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Senators With Teacher’s Unions Ties Should Recuse Themselves From DeVos Hearing

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posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 05:29 PM
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This opinion piece says that U.S. Senators with ties to Teachers Unions must recuse themselves from any debate about Trump's appointee for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

DeVos is reportedly a billionaire and many think the money will be influencing her decisions and responsibilities as Secretary.

Lots of controversies about her past and about her viewpoints in general.

The article lists senators and amounts received by teachers unions.

Well what should these Senators do ? And what actual "threats" to education does Betsy DeVos pose ?

Sens. With Teacher’s Unions Ties Should Recuse Themselves From DeVos Hearing

America Rising Squared today is calling on all Senators on the HELP committee with unmistakable ties to the teacher’s unions to recuse themselves from Betsy DeVos’ hearing next Wednesday.

The fact is that these Senators are so closely tied at the hip with these special-interest unions, that they could not possible give Ms. DeVos a fair shake because she is committed to shaking up the status quo in education and actually putting students and parents back in charge.

These are the Senators who have raked in teacher’s union cash for years and will be unmistakably biased at next week’s hearings. In the interest of fairness, they should recuse themselves:



story about Betsy DeVos........
A sobering look at what Betsy DeVos did to education in Michigan — and what she might do as secretary of education

The people who best know the education advocacy work of Betsy DeVos, the billionaire tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to be his education secretary, are in Michigan, where she has been involved in reform for decades.

DeVos is a former Republican Party chairwoman in Michigan and chair of the pro-school-choice advocacy group American Federation for Children, and she has been a shining light to members of the movement to privatize public education by working to create programs and pass laws that require the use of public funds to pay for private school tuition in the form of vouchers and similar programs. She has also been a force behind the spread of charter schools in Michigan, most of which have recorded student test scores in reading and math below the state average.




posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 05:33 PM
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Reasons to be cheerful Part 3.

Opinion is, simply opinion. It could be right! It could be wrong.



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 05:43 PM
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I'm technically not familiar enough with the "local royalty", as the DeVos family is referred to, to really have an opinion one way or the other, but there doesn't seem to be too many Michiganders very supportive of her in this position. That has a lot to do with her pro-voucher history. It's pretty obvious that locals aren't all that pleased with putting her into a national position.
edit on 1/8/2017 by Nyiah because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 06:32 PM
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a reply to: xuenchen

Yes I agree they should recuse themselves. If not it should be forced if that is legal.

Teacher's unions, (of which my mother is a retired member, whom I love dearly), are responsible for an incredible amount of fiscal problems, mostly through unfunded pensions), which are crippling states across the country.

Huge problem, with huge consequences in the not so distant future!



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 06:40 PM
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In one sense this is a very complicated issue that one post cannot reconcile. In another sense it' s very easy. The Bottom Line is that teachers' unions are left wing organizations advocating for teachers, but claiming they are advocating for children. They always claim that emotional stage: "It's for the children." but it isn't. They want high teacher salaries, cadillac benefits plans, low class numbers (# of students), and more "in-service" days (training days without students). Teachers' unions are against any kind of school other than straight public schools under union control. Charter schools are especially hated.

NOTE: I am NOT saying teachers do not work hard or do not care about students. Teachers work far more than just in the classroom, most always have extensive homework themselves, have endless continuing education requirements (which eat up those "summers off'"), and do a tremendous amount of work on their own time. I know for a fact this is true because I was married to a public school teacher for nearly 20 years plus my son is a public school teacher. Frankly, it is a thankless job with lots of "no child left behind" paperwork and hassles from all directions. And all this trying to educate students who often don't care raised by parents who feel the same way.

Teachers are the victims of the teacher' unions as much as anyone else. They are usually closed shops with very high dues. Power is the issue. The major item in a state's budget is the public schools. There s a lot of money at stake here. Unions are VERY open to teachers running for the state houses and senates. They advocate for superintendents of public instruction who are pro-union and ALWAYS Democrats. They are a major center of Democrat party power in most states. If you are a teacher and do not bow down to union power, you are in serious trouble.

