The news published 02/19/2019

West Virginia public school workers and teachers are striking to protest a bill to invest state funds into charter schools and private school vouchers to the detriment of traditional public schools.

Almost all of 55 public schools in West Virginia have called off classes for Tuesday to participate in the strike.

The education bill, that has been being amended over and over, raises pay for teachers and increases funding for public schools, but also makes it possible to create charter schools in the state that mostly relies on public education.

The bill also includes the creation of private school vouchers, also known as education savings accounts, that could be used for private and online schooling for eligible special needs children. The state’s teachers unions find these proposals unacceptable and “are left with no other choice” but to call for the strike.

The president of the state Senate didn’t support the teachers unions’ decision to go on a strike for the second time in two years.

In 2018, West Virginia teachers called a strike to protest lagging salaries and rising health-care costs. The 9-day strike resulted in a 5 percent raise, and inspired other teachers across the country to take similar action.