COMMENTARY: Teachers are Organizing, but what about teachers’ unions?

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Teachers organizingBy Bruce Fuller, Opinion Contributor/NNPA/ESSA

Bruce Fuller, a sociologist at the University of California, Berkeley, works on how schools and civic activists push to advance pluralistic communities. He is a regular opinion contributor to edweek.org where he trades views with Lance Izumi, on the other side of the political aisle.

This blossoming spring of teacher uprisings—marching on state capitols, winning hefty pay raises—cheers any citizen who knows that robust societies depend on vibrant schools.

But arid summers may await the nation’s educators, as the Trump-tweaked U.S. Supreme Court seems ready to eviscerate these same teacher associations who battle each day for better schools.

While hearing oral arguments in the Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31 case in February, justices voiced skepticism over compulsory union dues, the life blood of local associations that mobilize the nation’s 3.2 million teachers.

Still, it’s the wildcat strikes moving across the nation—ignited mostly by young and passionate teachers—that may reshape the future of labor unions…

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