Teacher Strike 2: For the students

Teacher Strike 2: For the students

Zac Backus, Reporter

Teachers all over West Virginia got together and went on strike over senate omnibus bill 451, which is known as the Comprehensive Education Reform bill. This bill includes:

  • Allow Charter schools to come to WV
  • Begin giving kids Educational Savings Accounts, or ESA’s.
  • Removal of the seniority system
  • Not give teachers backpay for striking

Seems bad, right? Well the bill also include some things that will benefit teachers like;

  • 5% pay raise to all teachers and service
  • Bonuses to current and upcoming math teachers
  • Tax breaks for teacher to make up for purchasing school supplies

Despite the benefits, the three major teacher unions (the West Virginia Education Association, AFT-WV, and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association) decided to call for a statewide strike February 19th and 20th. The bill was tabled indefinitely Tuesday, the 19th but the lack of trust made the strike rollover to Thursday, the 20th.

Every county in the state closed both days, for the exception of Putnam. Even though it stayed open, only about 3% of the student population went to school. Busses didn’t run and most service staff members called in sick. Hurricane High school in Hurricane only 97 out of their 1400 student population go to school, and they were required to sit in a big room and be monitored by 5 chaperones. Because of the lack of cooks they were fed pop-tarts. Whats worse is that they will have to make it up because WV BOE requires 50% of students to be in school for it to count as a school day.

Even though the unions decided to return to school Thursday the 21st, their is still lack of trust between the congress and WV teachers.