Northeast Times

Editorial: Keep on teaching

The School Dis­trict of Phil­adelphia is not ex­actly held in the highest re­gard these days, but par­ents and stu­dents have at least one thing to brag about: they have not been crippled by teach­er strikes in a long while.
To en­sure that Phil­adelphia pub­lic school stu­dents, and those throughout the Key­stone State, don’t get short­changed by a greedy, selfish teach­ers uni­on — as their coun­ter­parts in the Ne­sham­iny School Dis­trict were on sev­er­al oc­ca­sions dur­ing the school year that just ended — movers and shakers in Har­ris­burg should once and for all step up to the plate and win one for the masses.
If Pennsylvania’s Re­pub­lic­an gov­ernor and the GOP-con­trolled le­gis­lature want to do something con­struct­ive while they try to ham­mer out a budget be­fore the June 30 dead­line, they will en­act a law that bans school strikes in the state. Only 13 states al­low teach­ers to strike, and Pennsylvania should not be one of them.
When you look at the big pic­ture, teach­ers are every bit as im­port­ant as po­lice of­ficers and fire­fight­ers, who are not per­mit­ted to strike. When teach­ers go out on strike, they short­change tax­pay­ers and cre­ate bed­lam for work­ing par­ents, but far more im­port­ant, they dis­rupt stu­dents’ sched­ules and sty­mie their pro­gress. Teach­er strikes hurt so­ci­ety’s ju­ni­or cit­izens. They are rep­re­hens­ible and should be il­leg­al.
Pennsylvania law­makers should en­act a pack­age of com­mon-sense meas­ures that ban teach­er strikes, al­low for bind­ing ar­bit­ra­tion in­volving teach­ers and school boards, and al­low voters to use the power of the bal­lot box — via ref­er­en­dum — to de­cide on teach­ers’ salar­ies and be­ne­fits.
Pennsylvania can earn it­self a big, fat A+ if it does the right thing for the chil­dren.
Send let­ters tol: pronews@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at staff@bsmphilly.com.

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