Posts Tagged ‘West Virginia’

According to a new study from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) public school teachers are paid less than their similarly educated peers. The worst states for teachers are those where the teachers have gone on strike recently. Following West Virginia’s lead, teachers in Kentucky and Oklahoma have walked out to protest dramatic cuts to investments in schools, students, and teachers, while teachers in Arizona are considering doing the same.

The new EPI report shows that striking teachers live in states with some of the largest gaps in pay between teachers and similarly educated workers in other professions. For example, while teachers nationally earn 77 cents per every dollar that other college graduates take home in weekly wages, in Arizona, teachers earn just 63 cents on the dollar. Oklahoma teachers take home 67 cents, and West Virginia teachers take home 75 cents on the dollar. And there is no state where teacher wages are equal to or better than those of other college graduates.

Meanwhile, teachers, parents and administrators and small business owners are lining up to voice their discontent because the Minneapolis School District, third largest in Minnesota, is facing a $33 million dollar shortfall, which will result in layoffs of as many as 400 teachers. Why is there a shortfall?

The city of Minneapolis provided $500 million to help fund the building of a private NFL stadium. Your taxpayer money is going to primarily help grow the profits of corporations, developers, millionaires and billionaires, and to hell with anybody who doesn’t have enough money to purchase representation in the political markets.

“The taxpayer-funded US Bank Stadium hosted its first Super Bowl last month, with billionaire real estate tycoon and Vikings owner Zygi Wilf expected to reap $200 million from the new stadium each year in personal profits. The city of Minneapolis budgeted a whopping $498 million of taxpayer money to aid in the construction of the stadium, as well as to the destruction of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, which the new stadium replaced.

Taxpayers also will be chipping in over $7 million a year for operations and management, and do not receive discounts of any kind for funding the new facility.

Supporters of the stadium say that it spikes tourism and spending, which in turn helps the city. Many economists, however, say this spending tends to replace other local entertainment options that otherwise would have been utilized, and that city benefits for a new sports stadium are negligible, perhaps even ultimately harmful.

For a report on the Minneapolis educational crisis, click here

Click here for the EPI report.


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The idea that public school teachers need to go on strike in order to get livable wages and benefits is spreading, much to the dread of the billionaires who control both major political parties.

Early in March 2018, striking West Virginia teachers declared victory with a 5 percent raise and returned to their classrooms. Their organizing and their 13-day strike not only forced the legislature to raise their rock-bottom pay; it backed off corporate-linked education “reformers” on a host of other issues: charter schools, an anti-seniority bill, and preventing payroll deduction of union dues, and the rich who control the corporations that would benefit from these things are not happy state money went to impoverished public school teachers.

Emboldened by the success of the teachers of West Virginia, teachers in Oklahoma, Arizona, and Kentucky are now striking, sicking out, rallying, and Facebooking to push officials to raise their salaries and defend their benefits.

Teachers in Oklahoma are set to strike on April 2 if the legislature doesn’t grant a $10,000 raise for teachers and a $5,000 raise for school support staff. It’s been a decade since Oklahoma teachers got their last raise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pay for educators there ranks last in the country, with high school teachers averaging $42,460.

Like the case in West Virginia, Oklahoma teachers are emboldened by a shortage of qualified educators. “Teachers are fleeing the state,” said Molly Jaynes, a third-grade teacher in Oklahoma City. “You can go to Arkansas and make $15,000 more; you can go to Texas and make $20,000 more”—as did Oklahoma’s 2016 Teacher of the Year. The state issues hundreds of emergency certifications every year to anyone with a bachelor’s degree. (It should be pointed out there is a teacher shortage throughout the United States)

Arizona teachers signed up in droves for a new Facebook group, “Arizona Educators United.” Thirty thousand joined in its first 10 days. Teachers there are building a grassroots “Red for Ed” movement, spreading photos of themselves wearing red T-shirts to school every Wednesday and assembling en masse at legislative hearings at the Capitol.

The latest state to join the strike talk is Kentucky, where the fight is about pensions and funding cuts to schools. Having systematically underfunded pensions for over a decade, the legislature is now pushing to cut cost-of-living adjustments for teachers and other employees. Like teachers in 14 other states, Kentucky teachers do not collect Social Security, so they rely entirely on the state pension system.

