GOP Freaks Are Losing Their Shit Over a Historic Teachers' Strike in Minneapolis
Gubernatorial hopefuls think their path to power runs right through a picket line.
Teachers and classroom aides in Minneapolis spent their Tuesday morning braving sub-freezing temperatures on picket lines across the city, after contract negotiations between Minneapolis Public Schools and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers broke down on Monday night.
The underlying demands animating the teachers’ strike — the city’s first in more than half a century — aren’t all that shocking. The needs listed by the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers are things like better pay, smaller class sizes, additional mental health resources, and a more diversified workforce. It’s hardly a farfetched slate of asks from a group that’s spent the past two years navigating the uncharted topography of education and childcare in the midst of a global pandemic — all while being vilified by conservatives who have settled on schools as their soft targets of choice for their broader attacks on wearing masks, or learning about racism, or whatever phase of the right wing’s culture-war bullshit we’re in the middle of this week.
While both conservatives and liberals have long proven adversarial to teachers and their relatively meager labor requests, the past few years have seen Republicans in particular ratchet up their targeting of school and school workers, treating them as an exploitable wedge group under the guise of supporting “families” and “freedom,” all in the ongoing right-wing enterprise of dismantling public resources and infrastructure. The traumas of the COVID pandemic and the accompanying Trump-addled conservative fervor let enough blood from America’s already underfunded, overtaxed educational system to leave a scent in the water for Republican sharks eager to prove their right-wing fealty. So, whether emboldened by the steady drumbeat of anti-education agitating in recent years, or simply acting on the longstanding conservative impulse to punish working people, the who’s who of Minnesota Republicans angling (mostly unsuccessfully) to unseat Gov. Tim Walz this coming November have decided that their path to the governor’s mansion in St. Paul (which, incidentally, averted its own educators’ strike this week) runs right through the teachers’ picket lines.