What Does This Have To Do With Educating Students?

Yesterday Just the News reported that the Los Angeles teachers union says schools can’t reopen unless charter schools get shut down and police defunded. Charter schools generally outperform public schools, so why are the teachers trying to shut them down?

The article reports:

A major teachers union is claiming that the re-opening of schools in its district cannot occur without several substantial policy provisions in place, including a “moratorium” on charter schools and the defunding of local police. 

United Teachers Los Angeles, a 35,000-strong union in the Los Angeles Unified School District, made those demands in a policy paper it released this week. The organization called on local authorities to “keep school campuses closed when the semester begins on Aug. 18.”

The union outlined numerous major provisions it says will be necessary to reopen schools again, including sequestering students in small groups throughout the school day, providing students with masks and other forms of protective equipment, and re-designing school layouts in order to facilitate “social distancing.” 

The article continues:

Police violence “is a leading cause of death and trauma for Black people, and is a serious public health and moral issue,” the union writes. The document calls on authorities to “shift the astronomical amount of money devoted to policing, to education and other essential needs such as housing and public health.”

“Privately operated, publicly funded charter schools,” meanwhile, “drain resources from district schools,” the union states. The practice of “colocating” charter schools in existing structures, it continues, “adds students to campuses when we need to reduce the number of students to allow for physical distancing.”

The union also demands the implementation of a federal Medicare-for-All program, several new state-level taxes on wealthy people, and a “federal bailout” of the school district.

“The benefits to restarting physical schools must outweigh the risks, especially for our most vulnerable students and school communities,” the document continues.

“As it stands, the only people guaranteed to benefit from the premature physical reopening of schools amidst a rapidly accelerating pandemic are billionaires and the politicians they’ve purchased,” it adds.

I want teachers and students to be safe when schools open. I think we all do. However, the teachers union has overlooked the negative impact on the students as a result of the schools being closed during the end of the last school year. They have also overlooked the fact that many foreign countries have had their schools open for a while without any negative results. They are also overreaching into political issues that have nothing to do with education. I wonder if the teachers who are members of the teachers’ union agree with the demands that their union is making.

This Makes No Sense

Breitbart reported yesterday that Black Lives Matter protesters tore down a statue of Col. Hans Christian Heg, an immigrant from Norway who died fighting for the Union against slavery, on Tuesday night in Madison, Wisconsin.

Local ABC affiliate WKOW reported:

Protesters pulled down the Forward statue that normally stands outside the State Capitol and left it lying in the middle of the road.

The same group also tore down the Col. Hans Christian Heg statue a short time later. The group then went on to throw the statue into Lake Monona. Heg fought for the Union during the Civil War and was a stark opponent of slavery during that time.

I can almost understand the BLM’s anger against Confederate leaders and soldiers, but this is simply wanton destruction of public property. It makes no sense. It is simply the actions of an ignorant, angry mob.

The article provides a short summary of Colonel Heg’s life:

The Wisconsin Historical Society describes Col. Heg as follows:

Heg migrated to the United States from Norway as a child in 1840 and spent his youth at Muskego, in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. As a young man he went to California in the Gold Rush and stayed from 1849-1851. He returned to Wisconsin in 1851 following the death of his parents in order to care for his younger siblings and manage the family farm.

In the fall of 1861 a new Scandinavian regiment was recruited and Heg accepted appointment as its colonel. The 15th Wisconsin Infantry, made up largely of recent immigrants, went into training at Camp Randall in December and left for the South on March 2, 1862.

On December 30, 1862, at the battle of Stones River, Heg’s regiment lost more than 100 men. His horse was shot out from under him and his general called him “the bravest of the brave.” In February 1863 Heg was put in command of the entire brigade and pursued retreating Confederate troops through Tennessee, briefly into Alabama, and across the state line to Chickamauga, Georgia.

On the afternoon of September 19, 1863, Heg was charging forward at the front of his troops when he was shot in the abdomen. He managed to stay in the saddle for a short time, but loss of blood compelled him to leave the field and move to a hospital behind the lines where he died the next morning.

This is simply lawlessness–it has nothing to do with protesting anything.

Big Government Protecting Itself

The Boston Globe reported yesterday that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has quietly transferred 500 of his managers into the state public employee union. Governor Patrick will be leaving office after the upcoming election and the governorship is expected to be turned over to the Republicans. This move prevents the Republicans from downsizing the Massachusetts bureaucracy. Placing the managers in the state public employee union will also qualify them for a series of 3 percent raises and insulate them from firing when the next governor takes over.

The article reports:

While smaller clusters of management positions have been converted into union positions in the past, this is the largest sweep into the union in at least two decades, according to administration and union officials.

Rolling the managers into the 22,000-member union will effectively protect them from any house-cleaning that might occur when the next governor takes office in January — a particular likelihood if Republican Charlie Baker were to take over after eight years of Democratic leadership.

Union employees generally have to be removed “for cause,” while managers serve at will.

Obviously, this move will make downsizing the Massachusetts state government more difficult for the new governor. It will also increase the cost of state government, although Patrick administration officials have stated that the cost to the state would be “less than $500,000.” When did we reach the point where $500,000 was not significant?

An Interesting Perspective On The State of the Union Address

PJ Media posted its own interpretation of President Obama’s State of the Union address. They were not kind. I’m not saying that they were not accurate; I am simply saying that they were not kind.

The article begins:

The state of our union is weak and fraying. This president has launched attacks on faith and is going out of his way to divide our people. Our economy is not growing, it contracted in the final quarter of 2012. Our economy is not growing jobs. On the international front, North Korea greeted President Obama’s 2013 rendition of Give Me More Money with a nuclear test — a sure sign that his strategy of engagement, which his soon-to-be defense secretary supports, is a failure.

But like with all of his other failed policies, Barack Obama declared that he will just keep on doing them all.

The speech included more taxes on the ‘rich,’ which will neither create jobs or grow the economy. What is the purpose of raising anyone’s taxes? He also stated that “ask more of our wealthy seniors.” You know–those people who have worked and saved all their lives for their retirement.

President Obama stated in so many words that he wanted us all to get along. Somehow he failed to mention that we will not get along until all of us blindly follow him. Somehow I don’t think many Americans are interested in doing that.

The article reminds us:

From there he moved on to pressing for “comprehensive immigration reform.” He claimed that he believes in stronger border security, which simply is not credible when his homeland security chief claims that the border has never been safer while there is a civil war raging in Mexico. He called on people of faith, whom he has attacked via the ObamaCare abortifacient mandate, to help him “get it done” on immigration reform. He hits you with one hand, then wants you to help him with the other.

The article concludes:

Near the blessed end of his speech, Obama hailed the idea and ideals of the citizen. But this president is working to water down the legal meaning of the word. Again, incoherent.

The consequences of Barack Obama’s loose grasp on the real world are just going to have to work themselves out now. He will win some and he will lose some. Hopefully he will lose more than he wins.

“The evil that men do lives after them,” Shakespeare wrote of ambitious men centuries ago. So it will be with Barack Obama, who has done much evil to the Constitution, to the country, and to the concept of truth. He will continue to do more evil to them all for the next four years.

America, you were warned but you re-elected him anyway. And that’s the state of our union.

That is one of the best reports on the speech I have seen.

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