Don’t forget that Local 1600 President Perry Buckley is coming to HW tomorrow (2pm-3pm, room 1001). Jesú said that she’d provide pizza and sodas, but she needed a head count yesterday, so please let her know as soon as possible if you intend to go and want to eat some pizza. If you don’t want any pizza, I’m sure you can just show up. Perry will be coming to talk about pensions and what is happening with them and other things down in Springfield. It should be educational.
Just in case you want to bone up a little, beforehand, on the spring and summer’s legislative action and intrigue, there is a Chicago Public Schools teacher named Fred Klonsky who’s been doing a thorough job of documenting the players and the games they’re playing (at least regarding K-12 issues) on his blog, called “Fred Klonsky’s Blog.” He made particularly big waves back in July when he obtained and posted video of Jonathan Edelman, co-founder and CEO of an educational reform group called “Stand For Children” talking to a group of people at The Aspen Institute about the legislative process that led to SB7 (a.k.a., the Illinois educational reform bill passed this summer (you can read about his work in THIS ARTICLE from The Reader or THIS ONE from the Washington Post or you can go to his blog, scroll down to the July 7th post and check it out yourself).
Mr. Klonsky has also been keeping an eye, since SB7 passed, on the developments related to public worker pension reform, which remains a target and goal of educational reformers and Illinois politicians (see here, here, here, and here). In other words, pensions are clearly still in the cross hairs of legislators and reformers and likely to be a political action item this fall, if not for years to come.
One more thing, I missed most of the panel discussion at DWFDW featuring, among others, State Senator Edward Maloney (18th District), but I was there for the question that someone posed about SB7 and noted a bit of saltiness (defensiveness?) in Senator Maloney’s reply as he argued that the bill was a product of fair and transparent negotiations among legislators and union leaders and civic stake holders and an outcome with which they were all pleased and willing to stand behind as a model of cooperative educational reform (I paraphrase, of course). I was struck by that answer in particular because, while that was the story passed along by the major newspapers, the mainstream media, and the legislators, it was a very different story than that told by one of the major players (Edelman) involved when he had his guard down in front of an audience he presumed to be friendly.
If I’d had better powers of recollection that day (and could have remembered Edelman’s name), I’d have walked up to Senator Maloney and asked him if, in light of the video, he’d stand by his statement that it was a good bill for teachers.
I won’t miss the opportunity should it arise again.