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#RedForEd: Parents and Teachers ?Scared to Disagree with Striking Teachers Unions?

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Noah Karvelis
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2. The incredible discussions this has started with my students on workers’ rights, labor movements, civil disobedience, and fighting for necessary social change.— Noah Karvelis (@Noah__Karvelis) March 25, 2018As Michael Patrick Leahy reported for Breitbart News Thursday, the 24-year-old Karvelis wrote at Marxist Jacobin Magazine last month that the purpose of teachers unions must be community organizing – “particularly in ‘right-to-work’ states,” where the unions would hope to be a force to move citizens toward the ideology of the Democrat Party.Karvelis informed fellow agitators that by embracing “democratic organizing … we were able to create a movement that cut across partisan lines and mobilized thousands of public education supporters.”“Through gradually escalating our actions, we were able to accomplish this as we simultaneously built structures such as the liaison network, which allowed us to begin building toward lasting power and not simply a strike,” he wrote."The dramatic turn of events demonstrated the enduring power of educators in West Virginia, even though the state’s right-to-work laws have sapped power and authority from labor unions."— WVEA (@WVEAnews) February 20, 2019Teacher walkouts have hit school districts throughout the country, as more unions — struggling to maintain membership and funds in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Janus decision — are agitating strikes focused primarily on stamping out school choice, which is viewed as the enemy of their monopoly on public education.Education Week reported on February 22:The most recent actions, including a union-led strike in liberal Los Angeles, have been as much about pushing back on charter schools and other school choice reforms — initiatives that have a history of bipartisan support but have long been decried by unions as threats to the traditional public school system.…In West Virginia, teachers walked out this week for the second time in a year, this time over proposed legislation that would have created the state’s first charter schools and allowed education savings accounts for parents to pay for private school. Teachers saw it as retaliation for their walkout last year.“I can’t understand how the Republican leaders thought that this was going to be OK with us,” said Christi Phillips, a first-grade teacher in Mill Creek, West Virginia.Metzgar said testimonies from eight parents and two teachers revealed the fear and intimidation tactics of the teachers unions.“Their personal stories paint a picture of an outdated, top-heavy system determined to protect itself and resist reform at all costs,” she observed.A teacher and a public-school parent — both native West Virginians who asked for some anonymity — told Metzgar public education is controlled by organized labor of the same variety that has had a long history in the state’s coal industry.“It’s sad that we have to live in fear if we disagree with the union school system,” said the parent. “The difference, in my opinion, is that the teachers’ unions determined that charter schools and school choice were dangerous to their continued success in West Virginia.”Metzgar wrote that State Sen. Patricia Rucker, the lead sponsor of S.B. 451 — which would have established charter schools and Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) in West Virginia — told her many teachers throughout the state had privately asked for legislative reforms, but were fearful of the unions to say so.“I have promised to keep confidential all the folks who have spoken to me,” Rucker said, according to Metzgar.

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