Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Assault on Pensions ( including Teacher Pensions) continues

Bill Raden, Capital and Main
When Democratic former San Jose mayor Chuck Reed and Republican ex-San Diego councilmember Carl DeMaio finally unveiled the language for a promised attempt at getting a statewide public pension cutting measure to 2016 voters, the expectation was that Reed II would be a reined-in and more realistically-framed version of Reed I – last year’s failed attempt at undermining the public pension system.
Editors note:
 These pension critics in California have targeted public pensions as a place to claim a crisis and to demand pensions changes- which would make them billions.
In 2014 California pensions had 84 % of the funds they need to pay their obligations. Most pension critics- such as the Peterson Institute- say that 80%  of  potential obligations should be covered in assets.
This argument incorrectly assumes that there will not be more workers paying into the ongoing pensions.  That is the policy direction argued for by austerity advocates mostly in the Republican Party.
The truth is that working people such as teachers and police officers  paid into these pension funds.  At times- the state and local governments skipped their obligations to match the workers contributions. This created a problem that is being dealt with.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Another Attack on Teachers' Unions


Harold Meyerson.
About a month ago, the Supreme Court closed out its term in a blaze of nonpartisan glory. Or nonpartisan obloquy, depending on one’s reaction to the court’s legalization of same-sex marriage and its upholding of Obamacare — but nonpartisan either way. A court with a Republican-appointed majority upheld a Democratic president’s health insurance program and a marital policy that most Republican officeholders felt obliged to oppose (even if most Republican political consultants felt relieved to see gay marriage rendered a fait accompli).
But that was then. In the term that will begin this fall, the court has a splendid opportunity to deliver the most partisan decision it has rendered since Bush v. Gore. When the court rules in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association , which will be argued in the coming months, the Republican-appointed justices will be able, if they so choose, to create a long-term advantage for their party over the Democrats.
Friedrichs is a case brought by a California teacher who objects to paying dues to the union that has bargained the contract that secures her pay and benefits. The union does not collect any money from her to support its political activities, but, by virtue of the court’s 1977 Abood decision, and hundreds of later decisions based on Abood, she is obliged to pay that portion of her dues that goes to bargaining and administering her contract. That obligation, the court ruled in Abood, is essential if public employees are to have an effective right to collective bargaining. If employees can benefit from union representation without funding the union, the court reasoned, the union could be weakened to the point that it couldn’t represent those employees adequately, if, indeed, at all.

Sanders on Racism- at the SCLC

antiracismdsa: Sanders on Racism- at the SCLC: Remarks by Senator Sanders at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference JULY 25, 2015 https://berniesanders.com/remarks-senator-sanders-...

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Next Wave of "Educational Reform"

by Jeff Bryant
Education activists are rejoicing that the latest versions of No Child Left Behind reauthorization coursing through Congress may give struggling schools a way to have more control over their own governance and destiny.
NCLB originally mandated such unreal expectations on schools the vast majority of them would be branded “failed.” New legislation, as currently written, would change that.
Prominent education groups representing teachers and administratorslike this turn of events and want bills from the House and the Senate to quickly proceed to conference.
Should the onerous provisions imposed on schools by NCLB indeed be lifted, lots of struggling schools will breathe easier without the “failed” brand looming over their buildings. But if this new flexibility comes to pass, it’s no time to take a victory lap if you’re someone who believes teachers, parents, and students should have a voice in how their local schools operate.
As anti-democratic pressures appear to be easing on the federal front, they are ratcheting up in states across the country. In fact, the next form of education “reform” may be as bad or worse than what NCLB imposed.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Forum : The Sanders Campaign









Forum.  July 24, 2015.    7 PM.
The Sol Collective. Sacramento 2574 21st. Street. Sacramento
Sponsored by Sacramento DSA, the Sacramento Progressive Alliance  and more.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Fix School Discipline

Your Child’s Right to Stay In School: 

What You Need to Know About School Discipline

Students who are suspended or expelled are as much as 5 times more likely to dropout and 3 times more likely to have contact with the juvenile justice system. What rights do you have to help your child stay in school and on a path to success?
Join Statewide Education Rights Director Laura Faer and former teacher Elena Fresquez on Thursday, July 16 at 4:30 pm for an interactive webinar for parents, youth, and those who support them about students’ rights in school discipline.  Learn about the legal protections for students, including those with special needs, and how to advocate for yourself or your child.  Find out more about strong alternatives to class and school removal that hold students accountable while also helping improve school success.
Join Public Counsel to learn how to protect a young person’s ability to stay in school and advocate for better solutions for youth who are struggling with behavior issues in class and on the playground.

July 16, 2015
Thursday
4:30 PM

 

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

ESEA Reauthorization passes Senate

TODAY, the Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act. I am so immensely proud of what we achieved together in this legislation.
The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act has been over a decade coming. So I simply wanted to say, "thank you."
I recorded a video message in gratitude for the hard work you just put in for our students: 
Watch Lily's thank you
Watch it now. Thanks again brothers and sisters for getting us one step closer to a final law. We will be in touch in the fall to get this on the President's desk, but until then, have a restful summer. See you on Twitter
- Lily
Lily Eskelsen GarcĂ­a
President, National Education Association

Monday, July 13, 2015

Scott Walker's Real record in Wisconsin

Educate for Democracy: Walker’s Budget Undermines Public Education, with ...: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is expected to do two things in the next few days: Formally announce his candidacy for President and sign W...

When we abandon our public schools, we not only abandon democracy, we abandon our children's future.
Gov. Walker has the most far-reaching budget veto powers of any governor, and can literally change the budget line by line. How he uses that veto pen will foretell his national plans as he enters the Republican presidential primary.
In Wisconsin, where we have four years of experience with Walker, we expect him to continue his policies of abandoning public institutions and undermining the middle class. Hopefully, national observers will see through Walker's rhetoric and analyze the realities of his state budget.
[Bob Peterson is a founder of Rethinking Schools magazine and former president of the Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association.]
 
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