“It has been a year since teachers began walking out en masse to protest the state of public education in the U.S. But in many of the states that saw significant activism from teachers in the past year, educators say they’re still fighting for the same changes.
A statewide strike in West Virginia in early 2018 helped to inspire similar action in Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona and Colorado, where teachers called for pay raises, smaller class sizes and more classroom funding. The movement has continued this year with one-day rallies in North and South Carolina last week and with strikes in several major cities, including Los Angeles, Oakland and Denver.
In spite of the gains made in several states and school districts during the past year, many teachers say they’re still fighting for more significant progress on the same issues.
“People treat West Virginia teachers—it’s really weird—almost like rock stars,” says Jenny Craig, a special education teacher at Wheeling Middle School in Wheeling, W.V., who has been a leader of teacher activism in the state.
“It’s so crazy because I feel like, yes, we made gains,” she adds. “But because we’re constantly playing defense, I feel like we don’t have time to really celebrate those moments.”
Ahead of National Teacher Day on Tuesday, Craig and teachers in other states around the country shared some of the biggest challenges their profession is still facing today.”
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