action has occurred,” the authors write.
- The other districts on the list where neither state nor local action has occurred are the Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield districts in Missouri, the Bridgeport Public Schools in Connecticut and the San Francisco Unified School District.
While last year’s actions by teachers took place at the state level, there is a mixture this year of both state and local-level strikes. And some upcoming rallies and walkouts are planned in districts and states not on the lists of lowest-paying. On Saturday, April 27, the Clark County Education Association in Las Vegas is planning a rally.
Other actions, however, are being planned on school days. North Carolina teachers plan to walk out on May 1. But some district leaders, including those in the Guilford County Schools, have already canceled school to allow teachers to participate. In Oregon, a statewide walkout is planned on May 8, and the California Teachers Association is organizing a "day of action" on May 22. The other statewide rally is planned for May 16 in Massachusetts, where the effort focuses on state aid, not teacher salaries.
The CAP analysis doesn’t mention the increasing number of actions involving charter school educators, which are harder to predict. But according to the Chicago Teachers Union, educators and support staff members at five charter schools have voted to strike in the coming weeks. While some of the union members’ demands focus on pay and benefits, others focus on issues such as services for special education students, class sizes, and support for English learners and immigrant students.