MergerTalk By NEAFT Caucus Chair Morty Rosenfeld
THE ELECTIONS AND MERGER
The election news
couldnít be worse for those of us in public education.
At a time when our economy is suffering from a lack of demand with the
result that too many businesses are sitting on mounds of cash seeing no reason
to invest in new jobs and equipment, the federal government in all likelihood
will be unable to continue to aid the states with dollars that have helped to
keep the nationís public schools afloat.
The American public appears to believe cutting public spending and
continuing the Bush tax cuts will rouse the economy out of its torpor.
I fear we will pay a great price for this economic ignorance (Check
out this video on this subject).
Completely absent are any national leaders who will stand up and say that
the federal stimulus was far too timid to do much more than keep the economy out
of the ditch. As Paul Krugman has
repeatedly pointed out, if you subtract from the stimulus the cuts that the
states have made, very little money was pumped into our economy.
Do you know any political leaders willing to speak this truth?
For the next two years we will hear nothing from our politicians except
platitudes about bipartisanship while they continue the gridlock that has
plagued us for too long. Democrats
and Republicans will all hop on the austerity campaign wanting to seem virtuous
to the angry electorate. One of the
very few areas where there is some chance for cooperation is, unfortunately, in
the area of public education. Itís
unfortunate in that for the moment the Obama administration is pursuing
education policies well to the right of the Bush administration.
The so-called Race To The Top has even given the No Child Left Behind
crowd a jolt of adrenalin. Should
that cooperation break out, we need to be prepared for an intensified data
driven drive to install preposterous accountability schemes, merit pay systems
and privatization and who knows what else.
We need to be sending a message to our elected NEA and AFT leaders and
the people of the
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