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Teachers Union Approval Rises as Teachers Take Action

Public support for teachers unions has risen 8% this year as teachers mobilize for their students

Brian Young's picture
Apr 09, 2018

Teachers’ Unions often get a bad name. If you listen to charter school advocates like Michelle Rhee, Geoffrey Canada, and Betsy DeVos, you would think that these unions were the worst thing to ever happen to public education. Of course, UCOMM readers know the great work that these locals do. A new poll now shows that sentiments about teachers unions may be changing as well.

The new Rasmussen poll shows that approval for teachers’ unions has risen by eight points since 2016. The poll shows 45% of people support teachers belonging to public employee unions is a good thing for our nation. The poll, which was conducted from April 4th-5th, comes at a time when teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky are striking and rallying for better wages and more education funding. It also comes just weeks after West Virginia teachers went on strike for similar reasons and teachers in other red states are talking about striking for better pay and more funding for their schools.

These strikes have played an important part in shifting the narrative around public school teachers. While many have been conditioned to believe that they are lazy people who take the summer off, these strikes have shown teachers who work multiple jobs to make ends meet and then take money out of their own pocket to provide supplies for their classrooms. People are also seeing the real conditions that these teachers are teaching in, with rooms that are falling apart and textbooks that are outdated and on their last legs.

It’s not just in red states where teachers’ unions are working to rehabilitate their image. On Long Island, teachers have been running public ad campaigns to highlight the great work that they do. Through LongIslandTeachers.org, they have run ads highlighting teachers working and giving back to their communities over the summer, supporting parents right to Opt-Out of state testing, and informing the public about great educational gifts to get their kids for the holidays and urging them to donate an educational toy as well.

While they still have a long way to go, with 55% of the country still questioning their motives, it is clear that recent actions have highlighted the selfless work that teachers and their unions do for the community and for their students.

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