My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Teachers' Unions: Still Working Hard For No Apparent Cause

the nation's largest teachers' union and eight school districts in Michigan, Texas and Vermont sued the Department of Education yesterday, accusing it of violating a passage in the law that says states cannot be forced to spend their own money to meet federal requirements.

Yes, once again, the National Education Association has thrown its hat into a vital fight to protect children's interests--this time by trying to get school districts to avoid requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act unless they can show the money trail.

Both the Utah measure, which requires educators there to spend as little state money as possible in carrying out the federal law's requirements, and the union lawsuit rely heavily on the same section of the federal law, which prohibits federal officials from requiring states to allocate their own money to fulfill the law's mandates.

This month, Connecticut's attorney general also announced the intention to sue the department on the same grounds, saying that the testing the law requires costs far more than the money the state is given to pay for it.

Now, NCLB increased federal funding for education by about $10 billion, though it is true that not all of that has made its way to its destination yet. And it is also true that testing is a surprisingly expensive process. But that still leaves the union in the position of arguing that districts should not have to comply with the law.

There's another way, of course: school districts could forego the federal monies, and then not be obligated to comply with the law at all. Of course, since federal dollars amount to about 7 or 8% of all school monies, that could cause a budget squeeze. Oh, no,no. . .I guess Utah thinks it doesn't have to be that way at all.

According to MangledCat Jonathan:

The bill hasn't even been signed on the Utah anti-NCLB legislation and the teachers union has already filed litigation to prevent the feds from taking the money away. So in other words, we don't want you to hold us to any standards, but we still want you to give us money.

Yeah, that works.

Well, in the union world, that might actually work.

In other education news, the Denver Teachers' Union and the school district may have come to an agreement which will avert a strike, if approved.

The proposed settlement was signed late Wednesday after four long days in mediation. Salary and benefits are negotiated annually.

The agreement calls for all district teachers to receive a pay increase next year of $250 to $4,000 and taps an additional $3 million expected to come through the school finance act to restore the salary step.

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