Posted In: Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Multimedia, Retired Educators, Uncategorized, Utah, Workers' Rights
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Connecticut – Much to be Proud of as Teachers Head Back to School
As you head back to school this week and next, please keep in mind all of the great things you and your colleagues accomplish every day.inflatable water park< inflatable water park
Connecticut’s achievement gap is a serious issue, but focusing exclusively on the gap ignores all of the growth and successes happening in our public schools.
CMT data shows that, statewide, two out of three students score at goal and four out of five score at proficient. All students have made steady gains over time, with African-American, Hispanic, and low-income students making some of the biggest gains and making a real impact on narrowing the achievement gap. You and your students are working hard and it shows.
CMT math scores for all grades show that Connecticut students scoring at proficient increased from 79% to 86% overall. In reading, Connecticut students in all grades scoring at proficient increased from 74% to 80% overall.
Get the full story at BlogCEA.org.
Illinois – Education Quality is Theme of IEA Radio Ad
IEA’s advocacy for education improvement is highlighted in a new radio ad that coincides with the beginning of the new school year.
The new ad, featuring Illinois Teacher of the Year Annice Brave, talks about IEA’s advocacy for policies that, “… value our educators, raise standards and accountability in the classroom and ensure every student benefits from high quality teachers and a well-run school.”
Read the complete article at ieanea.org.
Massachusetts – Protect Public Education in Massachusetts by Protecting our Pensions
All Massachusetts public employees pay the vast majority of their pension costs. And Massachusetts public employees do not receive Social Security, saving taxpayers millions of dollars. In fact, Massachusetts has the lowest state contribution rate in the nation for teachers and the fifth-lowest contribution rate for state employees of the states that do not contribute to Social Security.
Despite this, the Legislature will soon consider reducing pension benefits for future educators For years, the state and municipalities were on a “pay-as-you-go basis.” Even after reforms in the 1980s resulted in the state beginning to set aside funds for future obligations, not enough money was put into the retirement system. This contribution shortfall resulted in insufficient investment into the system by the state and, as a result, less money earned from investments.
Cumulatively, the combination of insufficient funding and the economic downturn resulted in an unfunded liability in FY10 of $20 billion. This is a serious problem that requires a solution, but it must be a balanced solution. Reducing the benefits of future employees is not the answer.
Visit MassTeacher.org to learn more about how you can fight for your pension.
Utah – Anti-Union Proposals Target UEA/Public Schools
In a letter to legislative leaders dated July 14, Education Interim Committee Chairmen Sen. Howard Stephenson and Rep. Bill Wright requested permission to add three issues to the Committee’s priority list: the elimination of collective bargaining for public education employees; prohibiting public employers from collecting union dues from workers’ paychecks; and “tuition tax credits” for private schools.
A Salt Lake Tribune article quoted Sen. Stephenson as saying his request is “absolutely not” taking a shot at teacher unions.
UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh disagrees. “Not since the voucher battle in 2007 has public education faced so many attacks. The actions being studied by the Education Interim Committee are part of a concerted national effort to privatize our public schools. Our teachers should be treated with dignity and respect, yet these proposals are clearly directed at silencing the voice of teachers and weakening their association.”
Despite opposition from minority party members, all three issues were added to the Committee’s priority list.
“These proposals do nothing to improve education for our students,” said Gallagher-Fishbaugh. “We will stand firm in our resolve to support measures that make a difference in our classrooms and oppose these misguided attacks on our careers and our rights. We urge parents, policymakers and politicians to work with teachers as we seek legitimate ways to improve teaching and learning for all students.”
Click through to MyUEA.org for more information on these attacks on public schools and collective bargaining.