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National Labor & Education News

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East Bay teachers’ strike ends after three weeks

Educators in California’s Bay Area ended their three-week strike on June 9, enabling them to be back in their classrooms for the final week of school. The strike, the New Haven Unified School District’s first, saw nearly 600 teachers, school counselors, psychologists, speech therapists and nurses join picket lines outside their schools in a fight over pay.

Public Money for Public Schools

Task force seeks more freedom to reject Calif. charters

A California task force on charter schools delivered a report to Gov. Gavin Newsom on June 7 that recommends local school districts have more leeway in deciding whether to approve new charter schools by including criteria like saturation and need for new schools as factors to consider. The task force consisted of charter school representatives, labor unions and local school administrations.

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Teach for America helps charter movement

The Walton Family Foundation, created by the founder of Walmart, failed to reveal that its $20 million grant to Teach For America in 2013 to recruit and train nearly 4,000 teachers for low-income schools had unusual terms intended to boost charter schools.

Money

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.

Legislation - generic

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.

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.