Any student enrolled in the Miami-Dade Public Schools gets free breakfast simply by showing up. But the Miami Herald reports that only 85,000 kids are taking advantage of it, less than one-quarter of the student population.
Uh, maybe their parents choose to feed them at home, rather than rearrange their schedules to get the kids to school early enough for breakfast. Or maybe they’ve been reading the mountain of stories on childhood obesity written by the fat pack journalists — including yesterday’s New York Times and a Parade magazine article on the topic by Bill Clinton!
* Considering California’s lofty position in the state education rankings — barely edging out Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi in the reading and math NAEP tests — one might conclude that students aren’t learning. But it’s clear even the poorest performers are are absorbing certain lessons.
* Mickey Kaus boldly strolls into the minefield — contrasting the real world with that of unions and Democratic Party politics.
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTWLDF) held a press conference yesterday to announce its lawsuit against the California Teachers Association’s political dues assessment. And, as might have been predicted, all their speakers were shouted down by a mob of union activists.
Let’s tell the story in quotes from the players:
– “In the spirit of silencing dissent, they came out to try to intimidate the teachers who were trying to assert their constitutional rights,” said NRTWLDF Vice President Stefan Gleason. “It didn’t work.”
– “We bend over backwards to observe the rights of members and fee payers,” said CTA President Barbara Kerr.
– “This is an example of the kind of intimidation, bullying and thuggery that our public school teachers are enduring (from the union) every day,” said state Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, who was there to support the lawsuit.
– Asked about the fact that the dues assessment is ostensibly targeted for debt service and not political action, CTA spokesperson Sandra Jackson said, “To my knowledge, there is no loan. I don’t know about any loan.” (Maybe the Union Fairy left the $21 million CTA spent in one day earlier this month.)
– But the quote of the day goes to Paula Caplinger, member of the CTA board of directors. After warming up with “Proposition 75 is all about silencing workers’ voices. I guess it’s a little taste of what a silenced voice is like,” Caplinger really hit her stride by stating that the $6 per month assessment was merely the cost of “a hefty latte and a muffin.”
No doubt Ms. Caplinger would object to my taking $6 per month from her paycheck so I can buy a hefty latte and a muffin, or maybe just use the money to support EIA. Alas, the law says when I do it, it’s stealing.
* Considering that students are somewhat, eh, lacking in certain subject matter knowledge, EIA wonders why parents spend their time worrying most about exposing their children to a) the Bible; b) military recruiters; and c) Mountain Dew. If only we could get them this riled up about algebra, spelling or chemistry.
* Are you a seniority junkie? Well, check out the new Contract Hits anyway.
* The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation will announce the filing of a class action suit against the California Teachers Association over its $54 million special assessment to fund its campaign against November’s ballot initiatives. A press conference will be held at 11 a.m. Pacific time.
* Attorneys for the NEA-affiliated Education Support Employees Association (ESEA) asked the Nevada Supreme Court to cancel a union representation election for some 8,000 school employees. The union has been embroiled in a battle with Teamsters Local 14 for more than three years. ESEA claims the Teamsters need to provide a membership list to force an election. The Teamsters claim they have enough signature cards to satisfy the law. A Teamster win would be devastating to NEA in Nevada.
EIA has previously commented on the “fair weather federalists” who suddenly discovered the Tenth Amendment when the No Child Left Behind Act came along. Apparently the contagion is spreading. Now we have Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), one of the leftmost members of the U.S. Congress, voicing her concerns in the wake of Hurricane Katrina about eminent domain abuse and the circumvention of property rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.
“The taking of private property for private use is in my estimation unconstitutional, unAmerican and is not to be tolerated,” Rep. Waters said.
If this trend continues, we’ll soon have Ted Kennedy noticing that the Commerce Clause only permits Congress to regulate commerce.
George Will and Linda Chavez whack the teachers’ unions, while the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County in Maryland whack those who failed to pony up for the union’s teacher party (see “Tacky Gesture” here, and the bottom of page 5 here).