It will come as no surprise that this person is opposed by the unions. She advocates increased parental control and for loosening the lock the public schools have on education. She's pro charter schools. No wonder the unions don't like her. You can bet they will do everything possible to disrupt her appointment.



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 07:05 PM
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Trump supporters will probably love Betsy. She has been a strong advocate for children.

(As long as they are white, straight, and upper-middle class).



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 07:05 PM
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originally posted by: KEACHI
a reply to: xuenchen

Teacher's unions, (of which my mother is a retired member, whom I love dearly), are responsible for an incredible amount of fiscal problems, mostly through unfunded pensions), which are crippling states across the country.


Largely untrue unless you can come up with chapter and verse. Teachers' pensions are PRE-FUNDED by a tax on the district and teacher alike that amounts to about 15% of a teacher's salary for an entire career. That money, 7.5% from each party, goes into a state pension fund to be doled out upon retirement on a monthly basis. Before about 1977 these pensions were really very good, allowing a teacher to retire by age 55 with a full pension and even prior to that age if they had sufficient time in grade. A typical scenario was this: You could retire 1) at ANY age with 30 years service, 2) at 55 with at least 25 years service, and 3) at 60 with any number of years service. Practically speaking the earliest someone could retire would be 51, assuming a teaching job at 21 right out of college. Still, this was a very generous system. The payout was 2% per year of service, so a person with 30 years gets 60% of the average final salary with a 30 year/60% limit.

which was eliminated in about 1977 for most states (which are very much alike). AFTER 1977 a NEW pension fund was set up which severely limited pensions. NO LONGER could you retire at 51 with no penalty. Your pension was reduced for every year less than 65 you were. If you had less than 30 years, this was a SEVERE reduction, enough so that you'd be stupid to do so. This pretty much eliminated earlier-than-65 retirements, though you could still do it if you could afford it. To somewhat compensate, the 30/60% ceiling was eliminated so that, in theory, someone could start work at 21, end work at 65, and get 88% of salary on retirement. In practice, few people have such a steady work environment. It rarely happens.

Most recently, a third type of system is at least made available where the pension, and contribution, has been cut in half, with the "other" half being treated like a 401k. One really important art of all this, and a part of the problem, is the pension fund itself. All those contributions, 15% per teacher per year, are given over to a pension fund manager who invests these funds. If the manager is a good manager, those funds make enough n interest over the years to fully fund all the pensions and then some. The reverse is also true. If the fund manager is a poor manager, the fund may not be "actuarially sound" meaning its assets cannot cover its indebtedness. And for a "defined benefit" pension, this is a serious issue. Since this is a legal obligation, it falls upon the state to make up the difference if necessary.

My state, Washington, has been very fiscally conservative and has done an excellent job, but still, it's PERS1 obligations (the first fund I mentioned above) is falling short, not because of poor management, but because of poor returns plus an overly generous system in the first place. Other states, such as Illinois and California, have done a much worse job of it and are in much worse trouble.

So Bottom Line here is not that these pensions are not "unfunded" at all. They were fully funded by the teachers and the school districts themselves during the working lives of the teachers. You can't blame the teachers or the districts for this because, for one thing, these are mandated pensions. Teachers do not have a choice. They MUST contribute the way the state says they must contribute. Those funds that are in trouble are in trouble because legislatures and fund managers keep messing with the funds. And if the unions get hold of those funds, you can imagine the chaos.
edit on 1/8/2017 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 07:13 PM
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originally posted by: angeldoll
Trump supporters will probably love Betsy. She has been a strong advocate for children.

(As long as they are white, straight, and upper-middle class).


Shameless. You accuse her of racism without batting an eyelash. Charter schools, of which she is an advocate, have the potential to benefit minorities far more than white kids. The rest of your statement is just stupid crap.



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 07:24 PM
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Charter Schools:

The Charter School Vs. Public School Debate Continues


"The fact that we can show that significantly disadvantaged groups of students are doing substantially better in charter school in reading and math, that's very exciting," she says.

More and more charter school students are doing better, Raymond says, because they're getting anywhere from three to 10 extra weeks of instruction compared to their public school counterparts.





posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 07:35 PM
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Teachers Union members, good or bad, deserve to have representation in government just like everyone else. It doesn't mater if these representatives aren't going to be fair; that's what their constituency wants from them. DeVose will have to be confirmed with out their support.



