I believe that we simply can’t have a setting where the teachers’ unions are able to contribute tens of millions of dollars to the campaigns of politicians and then those politicians, when elected, stand across from them at the bargaining table, supposedly to represent the interest of the kids.Mitt Romney • Calling for a ban on political contributions by public teachers’ unions, which he further denounced as an “extraordinary conflict of interest.” If implemented this would, of course, come at nearly the full detriment of the Democratic Party, a fact Romney acknowledged only jokingly: “I don’t mean to be terribly partisan, but I kind of am. In the case of the Democratic Party, the largest contributors to the Democratic Party are the teachers unions.” source
I am so thrilled that people are going back. Everyone is looking forward to seeing their kids tomorrow.Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teacher’s Union • Announcing the end of the strike which captured national attention for the past week, and which will mark the return of some 350,000 Chicago-area students to their regular public school schedules. The vote to end the strike was held following agreement on a new three-year contract. Central to the standoff were arguments over teacher evaluations and firings — Mayor Rahm Emanuel sided with advocates for merit-based (tethered to test scores) evaluations of educators, but in the end had to drastically weaken those plans to come to terms with the union. The CTU isn’t exactly giddy abut the deal, either, with Lewis calling it “…not a good deal… but the deal we got.” In other words, everybody sounds to be feeling, at best, mildly unhappy with the bargain, if relieved at the resolution. source
They’re not happy with the agreement. They’d like it to be a lot better for us than it is.Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis • Discussing the union’s decision not to vote on the contract placed in front of them. Also among the concerns: The possibility of 120 school closings in the next few years. The decision means that teachers will remain on strike until at least Wednesday.
» Hard times for educators: According to a report released today spearheaded buy the White House Council of Economic Advisers, as well as the National Economic Council and Domestic Policy Council, the above figure represents the losses in educational jobs since June 2009. The report does originate from the White House team, and as such is expectedly supportive of the President’s proposal to stem this tide – a package of $25 billion to prevent further layoffs. The last few years have seen heavy cuts to public funding, largely pushed by conservative politicians during dire economic times, and thus public-sector jobs have dwindled in states and localities, driving up unemployment despite months of sustained (if underwhelming) private-sector job growth.
» The money will finance drastically increased salaries for Corps-selected teachers — with each set to receive a $20,000 pay raise — and would require participating teachers to commit to program participation for a multi-year period. Over $100 million in funding will be set aside for the new project, effective immediately, and the President will include another $1 billion in his budget proposition for fiscal 2013. ”I’m running to make sure that America has the best education system on earth, from pre-K all the way to post-graduate,” Obama told a crowd in San Antonio, continuing, “And that means hiring new teachers, especially in math and science.”