Yes, there is an army of public school teachers across the United States already fighting to save public education from greedy, autocratic billionaires like Bill Gates and Betsy DeVos.
How big is this army of public school teachers? In the U.S. military during World War II, an army was made up of 100,000 to 150,000 troops.
Since “Public school systems will employ about 3.2 million full-time-equivalent (FTE) teachers in fall 2018,” there is room for more than 32 armies made up of public school teachers, but we don’t need 32 armies. All we need is one or two — enough willing to shake the crap out of the greedy, lying, fraudulent, corporate pirates attempting to disrupt and hijack public education in the United States.
For instance, the Continental Army that George Washington led during the Revolution was estimated to number 200,000 troops at its high point. The total population of the thirteen colonies was less than 4 million, and Washington won that revolution with 5-percent of the total population willing to step up and become heroes.
In addition, it wasn’t an easy fight, because it has been estimated that there were about 400,000 loyalists to the British Crown or 16-percent of the white population during the American Revolution, and George Washington still won even with those numbers against him … with some help from France and Spain.
I think all we need is 5-percent, 160,000 or more, of the 3.2 million teachers that are willing to speak up and fight back, an army of heroes that will win this war to save traditional public education.
And … only 33% of teachers approve of charter schools. That works out to more than 2.14 million teachers that do not approve. That many teachers add up to more than 24 armies if they all become active in the fight to save democratic, transparent, non-profit public education in the United States.
Teachers are fighting back. USA Today reports: ‘Tired of begging’: Teacher rebellion shuts down Oklahoma, Kentucky schools
Then there is this USA Today state guide of Teacher Walkouts that lists Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
That doesn’t include the recent vote in Los Angeles Unified School District, the 2nd largest school district in the United States, to authorize a strike.
“We’re ready to strike if no other path forward can be found. This is about making sure every LAUSD student attends a healthy, clean and supportive school. It’s about ensuring that school workers who are devoted to student learning can provide for their own children.”
And the Democratic Party must be waking up to this growing army of teachers fighting back. Education Week reports, “In Teacher Unrest, Democrats See Election Edge. …
“As if U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ relentless championing of charter schools and vouchers weren’t enough, millions of Americans have been bombarded by the sounds and images of striking teachers and educators rallying in Arizona, Oklahoma, and West Virginia, articulating the harm of real-life classroom cuts they attribute to Republican leadership.”
Teachers say even if they don’t strike, they’ll express their rage at the polls this fall. One protestor held a sign that said, “I’m a teacher and I vote.”
It took George Washington seven years to win the Revolution. How long will it take this growing army of public school teachers to win the war to save our democratic public schools from a few greedy autocratic billionaires and their minions?
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and disabled Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).
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