NEA Declares War on 65% Solution and TABOR. The NEA board of directors approved some unusual things at its February meeting, but it also took actions that weren't the least bit surprising:
* NEA will send another $250,000 to Americans United to Protect Social Security.
* NEA dues for 2006-07 will be $145, an increase of $5. Education support employees will pay $80.50. A bylaw amendment creating an "associate membership" will also be placed before the union's representative assembly in July (see "Union Membership Growth Sector?").
California Teachers Association Not Tapped Out Yet. The California Teachers Association (CTA) may be paying off the bills for the November 2005 election for a few more years, but as long as teachers keep getting paychecks, the union will have some cash to spend on political campaigns.
CTA's State Council recently authorized the union to spend up to $2 million on June 2006 ballot initiatives. The only two measures on the June ballot are a $600 million library construction bond and Rob Reiner's universal preschool initiative. Which of these do you think will get the money?
No, we can't have those taxpayers actually expect anything in return for their tax money, can we? Gawd.
Update, 2/27/06: Here's a post from Joanne Jacobs' site. The opening 'graph:
Universal preschool would cost Californians $23 billion over the next 10 years, if Rob Reiner's Proposition 82 passes. But it won't close the learning gap for poor kids, warns Bruce Fuller, a Berkeley education and public policy professor. Currently, 64 percent of four-year-olds go to preschool; Reiner's plan would boost that only to 70 percent. Instead of directing public money at needy families, most of the dollars would go to provide free preschool to middle-class and wealthy parents. Any gains by poor children are likely to be lost when they enter substandard schools.