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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.

 

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Florida Teachers on Edge as New Law Threatens Their Unions

Jeffrey S. Solochek  Tampa Bay Times
A new collective bargaining law--supported by the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity--requires local unions to prove they represent a majority of the teachers in their districts. The measuring stick? At least half of all employees eligible to be in the union must be paying dues.

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Massachusetts Teachers Knock Out Corporate Charter School Scheme

Samantha Winslow Labor Notes
The No on 2 victory offers a ray of hope to union members and public education activists, even as they grapple with the news of Trump’s presidential win. Building power locally will help not just on the statewide education fights, Madeloni points out, but also in the big picture.

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The Surprising Things Seattle Teachers Won for Students by Striking

Valerie Strauss Washington Post
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.

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Thousands Join Street Protest Before Raucous SRC Meeting

Kristen A. Graham and Aubrey Whelan,Inquirer Staff Writers Philly.com
Furious over the Philadelphia School Reform Commission's move to unilaterally cancel its teachers' contract, 3,000 people shut down North Broad Street on Thursday, vowing more disruptive action if the panel's action is not undone.

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New political action committee forms in LA school board race

HOWARD BLUME 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.

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7000 New Orleans Teachers Laid Off After Katrina Win Court Ruling

Danielle Dreilinger 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.

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Loeb Opposes Teachers Union on Pensions as Asness Quits

Martin Z. Braun and Amanda Gordon BLOOMBERG
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.

Chicago School Closings-Largest in US History

Diane Ravitch, Mark Naison, Karen Lewis, Randi Weingarten
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."
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