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The Fight for Local ControlSchools, Suburbs, and American Democracy$
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Campbell F. Scribner

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501700804

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501700804.001.0001

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The Struggle for Status

The Struggle for Status

(p.75) 4 The Struggle for Status
The Fight for Local Control

Campbell F. Scribner

Cornell University Press

This chapter analyzes the rise of teachers' unions outside of metropolitan boundaries. As teachers and administrators began to demand tenure protection, rights of collective bargaining, and professional control of curriculum and hiring, they usurped the responsibilities of rural school boards, which had previously handled almost all aspects of the academic program. The conflict between professional practice and local democracy resulted in scores of lawsuits in consolidated districts, which gave otherwise marginal communities an outsized and understudied significance in public sector labor law. Collective bargaining, in turn, reinforced state and federal calls for more educational spending, obliging school districts to raise significantly more revenue in absolute terms even as state and federal subsidies comprised a larger portion of district budgets.

Keywords:   teachers' unions, rural school boards, public sector labor law, collective bargaining, educational spending, local democracy

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