CBS News September 12, 2018, 12:32 PM School Matters: 66% of Americans say teachers have the right to strike
A new USA Today-Ipsos poll finds that 66 percent of Americans believe public school teachers have the right to strike. That number even includes parents whose lives are most disrupted when school isn't in session.
"Americans hate strikes and they hate strikes by public employees in particular. But they support the idea of teachers striking," USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page said Wednesday on "CBS This Morning." "Two-thirds of parents who have kids in public schools today say, yes, I support the right of teachers to strike because I think there is a sense that we don't pay type teachers enough. They have tough jobs. We now expect them do everything from raising students' scores to protecting students in mass shootings."
The poll and story are part of our new series, School Matters, where "CBS This Morning" is partnering with USA Today to feature extended stories and investigations on education. Over the next nine months, we'll go inside America's schools to find out what matters most to students, teachers and parents.
Based on her reporting, Page said Americans have an "incredible reverence" for teachers.
"We ask Americans, did the teacher make a significant positive impact in your own life? And three out of four Americans say yes," Page said.
The nation has also seen the effects of a political movement behind issues like teacher pay.
"We saw teachers strike in the spring in some Republican-leaning, some red states like Oklahoma and West Virginia and they did well, they won. State legislatures including Republicans who don't like to spend money, who don't like to raise taxes, supported them because, as we found in this poll, there is almost no partisan difference when it comes to supporting the idea that investment in education makes sense and that teachers are not paid enough," Page said.
There are more divisions over teachers unions, however, because "they think they protect bad teachers, enable bad teachers to stay in classrooms," Page said.
One of the few partisan differences the poll found was over the leadership of the Department of Education, with opinions almost evenly split, with 44 percent approving and 43 percent disapproving.
"The difference there is, Republicans approve of the department of education, Democrats disapprove. I think that reflects attitudes towards the Trump administration," Page said.