On the heels of the illegal Newton teachers strike canceling 11 days of school, a debate has continued in the Commonwealth. Should public school teachers be allowed to strike?
While both sides have aired the rationales for and against, what’s missing is a compromise to allow both teachers and families the power they seek. If public school teachers are to get the right to strike, families should get publicly funded educational choices in the form of education savings accounts (ESAs).
Since 1973, public employees have not been allowed to strike. The arguments for including teachers in this provision include that public schools are essentially a monopoly. Many families can’t afford alternatives. And even when they can, canceling school hurts all families.
Witness how families have scrambled to line up childcare so they can continue working. Look at the loss of learning time. And see the devastation to the 415 Boston students who attend Newton schools thanks to Metco. When you add this up on top of the challenges stemming from the absence of school during the pandemic, families and students have had a rough go.