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Folk and Blues: The Tribulations of The Old Town School
"The school’s economic crisis, detractors say, is largely of its own making, due to a decade of mismanagement, lost opportunities, misguided priorities and poorly timed decisions. For its part, the school argues that enrollment is down because guitar playing is out of fashion and because YouTube videos and School of Rock have crowded the marketplace."


A financial endowment is a donation of money or property to a nonprofit organization which uses the resulting investment income for a specific purpose.

Usually the endowment is structured so that the principal amount is kept intact, while the investment income is available for use, or part of the principal is released each year, which allows for their donation to have an impact over a longer period than if it were spent all at once. An endowment may come with stipulations regarding its usage.
Music  chicago  Money  race  labor 
28 days ago by oripsolob
Chicago’s pension crisis isn’t really about pensions — it’s about debt
Why would the city so dramatically underfund its pensions? The answer is that “borrowing” from pension funds can appeal to elected officials for the same reason borrowing from other sources does: It allows the city to spend more money without asking residents to pay higher taxes. Essentially, Chicago has been borrowing from pension funds in order to pay for other priorities while keeping taxes artificially low. But as the debt payments on that pension borrowing have grown, the city has historically proven unwilling to pay them in full either, creating a spiral of rising costs.
chicago  Money  education  labor  mythology 
9 weeks ago by oripsolob
Teacher pensions: The full story — 1IL
The Illinois Policy Institute is out with a new report attacking public-worker pensions for causing property taxes to rise, especially teacher pensions. Which is somewhat comical, because the only other way to pay for those pensions is with the state income tax, and the IPI doesn't want that, either.
education  Money  labor  nthsea 
august 2018 by oripsolob
IEA applauds General Assembly for passing state budget and increasing education funding, cautions against changes made to TRS and SURS | Illinois Education Association
In addition to all of the good news, there was also a last-minute pension proposal introduced as part of the budget package that has several components, the most concerning of which is a decrease to 3 percent from the current 6 percent that employers can offer educators in both the Teachers’ Retirement System and State Universities Retirement System for pay increases in the four years used to calculate their retirement without incurring any additional costs.
education  Money  nthsea  labor 
may 2018 by oripsolob
Elgin Teachers Roundly Reject Novel Contract | WBEZ
Like nearly every other school district in the state, Elgin’s current contract is made up of set salary increases called “steps,” given for years of service, and “lanes,” given for additional higher education.

“Traditional ‘step and lane’ schedules tend to be very backloaded, so you’re making more money later in your career,” said Kency Nittler, who follows trends in teacher contracts for the National Council on Teacher Quality. But Nittler said that isn’t helpful in retaining or motivating early career teachers.

The rejected contract would have allowed younger teachers to move up faster to a higher pay rate by accumulating “career credits.” Those would be given for additional years of service and education — just like the traditional teachers contract — but also for many of the additional things teachers do at schools.

“Every one of our teachers are doing things outside the normal school day, including committee work, collaborative meetings, events at the school — there are so many things they’re doing outside of those hours, and as of right now, they do it on a voluntary basis,” said Richard Johnson, president of the Elgin Teachers Association.
labor  nthsea  education 
may 2018 by oripsolob
Why is the media—including the liberal media—supporting these teachers’ strikes?
One has to wonder if these strikes were happening in blue states, with Democratic governors and state legislatures, what the reception might be. One also has to wonder if the strikers and/or students were of color, what the reception might be. The coverage could turn out quite different, with the concerns of students of color being pitted against the unions, or with the ugly undercurrents of race working against the concerns and interests of both the teachers and the students.
Media  inequalities  literacy  labor  politics  education 
april 2018 by oripsolob
The West Virginia teacher strike, explained - Vox
Steven Paine, West Virginia superintendent of schools, in a statement ahead of the strike said he fully recognizes and supports the work of teachers and that they “deserve more,” but “the economic realities of our state may not allow everything teachers deserve to take place immediately.” He also pointed out that work stoppages by public employees are “not lawful” in West Virginia. State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said the strike was “illegal.”

Teachers have gone on strike anyway. West Virginia’s 680 public schools employ 19,488 classroom teachers and have enrolled 277,137 students. All 55 counties in West Virginia have closed schools for more than a week. In 2016, the average salary for West Virginia teachers ranked 48th in the country, according to the National Education Association, ahead of only Oklahoma, Mississippi, and South Dakota.

