Why Pennsylvania leads the nation in teacher walkouts

The Wall Street Journal features an article on teacher strikes in Pennsylvania, noting that the Keystone State leads the nation in school employees strikes. The piece cites a recent report from the Allegheny Institute showing not only that Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of teacher strikes, but has had more strikes than the rest of the states combined, since 2000. Our friends at Stop Teachers Strikes are also referenced for some of the facts they have posted for public consumption:

Last year, a bill to prohibit teacher strikes was introduced in the state legislature by Todd Rock and 28 co-sponsors, only to be sidelined thanks to union opposition. According to a group called Stop Teacher Strikes, 75% of state legislators between 2004 and 2006 received teacher union money. The office of Governor Ed Rendell, who received more than $500,000 in teachers union political action committee cash for his 2006 re-election bid, called the strike ban a “radical response” to the problem.
That “radical” revision is actually similar to the rule in 37 states that have passed laws banning teacher strikes. Under the text of the strike bill, due to be reintroduced in January, teachers would have to give up two days of pay for each day they are out on strike. Under current law, Pennsylvania teachers see no adverse consequences from a walkout. In New York by contrast, the Taylor law punishes unions that walk off the job with fines and other penalties. According to the Allegheny Institute, similar strike laws have been upheld in the courts and have eliminated walkouts in states like Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Our recent policy brief on the Pennsylvania State Education Association has more on teacher strikes, and the power of the union.

I also recommend following and registering at SchoolBoardTransparency.org to follow ongoing school board contract negotiations and view the honor roll in transparent negotiations.

The WSJ article has received a fair number of citations in the blogosphere today: