Tennessee teachers are losing their collective bargaining powers while corporations can now contribute directly to state and local political campaigns under two GOP bills signed into law Wednesday by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam ....
The Tennessee bill abolishes collective bargaining now conducted in 92 of 136 school districts .... It replaces traditional bargaining by affiliates of the Tennessee Education Association with a concept Republicans called “collaborative conferencing.”
Under the plan, school boards would be required to meet with teacher representatives approved by local educators. They could only strike limited agreements on some wage and benefit issues ....
But local school boards are under no obligation to agree to enter such agreements.
“The more we dig into the actual contents of this legislation, the less we like it,” said Jerry Winters, chief lobbyist for the Tennessee Education Association. “I think there’s more politics behind this than education reform.”
So, we rescue effective teachers from the execution-style politics of Republicans only to hand them over instead to the slow twisting-in-the-wind of Tennessee Democrats' "education reform"? Neither party is going to save good teachers or public education. But maybe the extremist TNGOP will hasten a more revolutionary organizing from the grassroots to beat back the partisan hooks.
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