Last year, at this time, we were encouraged, invigorated, and excited by the teacher strikes taking place around the nation. In particular, GOT is thinking of two that won concessions from the politicians and promises to meet the needs (note I did not say demands) of teachers: West Virginia and Oklahoma.
A new hope for all of us arose. If teachers can win in these deep red states, what can we not do?
All it takes is the courage to act.
But now, the empire has struck back.
The legislatures have their own ideas about how to make sure last year never happens again.
From West Virginia, we learn that the legislature has several draft bills floating around that has everyone confused. But it seems that all of them have some version of finishing the work of meeting the provisions of the strike settlement while also bringing to West Virginia the ‘reforms’ of charter school authorization and education savings accounts.
If you’ve ever wondered what a poison pill is, this is it. Don’t swallow, West Virginia.
(If you want to quibble with GOT that a poison pill is a defense against a hostile takeover, you are looking at this from the viewpoint of teachers. From the politician’s viewpoint, the best defense is a good offense. Give the teachers what they ask, but at the same time, make them accept their demise.)
From Oklahoma, a proposed bill would outlaw teacher strikes and revoke their certification if they ever dare to do it again.
As for Florida, we can only wish we were in the original trilogy. For us, it seems like we are moving from ‘The Clone Wars,” in which we are fighting privatization, charters, and every dumb idea about education ever, to “The Revenge of the Sith,” courtesy of Ron DeSantis, Richard Corcoran, Jeb Bush, the Foundation for Educational Excellence, and every lesser politician with a side hustle of profiting from a relative or position with a charter school organization.
Our new governor has already said he believes our public schools are over-resourced. OK, he didn’t say those exact words, but that’s what he meant when he said there is waste in public school districts’ spending.
Prepare for battle, all ye Florida defenders of public education. Voucher expansion is coming.