State news roundup for May 3, 2015


Wisconsin – Hundreds rally in Milwaukee for public education

Hundreds of supporters of public education rallied in downtown Milwaukee Saturday, calling for greater funding of public schools, reduced emphasis on high-stakes student testing, and a return to joyful learning. The rally was held in conjunction with WEAC’s annual Representative Assembly.

Visit to view photos of the rally and find out more.  

Washington – Teachers in 24 districts vote to walk out over class sizes, compensation

11193376_10152970180479965_15121519711489190_n-300x300More than 500 teachers in Burlington-Edison and Bainbridge Island staged one-day strikes against the Legislature Thursday.

Marysville and Oak Harbor teachers are walking out Friday in protest of the Legislature’s failure to fully fund K-12 public schools, and teachers in Northshore, Shoreline, Granite Falls, North Kitsap and Peninsula are the latest to approve walk outs.

“Our members feel strongly that the time is now to get something done and, the lack of progress in Olympia is unacceptable,” said Randy Davis, Marysville Education Association president. “We expect the Legislature to fully fund smaller class sizes in every grade level as required by voter-approved I-1351, and we need the state to fund competitive, professional salaries and benefits so we can continue attracting and keeping qualified, caring teachers for our kids.”

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Connecticut – CEA Joins Rep. Courtney for Announcement on Bill to Repeal Tax that Would Hurt Educators

excise-taxCEA President Sheila Cohen joined U.S. Congressman Joe Courtney today as he unveiled legislation that would eliminate the excise tax on higher-cost health insurance plans scheduled to take effect in 2018. The Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act has 65 cosponsors and would repeal the tax that unfairly burdens Connecticut educators and other members of the middle class around the country.

Speaking at the Washington D.C. press conference announcing the new legislation Cohen said, “The excise tax would be devastating for educators who have accepted salary freezes or cuts in order to save their health care coverage for themselves and their families. The excise tax would cut needed benefits for the dedicated and committed educators who teach Connecticut’s children.”

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Pennsylvania – Pennsylvanians support Gov. Wolf’s plan to increase school funding

Pennsylvania-PSEA-logo 6-2-12A new poll shows that more Pennsylvania voters believe the state is headed in the right direction than at any time since January 2010 – and a majority of Pennsylvanians support Gov. Wolf’s plan to restore investments in public education.
Franklin & Marshall College’s latest public opinion poll, released March 26, shows that most Pennsylvanians (59%) support Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed state budget – which includes the largest one-year school funding increase in Pennsylvania’s history.

“These poll results show that Gov. Wolf’s proposed state budget is popular, bold, and smart,” PSEA President Mike Crossey said. “His proposal shows that our state can reverse the school funding cuts that have put our schools in crisis at the same time that we make our tax system fairer for working Pennsylvanians – and voters will stand behind him.”

“Right now, Pennsylvania is 45th in state support for public schools,” added Crossey. “Over the past four years, school districts have cut more than 23,000 teachers and support professionals, and 91 percent have raised property taxes. Gov. Wolf’s budget addresses this crisis head on. It’s exactly what our students need.”

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