“This means students and educators don’t have access to basic school supplies, class sizes are soaring, courses aren’t being offered, supports are not being provided, textbooks are falling apart and out-of-date, educators and parents are spending hundreds—even thousands—of dollars out of their own pockets, and, in some places, schools are literally crumbling, creating unsafe environments.
“Educators are standing up to say ‘no more’—from Baltimore, where schools didn’t have heat in the middle of winter, to West Virginia, where teachers and school staff fought for their first pay raise in more than four years, to Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona, where educators are still fighting to get much-needed funding restored to education. As E.J. Dionne said this week, ‘teacher activism … is not a flash in the pan. And it’s about more than the demand for higher wages and benefits. It is a revolt against decades of policies that gutted public institutions.’
“What’s new is the willingness and courage of people in states without strong labor laws to walk out on behalf of their students and themselves because the deprivation is so great. And public officials, who are used to exploiting teachers and staff, and ignoring their pleas, are finally paying attention.
“While Education Secretary Betsy DeVos locked us out when we tried to deliver 80,000 of your comments to her in February, now, ironically, the biggest newspaper in the country is asking you about how budget cuts have affected your schools. Please tell them.”