According to the April 10 Politico’s Morning Education (quoting a Dallas Morning News story) Secretary DeVos said Oklahoma teachers who walked out on the job “should keep adult disagreements and disputes in a separate place and serve the students…” Further the Secretary said, “We need to stay focused on what’s right for kids.” That is correct, Secretary DeVos, we should focus on what’s right for kids!
An adequate and equitable public school system is right for kids. A constitutional system of school funding is right for kids. A system that does not drain funds from school districts for charters and vouchers is right for kids. A public school system that pays teachers and administrators salaries commensurate with those in other professions requiring similar training and experience is right for kids. Providing common school officials and personnel the opportunity to participate in education policy development is right for kids.
Public education advocates over the past 50 years have had to litigate school funding in nearly every state to get the attention of lawmakers. Improvements in facilities, equipment, supplies, programs, and services have resulted from litigation. Students have been beneficiaries of the litigation. Teacher walkouts may be necessary in this era to make gains in educational opportunities for students.