As state legislators grappled with a new Kansas school-funding plan this spring, in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, and recently North Carolina, strikes, walkouts and statewide teacher rallies closed schools.
The demonstrations protested low salaries for teachers and other school employees that have not been raised in at least one state for 10 years, out-of-date teaching materials and technology, and the lack of support for much needed programs cut in recent years.
If these problems sound familiar, they should. The issues driving the battle for increased public school funding in other states are similar to Kansas concerns. However, there is one major difference between problems in the other states and Kansas. In Kansas this spring there were no statewide walkouts and no strike. No children were left without a teacher for a single rally protest day.