California Educator

December 2015

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editor's note Friedrichs Poster Our special report Friedrichs v. CTA and the Case for Fair Share (pages 36-41) is also online as an interactive PDF, with links to source documents, other articles, videos and resource materials. It can be printed out for easy reference (optimally on three 11×17-inch pages; you can tape the pages together into a poster). See N O T Y O U R F AT H E R ' S math class: Fifth-grade math teachers Jesse Barber and Jeff Ramirez have students design packages for items that can be safely air-dropped by parachute. ey also ask stu- dents to use real-world costs, budgets and dimensions to design a city park. Brad Collins uses kids' fascination with animals to sneak sci- ence, math and English lessons into his second-grade classroom, which contains a veritable zoo (see photo at right). Liz Miller and Nicole Robinson engage their communities as well as students and other educators in their wildly successful passion projects. With tech wizardry, Matt Anderson keeps college kids captivated and looking at him instead of their phones. What these innovators have in common ("Inspired Dreamers," page 20) is the ability to both see possibilities and forge the path to make them real. ey infuse their students, colleagues and communities with this same "dream it, do it" mindset. Students, says Amy Conley, whose initiative for high school seniors is aptly named Change the World, "don't believe in their own power at first. en they start to dream big. It puts a fire in their bones." Getting students fired up and dreaming big is certainly a goal in creating the best learning environments. Where "old school" — literally — is a building with classrooms, an administrative area, and a cafeteria that might do double or triple duty as a gym and auditorium, the architecturally stunning, thoughtfully designed campuses highlighted in "Building Beauty" (page 26) are tailored to 21st century skills such as critical thinking and collaboration. eir interconnected, flexible spaces accommodate project-based learning, easy access to technology, and personalized learning communities, while their structural beauty sparks imagination and creativity. It all comes together, in fact, at American Canyon High School ("School of the Future," page 31), where leading-edge curriculum and learning environment ensure students are well-equipped to take on the world. Dreaming, too, as Loriene Honda shows us ("e Power of Dreams," page 46), can take us to worlds where we not only envision what can be, but find strength and empowerment. In her book about a cat living with his Japanese American family in a World War II internment camp, Honda emphasizes that dreams help move us beyond anger and trauma, and toward healing and hope. It's a beautiful message that underscores how those who think and dream dif- ferently can create a better world. e Educator salutes innovators and dreamers everywhere. Happy New Year! Katharine Fong E D I T O R I N C H I E F Our Innovation Issue: Dream Big WHO IS BEHIND THIS? Money and Power STANDING TOGETHER FOR O UR SCHOOLS AND OUR STUDENTS Students and schools have already been hit by funding cuts that deprive them of arts and PE programs, up-to-date textbooks, recess, and smaller class sizes. If our unions are weakened, it will be harder for us to fight collectively for what our students need. It will be harder to negotiate good working conditions, wages and benefits. When we're able to give our children a quality education, make our work more effective and sustain our families, we leave our communities better off than we found them. Everyone benefits from collective bargaining. In states that have banned Fair Share, the average worker makes $5,971 less per year, workers are much less likely to have health insurance, and the rate of workplace deaths is 36 percent higher. Worker rights that unions have fought for and won include: • 8-hour work day, 40-hour workweek • weekends off • all breaks at work, including lunch • paid vacation, sick leave • pensions • and much more WHAT'S AT STAKE? A WELL-ROUNDED EDUCATION WITH ART, MUSIC, PE AND MORE LEARNING INSTEAD OF MORE AND MORE HIGH-STAKES TESTING SCHOOL SAFETY WITH HEALTHY LEARNING AND WORKING ENVIRONMENTS A FAIR SALARY THAT INCLUDES RETIREMENT AND HEALTH CARE WHAT IS FAIR SHARE? Fair Share fees are the cost of union representation and bargaining. No one is forced to join a union, but unions are legally required to represent all workers. Teachers and other public employees who don't want to belong to a union only have to contribute to the costs of representation they receive. Since all workers enjoy the benefits, job security and other protections the union negotiates, it is only fair that all contribute to the cost of securing those benefits and protections. It's not fair for some to pay more for the benefits all workers enjoy. The current Fair Share system is a good compromise and common sense. In states where Fair Share has been banned, workers are worse off. If the Supreme Court bans Fair Share, it will make it harder for teachers, firefighters, and nurses to stand together to fight for our students and schools, and to negotiate for wages and benefits. The rights of working people have come under attack many times before, at the ballot box and in the courts. We have prevailed because we have come together, stood strong and spoken with a powerful, unified voice. We are fighting back again. With 325,000 members, CTA is one of the strongest and most successful advocates for students and educators in the country. NEA, at 3 million members the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. With you and our partners, we are a potent force to defend our rights and protect the future of our families and communities. This case is backed by corporate special interests who