In 2018 and 2019, after a decade of disinvestment in education that led to stagnant teacher salaries, policymakers have introduced proposals in states across the country to begin reinvesting, spurred in part by teacher walkouts and activism nationwide.
While it is wonderful to finally see broad support for raising teacher salaries and investing in public schools, a predictable backlash has also emerged. Legislators in some states that were hotbeds of teacher activism are introducing bills to explicitly prohibit walkouts or punish teachers who participate, often with a sprinkling of additional anti-union provisions. Weakening unions and refusing to invest in education are long-standing conservative tenets, and these bills are evidence that we should expect conservative policymakers to return to them as soon as they believe them to be politically viable.
The above excerpt was originally published in The 74.
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