5 figures that explain why teachers are going on strike

April 6, 2018

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Since the start of the year, tens of thousands of teachers in Oklahoma, Kentucky and West Virginia have gone on strike, leaving students out of school for days.

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After the Great Recession in 2008, education funding has frequently been on the chopping block. Here are statistics explaining why teachers are striking today.

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-3%

Between 2006 and 2016, adjusted for inflation, teachers’ incomes dropped by 3%. Oklahoma teachers haven’t gotten raises from the state in 10 years.

Source: National Education Association

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-23%

Teacher satisfaction dropped 23% from 2008 to 2012 — from 62% to 39%, around the same level as in 1984.

Source: MetLife

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-35%

Teacher education enrollment decreased by 35% from 2009 to 2014 as a majority of states experienced shortages in teaching staff.

Source: Learning Policy Institute

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5x

Teachers are five times more likely than any other full-time worker to have at least one side job, with some teachers working up to six jobs.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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20%

In Oklahoma, one-fifth of school districts have four-day school weeks due to lack of funding.

Source: Business Insider

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I’m choosing to march on behalf of our growing number of English language learners who deserve teachers with greater cultural competency and better resources.

— Gretchen Heine, fifth grade teacher, Oklahoma

While the strike in West Virginia was successful in raising pay, changes in Oklahoma and Kentucky have yet to be set in stone.

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