State news roundup for October 18, 2014

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Ohio – Support public education by voting out ALEC

remember sb5American journalist Walter Lippmann once said, “Successful politicians are insecure and intimidated men. They advance politically only as they placate, appease, bribe, seduce, bamboozle or otherwise manage to manipulate elements in their constituencies.”

Most people’s viewpoints aren’t quite as cynical as Mr. Lippmann’s, but the simple truth is that some politicians do try to manipulate their constituents into agreeing with their initiatives by first stirring discontent. Satisfied people cannot be seduced, so to build a case for any crusade, these lawmakers try to create a need for the measure by cutting sources of funding. Such is the case with Ohio’s current state government.

Three years ago, Ohio’s Republican governor and the GOP-controlled legislature used the state budget to drastically cut public funding to local governments, which they hoped would create a need for the “tools” provided in Senate Bill 5. Although Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected the SB 5 tools in a referendum, those budget cuts created a significant loss of local facilities, services, and jobs, and elements in SB 5 have been introduced piecemeal ever since as cost-cutting measures in communities throughout Ohio.

Get the full story at Blog.OHEA.org.

Washington – New I-1351 TV ad features teacher

The Yes on I-1351 campaign has a new TV ad that features Desi Saylors, a North Thurston middle school science teacher and a mom of two kids in public schools. In the ad, Saylors emphasizes how smaller class sizes help teachers provide the individualized attention students need to succeed.

 

Find out more about the class size campaign in Washington by visiting OurVoiceWashingtonEA.org.

Vermont – South Burlington teachers file unfair labor practice, citing board’s stalling tactics

South Burlington StrikeThe South Burlington Educators Association on Tuesday filed an unfair labor practice charge against the city’s school board, asserting that it circumvented the bargaining process by trying to negotiate directly with members and by employing stalling tactics to delay reaching a settlement.

Teachers went on strike Wednesday morning after the board wasted the last week manufacturing excuses instead of bargaining with the union’s negotiating team. The unfair labor practice charge was filed at the Vermont Labor Relations Board earlier Wednesday.

According to the filing, the board bargained in bad faith when it came to a negotiating session October 6 unprepared to respond to the union’s compromise offer. The filing also says the board unlawfully engaged in direct dealing with employees when they held an all-employee meeting yesterday to discuss their out-of-synch health care proposals.

“For almost a year, we have tried to reach a fair settlement with the board,” said SBEA Chief Negotiator Eric Stone. “At every turn, they have chosen to ignore the recommendations of a neutral fact-finder. In the last week alone, we’ve made two compromise offers only to be met with manufactured excuses of why they can’t engage in the back-and-forth necessary to reach a settlement.”

Visit VTNEA.org to find out more.

Michigan – Want the truth about funding cuts? Ask educators!

Michigan MI logoRoughly four out of five Michigan educators have experienced funding cuts at their school in the past four years, according to a member poll released today by the Michigan Education Association.

“If you want to know the truth about what’s really happening with education funding in our state, the people to ask are Michigan’s educators,” said MEA President Steven Cook.  “Cuts to K-12 and higher education aren’t just campaign rhetoric – they are reality experienced every day by MEA members across the state.”

In response to the question, “Thinking about the last four years, have you witnessed funding cuts to your local school district and school?”, 78 percent responded that they had witnessed cuts, with 11 percent saying they had not and another 11 percent saying they were unsure. To learn more, you can read the full poll results.

You can read the complete article at MEA.org, or click here to go directly to the full poll results.

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