Teachers across the nation strike to earn equal benefits

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Teachers across the nation strike to earn equal benefits

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It’s no question that teachers are some of the most important and hardworking people in the country. Generations of students have relied on them to gain the knowledge they know now. That is no easy task, yet some reason teachers are still struggling to get by because of a lack of recognition in their paychecks.

“My school has known about the possibility of a strike for a while because it’s all the teachers could talk about,” Sophie Small, a freshman at East High School in Denver, Colorado, said. “They were getting paid nothing for what they do. They are supposed to be getting significant bonuses if their student’s grades were improving, but it wasn’t happening. Most of my teachers had to work and extra job or two.” 

A few weeks ago the strike finally occurred. While the teachers successfully negotiated new terms for their work, it did mess up the school week for students.

“Substitutes were in every class, [and] with more than half the school leaving to protest with the teachers, there were not enough subs for each class,” Small said. “Students were sent home. This went on for a week. It ended up working out because the final decision was that the bonus would be automatically added to their salaries. ” 

Teachers at Ladue high school generally sympathized with the teachers on strike, but for them, the situation is a bit more nuanced. 

“It’s difficult for teachers in this state to really understand, because in Missouri we’re not allowed to strike,” Social Studies teacher Jeff Miller said. “We made rules and deals with the state, so we are provided with some of the things teachers are fighting for in other states. In exchange for that, it’s basically illegal for teachers in Missouri to strike. I empathize with them, but it’s difficult to see.”

However, even though many of the strikes that have been occurring across the country are ending well, there is still a constant struggle to reach a place in education  where everyone is happy.

“You can’t just make one broad overview,” Miller said. “The nature of education is local, meaning it’s very strong in some places and very weak in others. Changes absolutely need to be made in failing school systems, and the attempts to solve these have failed.”

While the future of the education system is still unknown, teachers and educators across the nation are still fighting to earn what they believe are equal benefits.

“I’m relieved my teachers were able to fight for what they deserve,” Small said. “I go to a very large public school where teachers have to work very hard to teach. This is not an easy job, and they get nothing in return.”