Happening Today: Education Week Leadership Symposium. Learn more and register.
Teaching Profession News in Brief

Number of Teachers’ Strikes in 2015 Keeps Pace With Other Years’

By Ross Brenneman — October 27, 2015 1 min read

Teachers in East St. Louis, Ill., remained on strike last week, through more than two weeks of school closures. A two-week walkout in Scranton, Pa., ended the previous week. Those strikes follow others that have been resolved in Seattle; in Pasco, Wash.; McHenry County, Ill.; and Prospect Heights, Ill., earlier this fall.

Even though it seems like an unusually high number of teachers’ strikes occurred this school year, an Education Week Teacher analysis of strikes over the past six years shows that their pace hasn’t increased or decreased significantly. And considering the thousands of school districts across the country, strikes are rare occurrences, attention-grabbing though they may be.

The data show that 56 teachers’ strikes took place between 2010 and 2015, and those walkouts occurred in eight states: Pennsylvania, 20; Illinois, 16; California and Washington, five each; Oregon, four; and Ohio, Vermont, and Missouri, two each.

While 2015 has had the most strikes in recent years, 2012 and 2014 were close behind.

Most states don’t allow teachers to strike, as they consider them to be essential public personnel.

Washington state, which has had dozens of strikes in the past several decades, outlawed public-sector strikes, but there’s just enough vagueness in the law that teachers have nevertheless walked out. Pennsylvania and Illinois both allow strikes; in the former’s case, state law dictates how long strikes are permitted to last to ensure that students have 180 days of instruction per school year. Illinois passed a law in 2011 to limit the permissible terms of a teachers’ strike.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the October 28, 2015 edition of Education Week as Number of Teachers’ Strikes in 2015 Keeps Pace With Other Years’

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Here to Stay – Pandemic Lessons for EdTech in Future Development
What technology is needed in a post pandemic district? Learn how changes in education will impact development of new technologies.
Content provided by AWS

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession 4 Ways Districts Are Giving Teachers More Flexibility in Their Jobs
After a year-plus of pandemic schooling, some experts are seeing momentum for district leaders to reimagine what teaching can look like.
11 min read
Teacher working at home in front of camera.
Getty
Teaching Profession Why Teachers Leave—or Don't: A Look at the Numbers
New EdWeek survey results reveal why teachers consider leaving the profession, and how the pandemic has changed their decisionmaking.
6 min read
v40 32 Teacher Retention INTRO DATA
Stephanie Shafer for Education Week<br/>
Teaching Profession We Asked Teachers How They Want to Be Appreciated. Here's What They Said
All they need is respect, independence, a break, and a heartfelt word of thanks after a difficult year.
3 min read
Image shows a teacher in a classroom.
skynesher/E+
Teaching Profession New Teaching Jobs May Emerge With Continued Demand for Virtual Learning
As school districts plan for online learning to continue beyond the pandemic, they'll need teachers to staff those virtual classrooms.
4 min read