Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Branstad names Glass to head Iowa education agency

Posted: 12/29/2010 12:22:53 PM MSTUpdated: 12/29/2010 04:30:30 PM MST

Statement on the appointment of the new Director of the Iowa Department of Education Chris Bern President of the Iowa State Education Association

On behalf of the members of the Iowa State Education Association, we hope that Governor Branstad will continue recent, bipartisan efforts to move teachers’ salaries to 25th in the nation and continue to work with us in helping make quality public education a top priority for all of Iowa’s schools and community colleges. We also hope that Governor Branstad and Jason Glass will carry on Iowa’s commitment to excellence in our public schools by ensuring sufficient basic funding over the next four years. We look forward to working with Governor-elect Branstad and Jason Glass.

URBANDALE, Iowa—Gov.-elect Terry Branstad announced Wednesday that an Ohio education consultant will be the next director of the Iowa Department of Education.

Jason Glass, 39, was introduced by Branstad at the incoming Republican governor's campaign office.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Iowa Pre-School Under Attack

Preschool has limited benefits, Republican legislative leaders said Wednesday, and they aren't convinced the state's taxpayer-funded preschool program is the way to use scarce tax money.

"It's very, very questionable whether there is any benefit," Senate Republican leader Paul McKinley said at a legislative forum Wednesday sponsored by "Frankly, it doesn't do any good. It has been shown not to have any impact on student achievement past third grade."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

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Educators under Attack: States Moving to Silence Educator Voices

Anti-public education forces are threatening the rights of educators and seeking to silence organizations that fight for educators’ rights.

· The Alabama State Senate has passed legislation (SB 2) under the guise of “ethics reform” that is really a thinly veiled attempt to undercut public educators.

· The bill would prevent associations like the Alabama Association of Educators from collecting any funds, including membership dues, through payroll deduction.

· The bill contains very restrictive language that essentially renders the Alabama Association of Educators and their members voiceless in debates on issues that impact their schools, their students, and their personal pocketbooks.

· In fact, vague language in the bill appears to prohibit any collection of membership dues or other funds by any means – which would essentially put the AEA out of business.

· Wisconsin Governor-elect Scott Walker has called for rescinding the right of government employees to collectively bargain. The Republican-controlled legislature will likely support this idea.

· Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty published an op-ed in the December 13 Wall Street Journal calling for a large-scale confrontation with public employee unions, including “bring[ing] public employee compensation back in line with the private sector and reduc[ing] the overall size of the federal civilian work force," and “end[ing] defined-benefit retirement plans for government employees. “

These are just the tip of the iceberg. More states are sure to follow with similar anti-education, anti-union initiatives.

We need to fight back! Educators have a right to organize and advocate for policies that affect their jobs and the students they serve.

Help us fight back by signing up to volunteer at! If educators in your state are under attack now, we will connect you with advocates fighting for public education. If not, we will contact you about actions you can take today to stop these attacks from spreading.