Tampa Bay Times
Seattle teachers went on strike for a week this month with a list of goals for a new contract. By the time the strike officially ended this week, teachers had won some of the usual stuff of contract negotiations — for example, the first cost-of-living raises in six years — but also less standard objectives.
Los Angeles Times
A new political action committee has formed to influence the outcome of Los Angeles school board races, filling a gap created when a group of civic leaders, which includes former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, decided to sit out next month's key upcoming election. The new organization, Great Public Schools Los Angeles Political Action Committee, joins other outside groups involved in the campaign to replace Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, who died in December.
The Times Picayune
An appeals court has decided that the School Board wrongly terminated more than 7,000 teachers after Hurricane Katrina. Those teachers were not given due process, and many teachers had the right to be rehired as jobs opened up in the first years after the storm, the court said in a unanimous opinion.
In April, the union included four billionaires on its “watch list” of money managers that support groups the labor organization said are hostile to traditional public pensions. The groups included StudentsFirst, an organization that backs eliminating tenure and funding charter schools at the same level as public ones. Daniel Loeb, founder of Third Point LLC, an activist investor is the only one of 33 managers targeted by the AFT to push back publicly against the union.
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Never in U.S. history has a local school board - or any other board, appointed or elected - chosen to close 49 public schools. School closings are part and parcel of a strategy for remaking the American metropolis and will further cement economic inequality. "Today is a day of mourning for the children of Chicago. Their education has been hijacked by an unrepresentative, unelected corporate school board. Closing schools is not an education plan."