Inzelbuch’s Letter to Union Leaders Says Lakewood Isn’t Risking Covid Contagion With Full-Time In-Person Schools

Below is a letter, dated yesterday, from Lakewood attorney Michael Inzelbuch to the leaders of the Lakewood Education Association, Kimberlee Shaw and Tracy Paolantonio. Lakewood Public Schools, Inzelbuch informs the union officers, “is committed to provide full-time in person education for the 2020-2021 school year” and asks for a meeting to discuss a mandatory COVID testing plan for staff members. For context, Lakewood, distinguishing itself from other New Jersey school districts, held in-person Extended School Year programs …

For New NJ Teacher Union Group, Politics Trumps Safe School Reopenings

I’m all for safety. As the mom of four young adults (and the mother-in-law of two more), I worry about any of them contracting COVID-19, not to mention my husband, myself, and all our loved ones. While I’m desperate (really, you have no idea) for the day when our youngest can return to his day program, we’re stoically resigned to the reality that this won’t happen any time soon. This has nothing to do with …

Dear New Jersey Teachers: You’re Getting a Raw Deal From NJEA and NEA.

Mike Lilley of the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey has a new report out, “New Jersey Teachers’ Dues: Why Are They the Highest in the Nation and What Are They Paying For?” Here, he analyzes NJ teachers’ “raw deal”: Doing the math, NJ Education Association (NJEA), the state union, keeps a higher percentage of teacher dues than any other state teacher union in the nation, depriving local branches — “those with the most direct connection …

Teacher Union Leaders Should Look in the Mirror as They Demand Policies That Unveil Police Misconduct.

This post was originally published on Project Forever Free by its chief editor, my pal and colleague Erika Sanzi. Erika also blogs at Good School Hunting. She is a former educator and school board member, as well as the mother of three school-aged sons who currently attend a district school, a charter school, and a private school. This week, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and subsequent outcry over police brutality, the National Education Association …

Here’s What Happened Yesterday When AFT and NEA Locked Out Black and Brown Parents from a Candidate Forum.

Yesterday the AFT/NEA sponsored a “Public Education Forum” in Pittsburgh. There, hand-selected union members heard from seven Democratic presidential candidates as one by one they pledged their troth, promising to starve alternative public schools and increase funding for traditional schools in exchange for teacher union money and endorsement. At the same time as the candidates were courting union lobbyists, over 250 parents, mostly Black and Brown mothers and grandmothers, gathered in a hotel down the …

New Jersey Working Families Alliance Doesn’t Care About Work or Families: It Cares About Advancing NJEA’s Agenda.

This is a guest post by Michael Lilley, Founder and President of the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey, which seeks to educate residents on the way NJEA “uses their tax dollars against their own interests, secures benefits for the few over the many, and blocks needed reforms.” Recent news headlines have been ablaze with stories about the forced removal of Working Families Alliance State Director Sue Altman from a state Senate hearing on New Jersey’s …

For Teachers Looking For An Alternative to Traditional Education Associations, Here’s a Real Find.

Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Liz Parlett Butcher, New Jersey’s Regional Membership Director of the Association of American Educators. Liz was born and raised in Atlantic County, where she lives with her husband and four children, two of whom have special needs. Where appropriate I’ve added links.  Laura: Liz, I confess that I don’t know much about the Association of American Educators (AAE). Can you fill me in? Liz: Of course. AAE …

Newark Teacher Union Prez Takes Money From the Pockets of His Members: Notes on the New NTU Contract.

In October of 2012, the Newark Teachers Union signed a contract with then-Superintendent Cami Anderson that was celebrated as a win for teachers and students.  AFT President Randi Weingarten (NTU is an AFT affiliate) praised the new agreement as “a system of the future,” one that “values both experience as well as the work that a person does during the year.” “Newark teachers,” she said,  “actually have more voice than they ever did before.” Then-NTU …

What Sort of Teacher Union Leader Compares Teachers to Concentration Camp Prisoners? This One.

Last week I wrote a post called“Should Gov. Murphy Take Advice From Newark Teacher Union Prez John Abeigon on Charter Schools? Depends On How You Feel About Blackface.” There I noted Abeigon’s blustery defense of his mission to value adults over schoolchildren: “Everyone and their mother in this city is an advocate for the children,“ he explains. “I’m not the parents union…I’m not the children’s union.” In case you forgot, “it’s the Newark Teachers Union.” …

In Jersey City the Teacher Union Is Bargaining On Both Sides of the Table. Last Night One Ethical Board Member Tried to Uphold District Integrity.

I was a school board member for twelve years, including nine years as president. I thought I’d seen it all, including fraught negotiations with unions. I remember one particular negotiating session that commenced at 5 pm and concluded (successfully!) at 3:30 am the following morning. I ran home, got the house in order, packed lunches, got my kids ready for school, and was back in the Central Office by 8 am to sign a Memorandum …