With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Trade-off on charters

While Illinois legislators failed once again to adequately fund public schools (see brother Fred's blog) they did find time, in a 45 to 10 vote, to raise the charter cap statewide from 60 to 12o (an additional 45 in Chicago). Not really a big deal since outside of Chicago, the current cap has never been approached. In Chicago, of course, they cheat anyway, handing over dozens of schools to private charter operators under the same charter.

The good news is that the pols opened the door for teacher collective bargaining rights in those charter schools.

Says Catalyst:
Part of the deal ensured that charter school teachers can unionize under the Illinois Education Labor Relations Act. The issue surfaced in the current union drive at three Chicago International Charter Schools, recently certified by the state’s labor board. In that case, Civitas, which operates the schools, challenged the certification to the National Labor Relations Board.
You will recall that Civitas is where they claimed that the NLRB had no jurisdiction because "charters are private schools."

INCS, the number-one cheerleader for bad charter schools with unqualified teachers, is not happy about the union victory. Departing INCS lead cheerleader Elizabeth Evans tells Russo:
We stood firm against teacher union leaderships’ demand that the rules for collective bargaining change and were able to pull that labor law provision out of the charter reform package. As a result, we were able to bring our strongest opposition to that unfair change. Unfortunately, we lost that fight but are well positioned, as the result of careful negotiating and strategy, to take up the fight against union efforts to shorten the school day and school year.

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