WE NEED YOUR HELP TODAY in the ongoing battle to prevent devastating school budget cuts and avoid layoffs. Right now in Washington, the Senate is considering $15 billion in emergency education funding as part of an appropriations bill. This important assistance, which the House has already approved, includes billions to avert educator layoffs, maintain core academic programs for kids, and help disadvantaged students receive the assistance they need to attend college through Pell grants.
Without this help, we are facing an education catastrophe that will directly affect the quality of our students’ education: larger class sizes, shortened school days and weeks, and the elimination of summer school and other education courses and programs.
The House has found a way to pay for this package through a series of cost offsets, and now it’s up to the Senate to make sure that the funding remains intact as part of the final supplemental appropriations bill. When it comes to preventing school cuts and layoffs, small sacrifices from other programs isn’t too much to ask. (It is deeply disturbing and disappointing that a Democratic administration would threaten to derail a bill supporting jobs and education because of those cost offsets, but that threat is very real.)
The time to act is NOW. Congress must move swiftly to approve this aid, and must not alter the bill’s underlying provisions. Please call your senators TODAY through the AFT toll-free hotline at 866-327-8670. They will connect you with your senators so that you can tell them to stand up for education.
Thank you for helping us keep the heat on Washington!
OK, it's good to see the UFT (and since you know Mulgrew takes his marching orders from Randi, the AFT) is pushing back against the Obama administration's refusal to cut RttT money and use it to keep teachers employed.
The Obama administration would rather use the RttT money to close schools, fire teachers, and create data-tracking systems that will enable school districts to collect and collate student test scores and fire more teachers in the future.
But the infuriating part about all of this is, why haven't they been fighting back against the Obama administration's education policies before this rather than acceding to them and saying "Well, at least we have a seat at the table"?
Because we don't have a seat at the table.
Obama and Duncan do not give a shit what unionized teachers or parents or students or professional educators think about public education.
They only care what their little education deform cohort (Rhee, Klein, Bloomberg, Gates, Broad, et al.) think.
So when Mulgrew writes "It is deeply disturbing and disappointing that a Democratic administration would threaten to derail a bill supporting jobs and education because of those cost offsets, but that threat is very real," I say that
IT IS DEEPLY DISTURBING THAT MY UNION HAS UP UNTIL NOW REFUSED TO FIGHT BACK AGAINST THE MOST ANTI-TEACHER/ANTI-TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOL/PRO-PRIVATIZATION/PRO-CHARTER ADMINISTRATION EVER.
Instead they threw their hands up in the air and said stupid stuff that sounds like this:
“We have to recognize that with Obama we have a voice in the decision-making, they listen to us,” said Earl Wiman, president of the Tennessee Education Association. But he added, “Mostly what we’ve seen out of this administration is a top-down, put-your-thumb-on-somebody kind of philosophy, and it’s aroused more frustration around federal education policy than I’ve ever seen.”
OK, that's an NEA guy saying that, not a AFT'er, but we have heard plenty from Randi, Mulgrew and company about how this administration listens to us unlike the last one.
But it's not true.
I dunno if they are actually listening to anything teachers, parents and students are saying about their policies, but I CAN tell you, they're not hearing anything that they don't want to hear.
And what they want to hear is - fire teachers, close schools, open more charters, privatize the public school system, add standardized tests to every subject at every level, track scores, hold teachers "accountable" for those scores, pay teachers according to those scores, use those scores to fire teachers.
There is no common ground here.
There is NO reason to support this administration or any Democrat who buys into deform policies.
Instead the unions must fight for their very survival against these pro-privatization politicians and their ilk from the Gates and Broad foundations.
So it is nice to see Mulgrew and Randi finally take a step against President Hopey/Changey and his ed deform policies, but it is not enough.
Not nearly enough.
They must tell Hopey/Changey and all the Dems on board with his ed policies that they will work AGAINST them come November 2010 and 2012 if they continue with these destructive, short-sighted policies.
I am under no illusion that the union leadership will do this.
Apparently since Rahmbo and some of the other Obama political operative scum take their calls they still operate under the delusion that they have influence with the Obama administration.
But they have no influence with the administration.
The only influence they have is to organize and fight against Obama, Duncan, and the rest of the ed deform Dems.