Little Rock teachers strike for first time in decades as state seeks to union bust

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Little Rock teachers are striking for the first time in more than three decades over the state’s control of the local school system and a panel’s decision to strip their union’s collective bargaining rights.

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Members of the Little Rock Education Association plan to picket across the 23,000-school district on Thursday in what’s being billed as a one-day strike to protest Arkansas’ takeover of the local system. Arkansas has run the school district since 2015, when it was taken over because of low scores at several schools.

Union leaders have left open the possibility of the strike stretching beyond Thursday if full local control isn’t restored. The district has said schools will remain open Thursday.

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The strike follows the state Board of Education’s decision to strip the union of its bargaining power. The strike is the first in Little Rock since 1987.