want to reduce wages for working people to fund tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations. Weakening unions enables those with purely profit-driven motivations to get their hands on the billions of dollars that are invested annually in public education. Who are the monied interests against Fair Share? The Center for Individual Rights (CIR) is a Washington-based public interest law firm whose mission is "the defense of individual liberties against the increasingly aggressive and unchecked authority of federal and state governments." CIR has sought to ban affirmative action legislation, including California's Proposition 209. Its funders include: WHY IS THIS CASE IMPORTANT? CTA and NEA are part of the broad-based "America Works Together" coalition which is raising public awareness and providing updated and accurate information about Friedrichs and Fair Share. CLASS SIZES THAT ALLOW FOR ONE-ON- ONE INSTRUCTION It is no secret that America's economy has swung out of balance. It's getting harder and harder to get by, let alone get ahead, and everyday Americans are working more than ever before. Our work has created record wealth for an economic recovery that's been everywhere but ordinary peoples' wallets. In addition, our schools and other public services have suffered. Now there is a Supreme Court case that threatens to make things worse. Friedrichs v. CTA is about wealthy special interests that want to shi‚ the balance of economic power in their favor, and make it even more difficult for working people to come together, speak up collectively, get ahead and help create an economy that works for everyone, and serve their communities in the best way possible. Our very future is at stake. Educators, in particular, must fight to ensure that our schools remain strong and our students get the quality public education they deserve. THE ISSUE CAROL PEEK SCHOOL MONITOR Ventura Education Support Professionals Association LACY BARNES COMMUNITY COLLEGE INSTRUCTOR California Federation of Teachers ROBERT REICH Professor of public policy and former U.S. Secretary of Labor AARON HALL THIRD-GRADE TEACHER United Educators of San Francisco My job is to be on the front lines to make sure our students are safe. It's important for me to have the right to voice concerns over anything that might impair the safety of my students. Jeopar- dizing my ability to speak up for them is a risk for everyone. '' '' '' '' WHO ARE DEFENDING OUR RIGHTS? People and Passion WHO IS SPEAKING UP FOR WORKING FAMILIES? E P L U R I B U S U N U M EQ U A L JUS T I C E U N D E R L A W Find out more at and @AmWorksTogether. Keep up with the conversation at #WorkTogether. See for the latest information about the Friedrichs case, including key points, summaries of CTA and others' respondents briefs, summaries of amicus briefs and media coverage. Hundreds of legal and educational scholars; civil rights organizations; public employee unions; educators and school districts; cities, counties and states; and elected officials and lawmakers have filed amicus briefs in support of CTA and NEA. Here are some excerpts: CIVIL RIGHTS ORGs EDUCATORS & SCHOOL DISTRICTS FEDERAL & STATE GOVTs LEGAL SCHOLARS & UNIONS The Abood Case 1977 Friedrichs Suit Filed Plaintiffs accept rulings against them so they can fast-track the case to the Supreme Court. 2013 Signals From the Court Supreme Court's ruling in Harris v. Quinn indicates it may be willing to overturn Abood. 2014 Gearing Up for Battle Supreme Court agrees to hear Friedrichs; hundreds file amicus briefs in support of CTA/NEA. 2015 Awaiting the Decision Oral arguments commence in January; the court must issue its ruling by June 30, 2016, or before. 2016 THE FACTS NO ONE IS REQUIRED TO JOIN A UNION, AND NO ONE IS REQUIRED TO PAY ANY FEES THAT GO TO POLITICS OR POLITICAL CANDIDATES BY LAW, UNIONS MUST REPRESENT AND BARGAIN FOR EVERY WORKER, WHETHER THEY JOIN THE UNION OR NOT. but For an interactive PDF of this report, as well as a printable poster of these pages, see Making sure that everyone has access to the American Dream and a fair shot at the middle class is essential to this country's future. … The U.S. Supreme Court should reject this attempt by wealthy special interests in the Friedrichs case to make it even harder for working people to come together, speak up for one another, and get ahead. It is a basic concept of fairness that even a third-grader can understand. On Jan. 11, 2016, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Friedrichs v. CTA, a lawsuit that challenges the authority of CTA and other public employee unions to collect Fair Share fees. This case means a lot to me as both an educator and a union member, because I want working people everywhere to have the same opportunity I've enjoyed to improve their communities through fulfilling, rewarding public service jobs. 25 Number of states with "right to work" laws (more accurately termed "right to work for less") that deprive workers of bargaining power Average amount less that workers in right-to-work states make compared to workers in states that allow Fair Share fees THE TIMELINE The decline of union membership has mirrored almost exactly the decline of the middle class. Strong unions mean a strong middle class, which means a strong economy. The stakes are high for our students, educators and communities. A ruling in favor of Friedrichs could jeopardize a quality education for our children. Overturning Abood "would undermine one of the most successful vehicles for providing economic and professional opportunities for American workers, and, in particular, for women, people of color, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers. ... Unions have provided a critical path to the middle class for generations of working people, including the nurses, rst responders, teachers, and others who comprise the membership of