Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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Pete's Prep: Tuesday, May 8, 2018

NC teachers walking out... "for the children"

So many teachers plan to play hooky next Wednesday, that school districts are closing down for the day. There simply are not enough substitutes to fill the slots. It's part of a nationwide effort by leftist groups to use teachers as campaign operatives against Republicans.

You can tell because it's happening in "purple" states controlled by Republicans. It's happening in states like North Carolina where teachers have received five consecutive raises (pushing their average pay over $51,000 per year).

Asheville has now joined Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Durham, and Chapel Hill-Carrboro in closing for the day.

The school says, due to the anticipated high number of leave requests and the limited number of available substitutes, Wednesday, May 16, 2018, will be an Optional Teacher Workday. Students should not report to class unless they are scheduled to take an Advance Placement Test.

As one listener to the show wrote me yesterday, "Thousands of teachers walking out to shut down schools sounds like a "strike" to me. Which is illegal." 

He is right.

It's a strike.

But it's only made possible because school administrators are granting the personal leave requests. 

For many in people in the private sector, our requests for a day off must be approved by our bosses. If the boss denies the request, we don't get the day off. I, personally, have had requests denied because too many other colleagues had already requested time off.

One radio station I worked at would give the married employees off on Christmas and make the single employees work, while the single employees would get New Year's Day off and the married ones would have to work.

The idea that too many requests for time off has prompted the closure of an entire district only makes sense if you believe administrators cannot deny any requests.

Also, I'm not sure recent student performance necessarily screams "We deserve raises."

Who knows, maybe thousands of teachers walking out of classrooms IS the best thing for the kids.

Why no local action?

A.P. Dillon makes another great point here -- why are there NO protests at the local Board of Education, the Board of County Commissioners, or City Council?

All of these levels of government are involved in education funding via supplemental pay. So, the state pays an average of $51,000 and the local government supplement that amount with more money.

And, these union partisans insult you by marketing this as a "March for Students and Rally for Respect." They think you're stupid. Or maybe they've grown too accustomed to lecturing people without being challenged.

It seems like teachers could "Rally for Respect" and "March for Students" in far greater numbers if they were to go to their local School Board meeting on a Tuesday night, instead of traveling to Raleigh on a Wednesday during exams.

Just like the children who walked out of school to get media coverage supporting gun restrictions, the teachers union is banking on favorable coverage for their own infantile walk out, and that this coverage will prompt people to vote for Democrats in November.

The same party that froze teacher pay when they were in charge.

The cost to parents

So, now parents are forced to find daycare for their children on a Wednesday. Be sure to thank all those teachers and administrators who have prioritized Democratic electoral dreams.

Meanwhile, schedules are going to get screwed up for a few days...

A school day is made-up of 6.5 instructional hours. To make-up the May 16th lost instructional time, Asheville City Schools will utilize its five remaining hours which are unused inclement weather hours. The additional hour and a half will be made up on Monday, May 21st-Friday, May 25th. During that week, the school day will be extended by 18 minutes each day for a total of 90 minutes, equaling the needed one and a half hours.

Of course, there will be no consequences for these teachers who put their politics above pupils.

And I guess school support staff will have to go to work, even though their colleagues don't...

Who else can strike?

And as long as we're permitting teachers to strike, I think we should consider what other state workers can strike, too.

Can NC corrections officers (who make much less than teachers) also walk out for a day?

How about State Troopers?

DMV employees?

The last time the NCAE tried to do a strike like this, they faced a backlash and opted to do a "walk in," instead. It was 2013:

Some Republican legislators say the teachers group is still actively promoting a strike.

The group's top leader says that's not true. NCAE president Rodney Ellis said last week that the group turned the event into a "walk-in" so students would not be unattended and no one would get fired.

"If you get a handful of teachers walking out of their classroom, that only results in teachers losing their positions," he said. "As admirable as it is and the energy is there – and we appreciate that, we think there are more – there are other ways that we can get our message across."

Those other methods led to pay raises for 5 straight years.

But Ellis died and there's new leadership in the union.

And using kids as political pawns to demand force parents to vote for Democrats seems to be the preferred course of action now.

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