Iowa Teacher Unions Face New Challenges

By Meryn Fluker,

The question reads like one featured on a standardized test: What is the solution to fixing America’s education system?

People on all sides of the debate favor various solutions — increased funding, smaller class sizes, longer school days — but increasingly one group of people is at the center of the debate: teachers.

Some say educators are the solution to many problems with the nation’s schools. But whether it’s the recent Chicago Teachers Union strike, which resulted in students missing seven days of class, or Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to balance the budget through restricting public employees’ collective bargaining rights, others say teachers — more specifically, their unions — is a problem that needs to be solved.

“I don’t view unions as blockers,” said Sue Clapp, president of the Cedar Rapids Education Association. “I view them as collaborators.”

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