It Was 20 Years Ago Today

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Education Intelligence Agency.

I could wax nostalgic, but why? As I look at the first official EIA Communiqué from June 21, 1997 it doesn’t look much different from what I might write today:

The following information is the latest from the California Teachers Association’s June 12-13 Board of Directors meeting.

Infighting. Now that there is “money available” in the state budget, CTA is upset with the school administrators and the school boards association. In the words of one director, these groups are jumping in with “a laundry list of priorities for the money that does not include adequate compensation for those of us who actually deliver the product — the teachers.” The “product” referred to is not educated students, but taxpayer money.

Who’s your buddy? CTA is crowing about a recent phone call from the Governor’s office to CTA headquarters seeking support for an unnamed piece of legislation. “We have never had the governor’s office admit that we even existed before!” exclaimed one director. CTA Governmental Relations claims that this “certainly did not happen in a vacuum since we have consciously been making efforts to open up doors that have been traditionally closed to us for quite some time (read that as Republican).” Last year, CTA donated $10,000 to help retire Gov. Wilson’s inaugural debt.

Initiative wars begin. The board approved the expenditure of $250,000 to conduct polling and focus group research on the issues raised by the so-called “anti-labor” initiatives now working their way through the process. Polling of CTA members should take place before the end of the summer.

CTAj Mahal. The schematic design of the new CTA headquarters building in Burlingame has been approved. The board expects it to be up by August 1999. The first upward boost to the $12 million estimate has already occurred. The board now says “the $12,000,000 price tag is for construction costs only. There will be additional expenses incurred with the need for additional furniture and furnishings.”

Post 208 maneuvers. CTA will consider a pilot project “to explore the benefits of a direct-mail program to Association members in selected target races.”

So I press on. The teachers’ unions will outlast me, though some think it might be a photo finish.