Teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky officially went on strike Monday in an effort to demand better pay and funding for local schools. Teachers in West Virginia went on strike and eventually won a 5% pay raise in March. Teachers in other states like Arizona are reportedly considering similar tactics. Could Iowa teachers be next?

Tammy Wawro, president of the Iowa State Education Association, says that if Iowa teachers were to strike, there would be "harsh" penalties. While Wawro says that they support their efforts to bring attention to the topic of school funding, teachers in the state are "bound by Iowa law which prohibits public employees from striking."

Wawro is correct. Iowa law prohibits public school teachers or unions from striking. The law covers any public school employee or organization. So what are the penalties if Iowa teachers were to strike? For individuals, punishment could include a $500 fine per day, possible jail time of up to 6 months, discharge from work, and they would be ineligible for re-hiring by that employer for one year.

Wawro says that a teacher strike in Iowa just isn't an option right now. Instead, she says that they continue to work through the political process, and by speaking out on issues at public meetings. They are also looking at the next election and backing candidates who are supportive of raising funding levels for teachers and Iowa schools.


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