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 07:37 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

Your talking out your ass.

"Collectively, states face $1.4 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities, and $500 billion of that is due to teacher pension debt."

www.teacherpensions.org...

Article from 4 days ago.
edit on 8-1-2017 by KEACHI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 07:38 PM
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originally posted by: angeldoll
Trump supporters will probably love Betsy. She has been a strong advocate for children.

(As long as they are white, straight, and upper-middle class).


What's wrong with advocating for white, straight, upper middle class children? Are they less deserving of representation than other groups of children? What did they do to deserve this treatment?



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 08:18 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: angeldoll
Trump supporters will probably love Betsy. She has been a strong advocate for children.

(As long as they are white, straight, and upper-middle class).


Shameless. You accuse her of racism without batting an eyelash. Charter schools, of which she is an advocate, have the potential to benefit minorities far more than white kids. The rest of your statement is just stupid crap.


Does your computer have google? You might want to use it.



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 09:00 PM
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originally posted by: KEACHI
a reply to: schuyler

Your talking out your ass. .


Actually, I'm the only one here who has a fundamental understanding of how these pensions work on a detailed basis, as I have amply demonstrated with specific examples. I've taught classes on this stuff to employees so they could make intelligent choices. You, on the other hand, rely on the MSM for your enlightenment and really have no understanding of the issues at all. And it's "you're"--not that you'd understand the difference.



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 10:28 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

Really? LOL. You said teacher pensions are all funded. 35% of unfunded pensions of any kind are unfunded teacher pensions!

And it's your ass! Possessive. Meaning that you are spewing #. Not you are ass,,, you ass.



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 10:40 PM
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a reply to: xuenchen

So is it only Unions that they seem to take issue with??? What about all the other special interests that influence senators??? Are they all ok just as long as it's not a union I guess???

Sounds like this opinion is coming from a special interest group other than the unions that's all. They're trying to remove any competition as to who owns our senate.



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 10:44 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

"A similar situation exists in nearly every state in the country. The financial state of the nation’s public pension funds—which provide the retirement incomes for all state employees but in most states are dominated by teachers, administrators and other school employees—has gone from bad to worse, and for most it is only projected to worsen in coming decades."

www.districtadministration.com...



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 10:50 PM
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a reply to: schuyler



"In Chicago, for example, the teacher pension plan was underfunded by $9.5 billion in 2014, according to the Center for Retirement Research, a policy organization housed within Boston College."

"Teacher pensions in Philadelphia are part of a statewide pension plan for public sector employees that in 2014 was underfunded by $35 billion,"

www.google.com... i

When we're you "teaching" about this, in the 50's?



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 11:17 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

"According to the state controller’s office, the unfunded liability of California’s 130 state and local government pension plans stood at $241.3 billion as of 2014, the most recent year for which figures are available."

www.latimes.com...

You're (now you are) clueless.



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 11:25 PM
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a reply to: xuenchen

DeVos has no background in education and never attended public school or sent her children to public school. She spent millions to promote tuition vouchers. She wants charter schools which are not held accountable and not on the same equal playing field as public schools.

There's a simple way to fix public education. Get it out of federal government control and give it back to the state and local governments where it was intended to be in the first place! Local school boards should be made up of educators not citizen's who have no background in education or have no idea what works and what doesn't work in a classroom setting. Most of these board members haven't even stepped foot in a high school or elementary school, walked the halls or observed a class! You wouldn't have citizens who have no medical background on a hospital board making decisions on human lives. Than why would you risk appointing people with no education background to make decisions on the education of young people that directly affects their lives and the economic strength of a country?

These same board members and the "political know it all" need to get off their a$$es and start walking through public schools, talking to teachers who are on the front line, and observing how some of their political stupid programs have dumbed down and eliminated programs that were extremely beneficial to many students! They've tied up teacher's and administrator's hands with ridiculous government paper work that does nothing to improve education. They've siphoned off public school funding thinking charter schools are the answer. Yet they ignore how many charter schools have failed across this country.



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