Tag Archives: West Virginia

With Walkout and Rally Planned for Monday, Teachers’ Anger Over Low Pay and Lack of Funding Spreads to Colorado

“Educators are fed up…Colorado has, year over year over year, significantly underfunded our public schools.

By Julia Conley, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 4-15-2018

Teachers in Arizona last week wore red during a “walk-in,” preceding a possible walkout, to demand school funding. Colorado teachers plan to do the same on Monday. (Photo: @SenQuezada29/Twitter)

Colorado’s teachers’ union expects more than 400 teachers at a rally that’s planned for Monday at the state’s Capitol in Denver.

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Joining Nationwide Teacher Rebellion, Tens of Thousands Rally for Education in Oklahoma

The $50 million in school funding that was included in a bill last week “will buy less than one textbook per student,” said the head of the state teacher’s union

By Julia Conley, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 4-2-2018

An estimated 30,000 Oklahoma teachers rallied at the State Capitol on Monday, demanding far more funding for education than what was included in the legislature’s last-minute effort to avoid a strike last week. (Photo: @cora/Twitter)

A weeks-long mobilization in Oklahoma resulted in teachers striking across the state on Monday, with tens of thousands of educators and supporters rallying at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City to demand more funding for schools and higher wages for teachers.

Organizers planned to speak with state lawmakers about how decades of funding cuts have affected their schools—and why a bill passed in the legislature last week that would raise taxes on oil and gas production to give teachers a $6,100 raise and allot $50 million for school funding was not enough to stop the protest. Continue reading

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‘We Will Stay!’ West Virginia Teachers Vote to Occupy State Capitol Until Demands Met

While some have called the West Virginia teachers’ strike “the most important story in the country right now,” MSNBC and other outlets have almost completely ignored it.

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 3-2-2018

As the demonstrations raged on in the state capitol, West Virginia lawmakers voted against bringing a teacher pay raise bill to the Senate floor for immediate consideration, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported on Friday. (Photo: Jacobin/Twitter)

Though you may not know it from the corporate media’s coverage—or lack thereof—West Virginia teachers are still striking in an effort to win both a pay raise and a permanent fix to their soaring health insurance premiums, and on Friday they voted to occupy the state capitol until their demands are met.

Watch teachers chant “We will stay!” shortly following the vote: Continue reading

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‘This Needs to Happen All Over America’: Applause for Candidate Who Called Out Big Oil Donors

“Why do we need campaign finance reform? This. This is why.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 2-12-2018

West Virginia House of Delegates candidate Lissa Lucas was hailed as a model for congressional candidates across the nation after she read off the names of politicians taking money from the oil and gas industry. (Photo: Facebook/Screengrab)

When West Virginia House of Delegates candidate Lissa Lucas decided to take a stand against Big Oil’s pernicious political influence last week by rattling off the names of state lawmakers receiving massive campaign donations from the fossil fuel industry, she was swiftly and forcefully silenced.

Now, her story—first reported by journalist Russell Mokhiber in a piece for Common Dreams on Sunday—has become a viral sensation and a model for those looking to challenge the stranglehold corporate cash has on the American political system.

Watch the video of the incident, which has since garnered over 133,000 views on Facebook: Continue reading

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A Tale Of Two Bills

On Saturday, the West Virginia legislature finished their regular session. While this normally wouldn’t get our interest, there were a couple bills that were voted on in the last few days that caught our eye. Of course, the main push behind both these bills came from the real power in West Virginia; the fossil fuel industry.

West Virginia State Capitol building. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia State Capitol building. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The first, SB423, amends the state’s Aboveground Storage Tank Act. The act was signed into law last April, and was a response to the Elk River chemical spill three months earlier. We wrote about how the spill of 7500 gallons of crude 4-methylcyclohexylmethanol (MCHM) prevented 300,000 West Virginians from drinking, cooking or washing with the water in their homes, and we wrote about Freedom industries’ attempts to shed all liability and responsibility for the cleanup. Continue reading

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