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No One Fights Harder for Our Kids Than Public School Teachers

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Teachers John and Kerry Guerini of Fayetteville, West Virginia, hold signs at a rally at the state Capitol in Charleston, W.Va., Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. Teachers across West Virginia will continue a walkout over pay and benefits for a fourth day. (AP Photo/John Raby)

And let’s face, that often includes parents.

Anyway, the teachers’ movement continues to spread, with states such as North Carolina and Nevada moving toward action. Why? It’s not only because teachers want and need more money, which they very much do as many are working two jobs and buying school supplies for their students. They are acting to protect our kids from continued attacks on public education and the evisceration of school funding.

On most Mondays, Stacy Masciangelo, a teacher in Mesa, Arizona, would be in her classroom teaching 33 junior high school students computer technology with outdated equipment that sometimes takes eight minutes just to log on.

But this Monday, Masciangelo will join thousands of fellow teachers at the state Capitol in Phoenix, walking a picket line for the third day of a statewide public educator strike.

“We’re frustrated. It’s frustrating. How can you tell a kid education is so important when everything that our leaders do say otherwise?” Masciangelo told ABC News on Sunday.

She has a bachelor’s degree in business marketing and a master’s in secondary education, but her take-home pay every two weeks comes to less than $900, and that’s not including the money she takes out of her own pocket each year to buy classroom supplies.

“But it’s not about teachers being greedy. It’s not about our salaries,” she said of the strike. “Most teachers I know, they try to get by, they live paycheck to paycheck. My husband’s a teacher. He has three jobs just to try to make ends meet. But we both have a calling. We’re extremely passionate about it and we work ourselves to the bone trying to do it because it matters.”

How can one be a good teacher working two or three jobs? It’s almost impossible to provide the standard of education that not only do we want to see but that teachers themselves want to provide in this scenario. Teachers are finally standing up for our education system after decades of attacks that have very much included the anti-teacher union charter school Rheeism that infected the Obama administration. It’s time to evict charter school advocates from having any say in the Democratic Party and engage in a full-throated defense of our public schools and our teachers, following the lead of the teachers themselves.

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