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Bridgeport educator: What gives me hope after a terrible year for teachers

After the disappointing Janus Supreme Court decision that eliminated the “fair share” laws that fund teachers unions like mine, thousands of educators from across the country marched through the streets of Pittsburgh to show support for their unions. After a year of blows to the teaching profession — a U.S. Department of Education that focuses less on protecting students and more on its own destruction, federal and state budget cuts, and the heavy, ever-looming threat of violence in the classroom — my heart warmed when I saw my colleagues resisting after yet another attempt to undermine our collective bargaining rights and disregard our voices. Teachers are willing to speak up on behalf unions. But unions will in turn have to show they understand teachers’ most pressing concerns and are ready to speak up for them.