public sector unions." — National Women's Law Center, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Human Rights Campaign, and 70 additional organizations committed to civil rights "[We] have gone into the relatively low-paying profession of public education out of love for our country's children. [We believe] that public education is the bedrock of what has made, and what will continue to make, the United States of America a great nation. ... Without the ability to e-ectively engage in collective bargaining, individual teachers will be left voiceless in protecting their livelihoods, the learning environments of their students, and the future of public education." — 16 individual teachers School districts secure more e-ective collective bargaining relationships with unions that have "the stability to make di€cult agreements that may be unpopular but are in the long-term interests of employees, students and the entire community." — 14 school districts "Petitioners' attempt to demolish this Court's settled framework for analyzing conditions of public employment [under the First Amendment] would astonish the founding generation and would stamp out the state-by-state variation in public-employment structures that has been the hallmark of this Court's First Amendment jurisprudence for decades." — United States government "States have a signicant and valid interest in being able to employ the models of collective bargaining that have proved successful for achieving labor peace and avoiding ... strikes," and for improving the e€ciency and quality of public services. — 21 states and the District of Columbia "Collective bargaining has proven benets for public employers. ... [It] is linked to a host of related workplace benets, including reduced employee turnover, increased job satisfac- tion, and improved worker productivity. ‰ese benets run to both employers and employees." —48 Labor and Employment Law Professors CTA, NEA and other unions represent teachers, nurses, firefighters and other public service workers who are passionate about what we do. We join together to make our voices heard on issues that affect all of us: quality education for our students; safe and healthy schools, hospitals and other community environ- ments; fair pay; and retirement with dignity. Public employee unions are made up of teachers, firefighters, nurses and other working people. Our victories are everyone's victory, contributing to our economy and the quality of life for all. Everyone who works should be able to make ends meet, have a say about their future, and have the right to negotiate collectively for better wages and benefits that can sustain their family and community. Friedrichs v. CTA is being pushed by those who seek individual profit and personal gain by damaging protec- tions for hardworking families and their communities. These are the same rules and protections that have formed the foundation for people to work together for better public services — smaller class sizes, quicker response times in emergencies, and better staffing for hospitals — and more vibrant communities. • Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries. The brothers, whose personal wealth is estimated to be $42.3 billion each, have supported numerous ultra-conservative political candidates and causes; in 2012 they spent millions in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat California's Prop. 30, the tax initiative to increase education funding, and another initiative (defeated) to deny workers the right to contribute to political causes. They have announced they intend to spend $900 million on the 2016 elections. The brothers are associated with the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has pushed for privatization of public education and eliminating school employee unions, and modeled legislation to eliminate teacher rights in the classroom, certify non-credentialed individuals as teachers, and promote private voucher programs. • Koch-linked groups known to have made grants to CIR, according to the Center for Media and Democracy, include DonorsTrust, Donors Capital Fund, and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation. Groups that receive either direct funding from Koch entities or are linked to the brothers' funding network filed amicus briefs in favor of the Friedrichs plaintiffs. They include the Cato Institute, National Right to Work Legal Defense Fund, and the Mackinac Center, a major force behind the 2012 anti-union legislation enacted in Michigan. • Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. One of the largest and most influential ultra-conservative foundations in the United States, it supports privatizing education and was instrumental in the legisla- tive attack on labor in Wisconsin. • John M. Olin Foundation. Now closed, it provided funding to develop anti-environmental, pro-business legal advocacy organizations. • F.M. Kirby Foundation. It disperses grants in areas of education, health and medicine, civic and public affairs, and other areas. • Sarah Scaife Foundation. It has given millions to anti-worker, conservative think tanks and funded several initiatives in California to eliminate worker rights. • Carthage Foundation. It gives to conservative organizations such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which was designated an anti-immigrant hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. • Christian Educators Association International (Friedrichs plaintiff) provides support for initiatives that undermine LGBT rights in schools and efforts to make schools safe for students and educators. $ TEACHERS MATTER ENOUGH WORKERS' RIGHTS STUDENTS SERVE $5,971 U.S. Supreme Court rules public-sector unions can collect Fair Share fees from non-union employees. YES TO FAIR SHARE 7 December 2015 / January 2016

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