In a moment in which public unions are under an increasingly heavy threat, West Virginia teachers have shown why they matter and what they can do. The Supreme Court this week heard arguments in a case, Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, on whether employees can be required to pay dues to a union they don’t belong to.

According to the New York Times, West Virginia’s teachers were initially considering a “rolling strike,” in which teachers in a few counties would walk out each day. Donnie Ellis, the husband of English teacher Robin Ellis, said he told his wife if they wanted a change they’d really have to go for it. “It’s got to be all-in or nothing,” he said.

And so they continue to go all-in.
labor  education 
march 2018 by oripsolob
The Strike That Brought MLK to Memphis | History | Smithsonian
Riley, 75, is pictured in a gathering of strikers holding signs with the famous slogan from the strike, “I Am a Man.” The iconic photo is on display in the National Civil Rights Museum. Riley’s proud of that image and so is Christopher, his son, who is in the clothing business: He had T-shirts made with the image emblazoned on the front.
Read more:

“They were the lowest of the lowest in the pecking order,” Fred Davis, a former city council member, told me. “When a kid wanted to put somebody down, they’d refer to their daddy being a sanitation worker.” Workers made about a dollar an hour. Things were so bad in 1968 that, after two workers seeking shelter from rain were accidentally crushed to death inside a truck with a faulty switch, the sanitation workers organized a strike.

A few of those workers are still alive, and a handful actually still work in sanitation. After the strike, most decided to abandon the city’s pension plan and trust in Social Security; the decision turned out to be a mistake. Still, it was something of a surprise last summer when the city announced it would make cash payments of $50,000, tax-free, to each sanitation worker who had been on the job at the end of 1968 and had retired without a pension. (The city council increased the amount to $70,000.)
history  race  labor  inequalities 
february 2018 by oripsolob
The Tyranny of Convenience - The New York Times
In praise of hobbies: "In the developed nations of the 21st century, convenience — that is, more efficient and easier ways of doing personal tasks — has emerged as perhaps the most powerful force shaping our individual lives and our economies. This is particularly true in America, where, despite all the paeans to freedom and individuality, one sometimes wonders whether convenience is in fact the supreme value."
Technology  history  gender  labor 
february 2018 by oripsolob
Labor Movement Poster
Frederick Douglass quote: "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."
design  shopping  labor  education 
september 2017 by oripsolob
The Danger From Low-Skilled Immigrants: Not Having Them - The New York Times
“Ten years from now, there are going to be lots of older people with relatively few low-skilled workers to change their bedpans,” said David Card, a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley. “That is going to be a huge problem.”

But the argument for low-skilled immigration is not just about filling an employment hole. The millions of immigrants of little skill who swept into the work force in the 25 years up to the onset of the Great Recession — the men washing dishes in the back of the restaurant, the women emptying the trash bins in office buildings — have largely improved the lives of Americans.
labor  politics  inequalities  Economics  history 
august 2017 by oripsolob
Unspeakable Realities Block Universal Health Coverage In America
"White Socialism": Why are economically struggling blue collar voters rejecting a party that offers to expand public safety net programs? The reality is that the bulk of needy white voters are not interested in the public safety net. They want to restore their access to an older safety net, one much more generous, dignified, and stable than the public system – the one most well-employed voters still enjoy.

When it seems like people are voting against their interests, I have probably failed to understand their interests. We cannot begin to understand Election 2016 until we acknowledge the power and reach of socialism for white people.

Americans with good jobs live in a socialist welfare state more generous, cushioned and expensive to the public than any in Europe. Like a European system, we pool our resources to share the burden of catastrophic expenses, but unlike European models, our approach doesn’t cover everyone. White voters are not interested in democratic socialism. They want to restore their access to a more generous and dignified program of white socialism.

No one stated their intention to create a social welfare program for white people, specifically white men, but they didn’t need to. By handing control to employers at a time when virtually every good paying job was reserved for white men the program silently accomplished that goal.

