NNU Offers Encouragement for Teacher Walkouts
‘Public Education is Critical for a Democratic Society’
National Nurses United today offered praise and encouragement for teachers engaged in a growing protest movement from West Virginia to Arizona.
“Quality public education is critical for a democratic society,” said NNU Co-President Deborah Burger, RN. “The underfunding of our public schools, which has led to the disgrace of teachers having to buy school supplies for their students, or forced to work second or third jobs to support their families should alarm all of us.”
Burger compared cuts and inadequate funding of public education to cuts in healthcare. “Nothing more reflects the misguided priorities in Washington and many state capitols when tax cuts for millionaires, subsidies for corporations, or funding for weapons of war or jails have a higher priority than public education or healthcare. We applaud teachers for taking a stand.”
Proper funding of public education, which includes teacher salaries, is also essential for addressing income and wealth inequality, improved educational and employment opportunities for working people, and a more diverse society, says NNU. “States that fail to assure adequate funding for education and teachers are failing all of us,” Burger said.
Burger also cited an analogy between teachers speaking out in support of smaller class sizes that promote improved learning for students, an issue also directly related to proper public education funding, with nurses’ campaign for improved RN staffing levels for patients, which protects patient safety.
A non-partisan poll last Friday showing that 72 percent of Oklahoma voters support the teacher walkout in their state should be a clarion call to legislators that the public supports teachers, just as there continues to be broad public support for nurses who engage in public actions to protect and expand guaranteed healthcare for all, Burger noted. “It is time for all legislators to take a stand.”