The teachers' strikes are spreading

From Labor Notes, a weekly report-card of teachers' strikes, which are spreading from state to state, with North Carolina — the laboratory for gerrymander-fueled Republican takeover — next in line for a wave of school closures.

Colorado teachers were not intimidated by thuggish arrest threats: they shut the state's 10 largest school districts and picketed the legislature.

Georgia school bus drivers — more black and worse paid than the striking teachers — walked out over serious grievances, only to have their strike broken by a brutal crackdown that saw their leaders fired.

The AP polled Americans and found that "78 percent of Americans think teachers are paid too little."

School bus drivers in DeKalb County, Georgia, pulled a sick-out over pay, retirement, and poor treatment. About half the workforce participated, but most drivers returned to work by the third day, after officials fired the "ringleaders." The drivers, who are overwhelmingly African American, have no union but had organized a Drivers and Monitors Advisory Committee.

Colorado teachers have joined the wave of walkouts, shutting the state's 10 largest districts April 26-27 as they join protests at the state capital over a lack of funding and their pension plan. The Colorado Education Association says that teacher salaries after inflation have dropped 17 percent in the last 15 years, and that the state has underfunded education by $6.6 billion since 2009 by failing to implement a constitutional amendment that requires education funding to grow on pace with inflation. "We have been funding education out of teachers' paychecks for too long," said Paula Reed, vice president of the Jefferson County local. Two Republican state senators responded by proposing a bill that would send to teachers to jail for six months for striking.

Thousands of North Carolina teachers are planning to take personal days on May 16 to demonstrate at the capital for school funding and teacher raises. Teacher pay there is $10,000 below the national average.

The Teacher Uprising Spreads Far and Wide [Labor Notes]