Educators in Arizona are walking out today to demand better pay and full school funding. It will likely be the largest and most dramatic education strike yet.
The U.S. Department of Education was investigating why black students in Bryan, Texas, are almost four times as likely as white students to be suspended. Then Betsy DeVos took over.
2015-16 Civil Rights Data Collection: School and Climate Safety
Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, April 2018
From the press release:
The Ohio State University is breaking new ground for transparency among public universities in Ohio by making all non-student employee salaries available to the public in an online, searchable web-based application. ….
…. In calendar year 2017, 42,670 faculty and staff received $2.5 billion in total earnings – representing a one-year employee headcount increase of 1,855 (4.5 percent) and a 6.4 percent increase over the 2016 $2.35 billion payroll budget. The 2017 median annual base salary stood at $48,173, compared to $47,661 in 2016 – a 1.1 percent increase.
Two types of data are available on the Human Resources website: Users may enter a name, department, title or salary range to search for base salary information in the web-based application. A second option is available to download Excel spreadsheets of total employee earnings for calendar year 2017, which includes bonuses, overtime, deferred compensation, and vacation and sick leave payouts in addition to base salary. The data will be updated throughout the calendar year…..
Source: Rachel M. Cohen, The Intercept, April 22, 2018
The red-state school uprising is spreading to educators around the country, with teachers in Colorado and Arizona now planning walkouts to demand better treatment from state and county governments. But the widespread public support that has helped carry the teachers to victories so far has been less present for blue-collar workers following in their footsteps. In Georgia, bus drivers who organized their own work stoppage last week were met with public condemnation and immediate firings.
On Thursday, the same day that the votes in favor of a walkout were tallied in Arizona, nearly 400 school bus drivers in DeKalb County, Georgia, stayed home from work, staging a “sickout” to protest their low salaries and meager benefits.
Whether the school bus drivers can succeed in winning their demands and maintaining broad popular support remains to be seen, but the protest provides an important test case on whether these teacher movements will lead to a broader working-class uprising or stay limited to organizing among a narrower band of white-collar professionals. The bus drivers are not building their case around the idea that their unique talents merit greater monetary reward, but that they simply need and deserve to be treated more fairly…..
…..While the teachers strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona have boasted the vocal support of local school boards and superintendents, the school district leadership in DeKalb County has offered no such solidarity to the school bus drivers. In fact, seven bus drivers were fired on Thursday, identified as “sickout ringleaders.”….
Teachers have staged protests in recent weeks in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Colorado and Arizona. Some are fighting lawmakers who want to scale back their pensions.
It’s no secret that many states have badly underfunded their teacher pension plans for decades and now find themselves drowning in debt. But this pensions fight is also complicated by one little-known fact:
More than a million teachers don’t have Social Security to fall back on.
To understand why, we need to go back to Aug. 14, 1935. That is when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the original Social Security Act.
By walking out of their classrooms, U.S. teachers are part of a global uprising against low wages for the benefit of increasing corporate profits. ….
….Legislatures in more conservative states have granted tax cuts to corporations, which have constricted budgets. To balance the budgets, the things that get cut are salaries and benefits. In the private sector, there’s often a similar story: Companies keep salaries and benefits low–or outsource work to independent contractors who don’t get any benefits at all–in order to maximize profitability and return money to shareholders.
That leaves us, Orleck says, with a broad coalition of workers, both public and private sector, whose livelihoods have suffered for the benefit of corporations. And as the teachers’ strikes–and scores of labor strikes around the world–have shown, that system has reached its breaking point…..
Source: Allison H. Friedman-Krauss, W. Steven Barnett, G.G. Weisenfeld, Richard Kasmin, Nicole DiCrecchio, Michelle Horowitz, Rutgers University, National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), 2018
From the press release:
A new state-by-state report shows more young children enrolled in public pre-K programs but a troubling lack of policies ensuring the quality classroom experiences they need to get ready for kindergarten. The State of Preschool 2017 annual report, based on 2016-17 academic year data, finds states heeding the demand for pre-K and expanding access to publicly funded programs in a variety of settings. But instead of supporting quality early learning with adequate resources, most state programs invest too little to help children catch up with their more advantaged peers by kindergarten….
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, April 2018
From the press release:
The U.S. Census Bureau announced the release of the first data sets from a pilot public-use data product on labor market outcomes for college graduates, offering prospective students a useful tool and a fresh perspective in their considerations of post-secondary education. This release covers graduates from the University of Texas System. A release scheduled for later this year will cover students within the Colorado Department of Higher Education. The Census Bureau’s Post-Secondary Employment Outcomes pilot research program is being conducted in cooperation with higher education institutional systems to examine college degree attainment and graduate earnings. Through agreements with the Census Bureau, Texas and Colorado provided administrative education data on enrollment and graduation provided by their university systems, which the Census Bureau matched with national jobs statistics produced by the Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics program in the Center for Economic Studies…..
Only some college and university police officers are being trained to handle students’ mental health crises, experts say.
….Ideally, university police forces would be trained with a deep 40-hour program called the Memphis model, in which they’re taught how to ease the stress of a student experiencing a mental health break, James said. Developed by the University of Memphis’s Crisis Intervention Team Center, the training introduces cops to victims of mental health crises. The Atlantic reported that officers trained in this method are much less likely to use force when dealing with people with mental health problems…..
Editor’s note: The word “secession” is often used in reference to states or countries that wish to break off and form their own government. But here in the United States, there are communities that want to secede from their school districts to form their own. One of the latest examples is a case in Gardendale, Alabama, where a court recently ruled that the community’s attempt to leave the Jefferson County, Alabama, school district was motivated by racial discrimination and therefore unconstitutional. In order to gain more insight into what’s driving school district secession efforts, The Conversation reached out to Erica Frankenberg, who has examined the effect of the school secession movement on school segregation in Jefferson County and throughout the nation…..