The First State-Wide Teacher Walk-Out: Here's Why West Virginia’s Teachers Are on Strike by Renee Herren
“We love our students and want them to have the best of the best teaching in their classrooms. We won’t have any of those great teachers left in the future if we don’t do so much better than this!” – Kim Hypes
Thousands of teachers have shut down West Virginia classrooms, and until their concerns are heard the strike will continue. More than 270,000 students in 55 counties are impacted by the strike. So why are all teachers in West Virginia on strike? I reached out to the person who inspired me to become a teacher – my cousin and West Virginia teacher, Kim Hypes, to find out.
Kim shared that there are several reasons for the strike, but low wages and expensive health care are at the forefront. West Virginia teacher pay ranks 48th in the U.S. Kim believes that with such a low ranking in the nation, it makes it difficult to hire and retain skilled teachers.
With rising health-care premiums with mandatory programs, West Virginia teachers are finding it harder to not make the move across state lines just to support their families.
As a teacher, I am proud of the teachers of West Virginia. What are your thoughts? Do you think their decision to stand up and walk out is justified?
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