Center for American Progress

A Looming Legislative Backlash Against Teacher Strikes? Why Walkouts Could Become Illegal in Some States, With Strikers Facing Fines, Jail, or Loss of Their License
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A Looming Legislative Backlash Against Teacher Strikes? Why Walkouts Could Become Illegal in Some States, With Strikers Facing Fines, Jail, or Loss of Their License

Following a wave of teachers strikes in support of higher salaries and greater investment in public schools, author Lisette Partelow analyzes the predictable legislative backlash—bills that would slash education funding, make walkouts illegal, and weaken teachers unions.

Authors

  • Lisette Partelow

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. Click here to view the full article.

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Authors

Lisette Partelow

Senior Director, K-12 Strategic Initiatives