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Striking public school teachers and their supporters, Jan. 21, Los Angeles. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

In the past year, teachers across the country have initiated a sustained protest movement, challenging school districts and elected officials to allocate funds for increased salaries, benefits and resources to meet the needs of students.

The state of play: The string of walkouts, introduced by West Virginia educators who led a 9-day strike in February of last year, shows no signs of slowing or stopping. Already this year, there have been strikes in Los Angeles, Denver, and Oakland that have resulted in school district concessions.

The big picture: This movement is evolving into something deeper than mere calls for school funding, teacher wages, and benefits. Demands for smaller class sizes, fewer annual standardized tests, and opposition to the expansion of private-school voucher programs and charter schools have become a rallying cry.

Highlights of success since the movement started:

  • Oakland teachers just reached a tentative deal Friday over compensation and class size following their 7-day strike. They were on strike over those details, but also over the district’s plan to close several dozen schools serving predominantly black and Latino students.
  • Last month, educators in West Virginia declared victory after state lawmakers rejected a bill that would have opened the state's first charter schools, made it easier to fire teachers without considering seniority during layoffs, and used public dollars to fund private schools.
  • Teachers in Denver last month ended a 3-day walkout — the first strike there in 25 years. Their union and the city’s public school system reached a deal to add $23 million to fund a 7–11% increase in base salaries next year, as well as a 20-step salary hike schedule.
  • Last month, LA teachers representing the country's second largest school district reached a tentative deal to conclude a 6-day strike. They agreed upon a 6% raise, a significant concession from the school district on standardized tests, and promises of smaller class sizes, additional nurses and counselors.
  • Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed legislation last May to increase teachers' wages by 20% over the next three years. However, the deal fell short of initial demands.
  • Oklahoma’s largest teachers union ended a walkout last April that closed public schools statewide for 9 days after negotiating $479 million in funding for the next school year. They were seeking $600 million.

Other states that have gone on strike over the past year include Illinois and Colorado. In Kentucky, teachers lauded a ruling by the state’s Supreme Court last December after it struck down a controversial pension reform law, which has prompted thousands of teachers to protest and close schools.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 2 far-right "America First" activists

The House panel investigating the Capitol riot, from left; Reps. Bennie Thompson, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger and Jamie Raskin on Capitol Hill in December. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot issued subpoenas Wednesday for far-right leaders Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey, who allegedly encouraged followers to go to D.C. and challenge the 2020 election results.

Why it matters: The action underscores the panel's increasing focus on rallies held ahead of the Capitol attack and how extremists were drawn to former President Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, per the New York Times.

Democrats fail to change Senate rules to pass voting rights bill

Senate Majority Leader during a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democrats failed Wednesday night to change Senate filibuster rules to pass the voting rights bill, with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) voting with Republicans.

The big picture: The failed effort came after Senate Republicans blocked the voting rights measure from coming to a final vote earlier Wednesday.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court rejects Trump's attempt to shield documents from Jan. 6 committee

Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday night a bid by former President Trump to block the release of documents and records from his administration to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Trump asked the Supreme Court to step in and block the release of the documents last month after a panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously denied his attempt to prevent the committee from obtaining the materials.