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AFSCME Stands in Solidarity with West Virginia Teachers

Photo Credit: Getty / Spencer Platt
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West Virginia teachers stood unified for their students and their communities this week, telling elected officials in the state legislature they will not allow precious resources to be diverted from their classrooms to fund charter and private schools.

They struck on Tuesday and into Wednesday, marshaling 30,000 educators and allies to speak out against that state Senate’s education bill. By enabling charter schools to take root within the state and allowing public money to go towards private school tuitions, the bill would have sanctioned the privatization of public education. The measure was seen as retaliation for last year’s teachers’ walkout.

In a statement, AFSCME President Lee Saunders voiced solidarity with the educators, saying, “West Virginia teachers are undaunted. For the second time in a year, they are standing up for their students and their communities, demonstrating their power in numbers through bold collective action.”

The drumbeat of fed-up public service workers willing to strike to fight for their communities has been growing louder, spreading to all corners of the country, from California to Arizona, from Kentucky to Denver and beyond. It’s part of a larger movement of working families who are tired of a system that’s rigged against them.