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Detroit Sends Layoff Notices To Every Public School Teacher | TPMMuckraker

Myrina Hibbler/Michigan Teacher

Detroit Sends Layoff Notices To Every Public School Teacher | TPMMuckraker. This is a must read!

As Reuters reports, a new law in Michigan gives Detroit Public Schools’ Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb the power to alter collective bargaining agreements and even fire elected officials if he believes it will prevent a financial emergency. And Bobb “fully” intends to use that authority, he said in the statement.

Detroit is certainly not the first school system to issue mass layoff notices. TPM reported in February of a similar case in Providence, Rhode Island. But the layoff notices, of course, are not very appealing to the teachers who receive them.

“We’re just being walked all over, when we are the ones who help educate everyone else to get to the positions they’re in, including the emergency financial manager,” Carla Henry, a high school special education teachers, told the Detroit Free Press. “It took a teacher to educate him.”

Dennis Walcott Cleared to Be Schools Chancellor – NYTimes.com

Dennis M. Wolcott | NYC School Chancellor

Dennis Walcott Cleared to Be Schools Chancellor – NYTimes.com Deputy Mayor Dennis M. Walcott was cleared Thursday by the state to become the next New York City schools chancellor.

The state education commissioner, David M. Steiner, granted him a waiver (see below) to compensate for his lack of traditional credentials that the state requires of schools chancellors and superintendents.

“Although Mr. Walcott has not completed all the education and experience requirements for a school district leader certificate,” Dr. Steiner wrote in his 12-page decision, “I find that Mr. Walcott’s exceptional record of successfully leading complex organizations, his deep knowledge of the New York City school district and the issues and challenges it faces, and the leadership qualities he manifests, warrant certification for service.”

City Hall officials said Mr. Walcott may not officially start in his new job until Monday.

Non-tenured teachers getting layoff notices

Hundreds of Connecticut teachers have been warned they could get pink slips later this spring, leaving some parents worried about larger class sizes next fall and whether reform efforts might stall in their city schools.

State law requires school districts to notify non-tenured teachers by April 1 if there’s a possibility they could be laid off, but in stable budget years, those notices are later rescinded as budgets are settled.

 

Non-tenured teachers getting layoff notices – Connecticut Post.

Gov. Proposes A three-year college degree in Ohio

The Shortlist on Education Changes (Reform, in some cases, would be a stretch)

THREE-YEAR DEGREES: Ohio Governor John Kasich wants the state’s universities to offer a three-year degree program to make college more affordable, The Plain-Dealer reports. Students would have to squeeze in more courses during their time at school in order to satisfy degree requirements, much as they do today without an established three-year program. Ball State University in Indiana already offers three-year degrees for 30 of its 180 degree programs and Rhode Islandlawmakers approved a measure in 2009 to offer three-year degrees at both of the state’s public universities. Meanwhile, Kasich’s budget anticipates a 10.5 percent cut in higher education funding in the 2012 fiscal year, less than had been feared, followed by a 3.7 percent increase in 2013, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

A three-year college degree in Ohio?.

Tennessee Gets Closer to Eliminating Collective Bargaining Laws

While the rest of the country focused on the threat of a government shutdown, a small group attended a forum on collective bargaining laws in Tennessee led by Steve Thompson, former lead negotiator for the Sullivan Education Association. The forum was hosted by the Upper East Tennessee Central Labor Council of the AFL-CIO.

Clearly, the goal of the forum was to educate folks about collective bargaining practices and not focus on the politics of union busting. Ironically, Tennessee has the weakest collective bargaining laws in the country. Despite that fact, “State lawmakers are … wrestling with a bill that … would eliminate teachers’ ability to negotiate salaries and working conditions with local school boards.”

But politics is what this is all about. Thompson has been working directly with Tennessee’s Lt. Gov. Ramsey on a bill that would eliminate much of union members collective bargaining rights. He stated that the  Lt. Governor’s position on the bill “is more about political payback for the Tennessee Education Association, which in recent years has given more money to the election campaigns of Democrats.”

“He hasn’t even asked us how negotiations work and what we gain from it…” Thompson said of Ramsey. “There are many years we didn’t ask for a raise. … Sullivan County bargains, but Kingsport and Bristol do not. … All the teachers in Kingsport and Bristol are happy we bargain. When our situation improves, their situation improves. … We don’t get paid a fortune, but it’s competitive.”

Kingsport labor attorney Bruce Shine argued that Tennessee has one of the weakest collective bargaining laws in the United States.

“In this (collective bargaining) debate, the only voice for the student is the teacher…” said Shine, who is also a Times-News columnist. “The question is not salary. The question is what type of education will the child receive? … Collective bargaining covers a whole group of issues that otherwise would never come before the school board.”

Labor group holds forum on collective bargaining – Kingsport Times-News Online.

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