Baltimore School CEO reacts to teacher walkouts in other states

Posted at 9:17 AM, Apr 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-03 09:17:16-04

Tens of thousands of teachers in Kentucky and Oklahoma showed up at rallies at their state capitols on Monday demanding higher wages and better resources.

Their demonstrations come less than a month after teachers in West Virginia went on strike for nine days. That strike ended with West Virginia's Governor signing legislation to give that state's teachers a five percent raise, their first raise in four years.

ABC2 News spoke to Baltimore City Schools' CEO, Dr. Sonja Santelises about the walkouts and the impact she thinks they have on getting teachers what they want.

She said when teachers are pushed to the point where they feel like they have to go on strike or leave their classrooms, that wage gap is significant. She says that what is happening on the national level isn't about teachers looking for a one or two percent raise, this is about fair wages so that teachers don't have to work one or two other jobs just to make ends meet.

"We are talking about people for whom their entire compensation is completely off the scale for compensation for surrounding districts, surrounding states, or anything that would be considered reasonable for a profession."

And Santelises went on to say when teacher walkouts happen, people need to ask themselves if they are willing to make an investment for those who are responsible for teaching the next generation.