Could Texas See The Next Wave Of Teacher Walkouts?

Union leaders say instructors in Texas are frustrated with stagnant wages and shrinking state support.

Teachers protesting
Teacher Adrien Gates pickets with other educators on a street corner in Norman, Okla., on Tuesday, March 27, 2018.

In Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona, teachers have been walking out to press for better pay and education funding.

Don’t expect that wave of teacher activism to hit Texas. Or at least, not yet.

As of now, there’s no official organizing for Texas teachers to walk out of class. For one, the state’s so big, it’s hard to organize. And lawmakers aren’t in session.

But that doesn’t mean instructors here are satisfied with stagnant wages, rising health care costs and shrinking state support for public schools.

“Teacher are getting fed up with it,” said Louis Malfaro, president of the Texas branch of the American Federation of Teachers. “We’re getting fed up being given less to work with and then having the standards raised and being told you’re not meeting the expectations and your students are not meeting the expectations.”

He said the situation reminds him of a Langston Hughes’ poem.

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it sag like a heavy load or does it explode?” Malforo said. “And I think those are both of those are distinct possibilities as we move forward.”

Malfaro expects teachers to scrutinize state lawmakers when the Texas Legislature reconvenes in January 2019.



Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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