National education and labor news

June 6, 2019

California teachers pay for subs during extended leave

Public school teachers in California are forced by state law to pay for their own substitute teachers when they take extended sick leave. 

McDonald’s workers strike for wages and rights
Hundreds of McDonald’s workers walked off the job in 13 cities on May 23 to call for a minimum wage of $15 per hour and expanded rights in their workplace, including protection from sexual harassment. The labor action came the same week as employees in 20 cities filed sexual harassment complaints against the fast food company.
East Bay teachers strike for better pay

The wave of teacher strikes hit California’s Bay Area on May 20, when teachers walked out of their classrooms in the school district covering Union City and South Hayward for the first time in the district’s history. About 600 educators, represented by the New Haven Teachers Association, joined picket lines outside their schools to demand pay raises over two years totaling nearly 7 percent.

May 2, 2019

Tennessee looks to override local charter caps

Tennessee is on track to create a new state commission that could override local governments’ attempts to limit charter school expansion. Legislation to establish the commission passed both houses of the state Legislature, and Tennessee’s Republican governor, Bill Lee, is expected to sign it.

April 4, 2019

AFT unveils new endorsement process for 2020

The American Federation of Teachers is approaching the 2020 presidential primary with a new endorsement procedure. The union faced criticism for its early endorsement of Hillary Clinton in 2015, which left some of its members feeling left out of the selection process.

Judge blocks DeVos from delaying special ed rule

A federal judge ruled on March 7 that U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ effort to delay a statute requiring states to remedy a racial gap in special education was illegal.

Trump administration proposes education cuts again

The Trump administration’s budget proposal for 2020, released on March 11, includes a $7.1 billion cut to the U.S. Department of Education. This is the third time the White House has sought to slash education funding. Though Congress has largely ignored the administration’s previous attempts at deep cuts and is expected to rebuff these proposals as well, the document demonstrates the administration’s commitment to the privatization agenda of Betsy DeVos, its education secretary.

March 7, 2019

Chicago charter school educators win pay parity

Charter school teachers and paraprofessionals in Chicago ended their two-week strike on Feb. 18 after the Chicago International Charter School network promised to increase their salaries to the same level as educators in traditional public schools — a raise of nearly 35 percent over the term of the contract.

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