State news roundup for April 25, 2015

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Washington – It’s TIME: WEA members strike over class size funding, professional comp

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Larry Delaney says it’s time for educators to take action.

Delaney, president of the Lakewood Education Association, led his 130 members in a one-day strike [pictured above and at right] against the Washington Legislature Wednesday.

The issues?

  • Funding for smaller class sizes as approved by voters
  • Professional pay and benefits for educators.
  • Too much testing at the expense of learning

Stanwood-Camano teachers also walked out Wednesday, shutting down schools for the day. Arlington teachers walked out after a student half day, and then hundreds of educators from all three locals marched and rallied in downtown Arlington in Snohomish County. School employees in other communities plan similar walk-outs.

“Frankly, the Legislature is failing public schools, not the other way around,” said Kristi Larson, a teacher at Arlington High School who spoke at the rally.

Get the full story at OurVoiceWashingtonEA.org.

Illinois – Few hits, lots of misses for Rauner’s anti-middle class resolution

IL Gov Rauner Report squareGovernor Bruce Rauner likes to say, “I’ve been a success at everything I’ve done.” This week, the governor is experiencing a little less success than he is used to.

The governor’s anti-middle class resolution in support of so-called “right to work” measures has failed to be approved at most of the local government meetings where is has been discussed.

This week, the governor’s resolution failed to win approval in Naperville, where a strong union turnout persuaded elected officials to table the governor’s resolution, which won’t actually solve our state’s problems.

Visit IEANEA.org to read the complete article.

Connecticut – Retirees to meet with legislators and discuss important education issues

CEA Connecticut LogoAll CEA-Retired members are invited to join hundreds of their retired colleagues at the Retired Teachers Lobby Day at the State Capitol in Hartford on April 29. CEA-Retired members will be joined by their retired colleagues from AFT Connecticut and the Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut to meet face-to-face with legislators and speak about issues of importance to retirees and active teachers.

“Last year, more than 30 CEA-R members participated in the lobby day event and made a real difference in getting important legislation passed exempting a portion of teacher pensions from state income tax,” said CEA-R President Gloria Brown. “This year, we hope more members will join us and help get our message out to legislators.”

The agenda includes an educational session starting at 10 a.m., followed by one-on-one meetings with legislators. The day will conclude with a luncheon meeting where retirees will hear directly from more than a dozen legislators.

Find out how you can join the lobby day at BlogCEA.org.

Utah – Legislative voting records

Utah members lobbyingEach year, the Utah Education Association tracks numerous bills during the legislative session. The UEA then reviews the voting records of legislators and highlights selected bills voted on in the Legislature that would have significant impact on public education and the UEA. It is important to note that a voting record is but one of several indicators used to evaluate legislators. It does not explain the reasons a legislator voted a certain way on a bill, and in some cases the final percentage might not accurately reflect a legislator’s overall support for public education.

From bills affecting funding for public education, educator professionalism and grading schools to parent rights, technology and school board elections, lawmakers considered a wide variety of education-related measures during their 45-day session. In addition to using “final floor votes” on most bills, the UEA analysis includes committee votes and votes on important amendments. Often times these votes provide a more critical, or accurate, indication of a legislator’s support or lack thereof. The UEA encourages you to contact your legislators directly to ask them to explain their votes. Contact information for your legislators is available from the Utah Legislature look-up page.

Read the complete UEA analysis of voting records at MyUEA.org.

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