Press Release: West Virginia Teachers’ Strike is Fundamentally Misguided
West Virginia Teachers’ Strike is Fundamentally Misguided and Ill-Informed
Charleston, WV – For the second consecutive year, teachers and school personnel unions have gone on strike, effectively paralyzing the state’s education system and depriving the state’s 270,000 public-school students of an education. 54 of the state’s 55 counties have closed their respective schools in recognition of the work stoppage.
“On some level, I understood last year’s work stoppage. The teachers were striking in support of higher pay and better benefits. The strike was, ostensibly, about policies that affected their own livelihood,” said Garrett Ballengee, Executive Director of the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy. “However, this year’s strike is fundamentally different: it is about depriving students and families of educational opportunities and choice, particularly charter schools and education savings accounts. To be clear, 44 states, Washington D.C., and several United States’ territories have charter schools. West Virginia does not. Education savings accounts simply allow parents the option to customize their child’s education – particularly for kids and families who have special needs to address. This should not rise to the level of a statewide strike, especially given the fact that charter schools (which are public schools) would be limited to seven total schools and only 1000 students could use an education savings account,” Ballengee continued. “Enough is enough. The kids and families of this state deserve better. We are at the bottom of performance nationally — it is time for West Virginia to try something new that puts our children first. This is about allowing families to access a brighter future for their kids,” said Ballengee.
To schedule an interview, contact Amanda Kieffer at 304-541-9551 or [email protected].
About the Cardinal Institute
Located in Charleston, the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy, Inc. is a 501c(3) non-profit founded in 2014 to research, develop, and communicate effective free-market public policies for West Virginia.