As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week this week, teachers across the nation remain remarkably underappreciated. In at least five states so far this year, educators are voicing their discontent by organizing walkouts and strikes to protest lagging salaries and woefully inadequate supplies. Viral social media posts of classrooms in deplorable conditions and stories of educators moonlighting in the gig economy to make ends meet have likely increased support for more investment in education.
While there are many education policy questions that divide Americans, we can all agree that our hardworking and talented educators deserve great compensation, clean and safe workplaces, and our genuine appreciation for doing a job critical to our country’s future.
Here’s something else we should all agree on: educators, as professionals who are tasked with teaching our children to become independent, critical thinkers, should have the power to decide whether or not to join and fund the national teachers unions.