After years of organizing, lobbying and a historic nine-day strike, teachers in West Virginia finally achieved a 5 percent wage increase from the state’s legislature. Their successful efforts, in response to years of disinvestment in the state’s public schools leading to some of the lowest salaries in the country, may signal a groundswell for higher wages across the country. Already, educators in Kentucky, Arizona, and Oklahoma are following suit, organizing and voicing their concerns with teacher compensation.
Please join the Center for American Progress for a conversation with the educators and labor leaders who pushed their state’s elected officials to increase its investment in public schools. The successful deal reached recently in West Virginia can teach us a lot about the power of collective action to raise wages for working people. The story of West Virginia—as well as stories developing elsewhere—show that, regardless of partisan gridlock in Washington, Americans believe in their public institutions and those who work in them.
Neera Tanden, President and CEO, Center for American Progress
Conversation with Educators:
Rebecca Diamond, Teacher, Kellog Elementary School, Huntington, West Virginia
Heather DeLuca-Nestor, Teacher, South Middle School, Morgantown, West Virginia
Conversation with Education Leaders:
Dale Lee, President, West Virginia Education Association
Suzanne Schreiber, President, Board of Education, Tulsa Public Schools
Christine Campbell, President, American Federation of Teachers West Virginia
David Madland, Senior Fellow; Senior Adviser, American Worker Project, Center for American Progress