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.
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