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Nation’s First Teachers’ Strike at Charter Network Begins in Chicago

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten has hailed the first large strike by teachers at Chicago charter schools. Charter schools are operated by private entities but funded by public school budgets, draining funds from other public schools. But Weingarten says the charters must be organized. “‘This activism is contagious,'' said Weingarten. After “a couple of decades of being the shiny new object,” she said, the charter school movement is experiencing an adolescence. “They are now in a different generation,” she added. “They're going through growing pains, and what you're seeing in a bunch of the different charter schools is that teachers are saying we want to make a career helping kids in this structure, but we need to have the conditions kids need and the pay we need.”

Source: www.nytimes.com

Teachers has come out strongly against the privatization

The El Paso Texas American Federation of Teachers has come out strongly against the privatization of the El Paso Independent School District and against crony contracting. “Please understand there is an extensive E-Mail trail in possession of EP AFT spanning almost five years documenting his secret efforts to privatize EPISD and its schools with KIPP, IDEA, DSST, The Texas District Charter Alliance, the School Empowerment Network, the Gates Foundation, Tom Vander Ark, Michael Feinberg, the System of Great Schools, Scott Himelstein, Ms. Fenenbock and others. Please understand that as Mr. Cabrera was in heavy negotiations with KIPP to contract out EPISD Schools, he was looking myself, Louis Malfaro, Texas AFT President, and Randi Weingarten, AFT President in the eye denying he was going to do that.”

Outsourcing educational support professional positions

The Davenport Education Association (in Iowa) unanimously has passed a resolution opposing a proposal by the Davenport Community School District to consider outsourcing educational support professional (ESP) positions within the district to private companies. ESP positions “make up the DCSD’s employees in the custodial, maintenance, food service, para educator and clerical/secretarial departments and job classifications of the DCSD.” The DEA notes that “rotating crews of privatized support-service employees may not have the same level of commitment to DCSD students as career-minded ESP employees hired in-house, [and] the primary motivation of the companies offering outsourcing or privatized support services to the DCSD is making a profit and not serving the DCSD’s students or communities.”

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Unmasking the Hidden Power of Cities. Using their authorities, energy and promise to secure the common good.

The Partnership for Working Families, which recently co-authored a new report on the unique power of cities to make progressive change, has launched “We Make This City,” a 10-city national campaign “for community-controlled, publicly owned institutions, structures, and services. We are fighting to ensure all people have access to the systems and structures needed to live full and healthy lives. This includes transportation systems that connect us to work, schools and services, the ability to afford housing in the communities we love, access to clean water and energy and organized power for workers who make all this possible. Public infrastructure connects us all and should serve the needs of the people, not the pockets of corporations. (…) As we struggle to meet our people’s basic needs, corporate interests tell us that they are actually the solution to our problem. Private entities are taking over our roads, our water and our schools — the building blocks of our cities — to create more profit for themselves. It isn’t working for us. The rich are getting richer and our people are suffering.”

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Fact Sheet: Higher Education. Outsourcing Higher Education Support Services: The Wrong Choice

State funding for higher education has been on the decline for decades. Administrators believe that outsourcing support services will save money while maintaining quality and accountability. They’re wrong. Privatization leads to a loss of accountability, fails to save money and lowers the quality of services, while harming workers and the local economy.

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