America’s schools are starved for funds, and teachers are paying the price. Recent strikes are only a symptom of this disease.
These strikes are the symptom of a larger disease within our education system, where the support our students and teachers are receiving is as crumbling as the infrastructure of the schools. The strikes prove that our educational system’s problems are deeper and broader than individual protests about teacher wages and benefits. Everywhere, America’s schools are pressed for resources and facing dire conditions that unfairly hinder students’ ability to succeed. Our lawmakers are not adequately investing in education. Following the 2008 recession, many states sacrificed school funding in an attempt to make ends meet. However, in 29 states, total state and local school funding combined fell over the next eight years. Rather than tamp down teachers’ right to strike, as some states are looking to do, we must acknowledge these walkouts as a sign of the need for long-term solutions and increased investment in education.