The teachers' rebellion is a global phenomenon, and though it's been brewing for a long time, the public was a lot more skeptical of teachers' demands when they were striking in Democratic strongholds under a Democratic president.
But the current wave of strikes is different: the teachers are striking in "red states" where years of misrule and corporate giveaways have bankrupted the states, and without a Democrat in office to blame, the Republicans in those states are starting to realize that the problems with their kids' schools are the result of Republican policies.
This phenomenon is especially pronounced among Republican teachers, who've watched Education Secretary Betsy Devos smear teachers and denigrate the profession and the very idea of "public education" and who've realized that the president they voted for has made their destruction one of his top policy priorities.
Now, teachers aren't just switching party allegiances; they're standing for office to oust the Republican politicians who've been trash-talking them while they walked the picket-line. They call it the #RedForEd movement.
Were it not for Trump, it might be happening. Kathy Hoffman, who is in her fifth year of teaching in Arizona public schools, decided to run for state superintendent after watching Betsy DeVos’s shambolic Senate confirmation hearing. “That was really the tipping point, the day it hit me [that] we really need more educators to run,” she told The Intercept. “I’m sick of people who never taught in schools leading them, and that’s also what we have in Arizona.”
Over the past year and a half, Hoffman has marched for science, for women, for DREAMers, for gun control, and, she said, for “everything.” Most recently, she’s been rallying with the newly formed #RedForEd movement, a grass-roots effort in Arizona to better fund public schools.
Politicized by Trump, Teachers Threaten to Shake Up Red-State Politics [Rachel M Cohen/The Intercept]