Has anyone else noticed a different feeling in the air leading up to this teacher strike compared to 1990? A feeling is difficult to quantify, but perhaps it started a few weeks ago as teachers sent delegations to their county school board meetings.
For example, in Putnam County, after teachers and school service personnel detailed their need for an overdue pay raise and a fix for PEIA so health insurance premiums stop eating their earnings, school board President Craig Spicer said: “I feel very safe saying, we are all behind you.”
He was not alone. The Kanawha Board of Education followed with a supportive resolution. There have been similar expressions of solidarity around the state.
These expressions come technically from the employers of the teachers and school service workers. Staid school boards tend to be less committal on controversial subjects, such as an employee walkout. Instead, this year they were openly sympathetic.
School boards are exposed in this issue in more ways than anyone else. Their job is to manage a school system to educate students. Most of their funds for that purpose flow through the state Legislature. …