These four states; Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, and West Virginia are dominated by the Republican Party, which is controlled by billionaires. Strong labor unions can often help defeat the billionaires in state and local elections. Keeping the memberships in poverty and financially starving public education has been a political strategy, effectively waging war against children, the poor and the middle class.

On the other hands, the billionaires of the Democratic and Republican parties have to a large degree gutted the tax base of the United States by voting to export tens of millions of US jobs over the last twenty-five years in order to redistribute the massive difference between the old higher wages and benefits of tens of millions of US workers and the new poverty third world wages of the exported jobs.

Democrat politicians such as Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Ron Wyden and Earl Blumenauer have joined hands with Republicans such as George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and John Boehner to export those jobs, and creating the highest income and wealth inequality in US history.

On the state and local levels, the rich control contracting corporations that feed on useless public projects and services. Giving the teachers raises and higher benefits means that some public money will need to be diverted from those tax guzzling projects to the teachers, which may negatively impact the share prices of corporations.

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Bernie Wins West Virginia. Now What?

From the writings of John Laurits:

Greetings, my friends! Firstly, I want to offer my condolences to the Clinton campaign and to the corporate media because — as I’m sure you all have heard, by now — a fire of hope has berned across West Virginia and the preliminary reports all confirm that both the media’s narrative and Clinton’s false sense of security were badly damaged in the blaze. This is because Clinton walked away with a mere 36% of the vote tonight and Democratic Party officials fear that these fires may already be spreading both to Oregon and Kentucky and some estimate that they, too, will soon be entirely engulfed with berning flames by the evening of May 17th.

Now, let’s take a deeper look at the math and at what today means for us — but, this time, it’s going to take us a few extra steps because, as many of you have probably noticed, there is a piece of the puzzle missing. Fear not! I shall now use the power of numbers to cut through the confusion…†

So — Why don’t the totals add up!?

An excellent question! You may have noticed that Sanders’ and Clinton’s total percentages don’t add up to 100% — take a look:

Sanders | 51.4%
Clinton | 36.0%

There were four other Democratic candidates, like Martin O’Malley.

Now click the following link for more on this story. The Following Link by John Laurits

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Bernie Sanders and

From Bernie Sanders.

“The corporate media have always treated this race as if it was over. The political establishment hopes we’ll all just fall in line. But if you’re looking for a sign that the Clinton campaign knows this primary is far from finished, here it is:

“Clinton back on the air with TV ads” – Politico, May 9, 2016
The article concludes with this line, “Clinton’s campaign is eager to stop Sanders from gaining momentum with a string of victories through May.”

But here’s the truth: there is no stopping a set of ideas whose time has come, no matter how many ads they run.

West Virginia votes today. Oregon and Kentucky hold their primaries in one week. It’s been a pretty crazy election, and I know that if we continue to stand together, anything is possible.”

Bernie needs to win 65 percent of the vote the rest of the way in order to win the Democratic primary. He can do it, starting today in West Virginia.

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The establishments of both major political parties seem to be rallying around Hillary Clinton for president, now that Donald Trump’s opponents have opted out of the Republican primary, and Hillary lost to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in Indiana. That’s what Politico.com is reporting.

The twin party establishments must rally around Clinton or else they will not be fielding a candidate with either party if Bernie wins the Democratic nomination, and it’s beginning to look more and more likely that the race between Sanders and Clinton will go down to the wire at the Democratic convention.

After winning in Indiana last night, Bernie needs to win about 65 percent of the total remaining votes to take the lead in pledged delegates when the convention convenes.

Next up for Bernie is West Virginia. The latest poll shows he’s leading by eight points. The West Virginia Democratic primary is open to independents. Bernie has a 3 to 1 edge there, and his supporters show up at the polls at a higher rate than Hillary’s, so that lead is really about 13 to 25 percent.

In other words, if Bernie and us put the effort into West Virginia, as well as the remaining primaries, we win. That simple. Get on the phones.

Check out Indiana: The After-MATH for more on the math of this election.

So what are the Wall Street twin party establishments going to do to counteract Trump and Bernie, when Bernie wins. You can bet the Republican establishment, at least a great deal of it, is planning now in some dark room on how to stop the Vermont senator by lining up behind the last Wall Street candidate.

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