When Democrats respond to job losses with an offer to expand the public safety net, blue collar voters cringe and rebel. They are not remotely interested in sharing the public social safety net experienced by minority groups and the poorest white families.
inequalities  sociology  race  health  labor  politics  election  class 
may 2017 by oripsolob
Fair Wages - BackStory with the American History Guys
Historian Gregg Kimball tells Ed about the phenomenon of “hiring out” enslaved persons prior to the Civil War, and how this introduced some slaves to the world of wages.
history  labor  inequalities  race 
january 2017 by oripsolob
Richard Rorty’s 1998 Book Suggested Election 2016 Was Coming - The New York Times
[M]embers of labor unions, and unorganized unskilled workers, will sooner or later realize that their government is not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or to prevent jobs from being exported. Around the same time, they will realize that suburban white-collar workers — themselves desperately afraid of being downsized — are not going to let themselves be taxed to provide social benefits for anyone else.

At that point, something will crack. The nonsuburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking around for a strongman to vote for — someone willing to assure them that, once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen, and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots. …

One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past 40 years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. … All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet.
election  politics  labor  race  fb 
november 2016 by oripsolob
Why women are still voting for Trump, despite his misogyny - Vox
Stephanie Coontz: "I was very struck by the female supporter who said Trump is like the bully you want to beat up on the other bully. There is longstanding social science evidence that people with fewer resources, educational or economic, tend to look heroes — or villains even— to stand up for them. Somebody they think has some kind of power that they don’t have.

The exception is when you have a union. The one time that you don’t see that in action, at least so much, is when an area is unionized. Then, because workers have some kind of collective power, they’re not so likely to turn toward some authoritarian demagogue. They can actually imagine going up against the boss in their own collective power rather than finding somebody else to go up against the boss or someone else to throw under the wheels of the bus."
women  class  corporation  labor  inequalities  race  fb 
october 2016 by oripsolob
Chicago Teachers Union | Why Officers Propose an April 1 Day of Action
The CTU is not the only force under attack by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Gov. Bruce Rauner and the 1 percent they represent. For that reason, we will not be alone in taking action against them, as public service workers—from home health care nurses to university professors—have pledged to join our day of action. Private sector workers, such as McDonald’s employees fighting for a living wage, will also be acting in concert with our union. This is a broad-based, highly coordinated action that will raise the ante for our side just as Rahm, Rauner and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool have coordinated their attacks on us.

April 1 will also highlight our proposals for winning school funding and funding for other important services. In addition to the vocal demands we have been making about toxic swaps and tax increment financing (TIF)—swap terminations cost the district $240 million this year alone, and the TIFs could put enough money into the schools to completely reverse this year’s cuts—we are also calling for a “fair tax,” which is an increase in the income tax for the rich in Illinois. This measure would put nearly $4‑6 billion into state coffers and provide a path to pass a fair school funding formula that would add hundreds of millions of dollars to CPS.  Our calls for increased revenue for the district are now an issue on the national stage, and there is legislation pending in Springfield that would take TIF control out of the mayor's hands and force the release of these funds to our schools.
labor  education 
march 2016 by oripsolob
Mandatory Union Fees Getting Hard Look by Supreme Court - The New York Times
Logical fallacy of false equivalence: “I get to choose what movie I want to go see,” Mr. Elrich said. “I get to choose what church I want to go to. I get to choose what gym I want to join.” He should have the same choice, he said, about whether to support a union. Kamala D. Harris, California’s attorney general, told the justices in a brief that workers who objected to the positions taken by unions suffered no First Amendment injuries because “they remain free to communicate their views to school officials, their colleagues and the public at large.”
labor  money  education  speech  constitution 
january 2016 by oripsolob
Local high school teacher heading to U.S. Supreme Court for historic labor case
On Monday, January 11, Niles North High School teacher Pankaj Sharma will be heading to Washington, D.C., to speak on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court before oral argument begins in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, an historic labor case that threatens workers’ rights to join with colleagues and advocate for the communities they serve. Niles North is located in Skokie, a nearby suburb of Chicago.
labor  education 
january 2016 by oripsolob
On Teacher Labor | Practical Theory
Today is a good day to think about all we ask of teachers. Not the way we usually do… with stories of the martyr teacher who sacrifices all for her students. Because while that story is a powerful one, we often tell it for the wrong reason. That story is important because many of those teachers leave the classroom after a few years. Often times, those teachers get taken advantage of by administrators who love that young teacher who can’t say no, because, let’s face it, there’s always more to do and rarely enough folks to do it. So in too many schools — especially the places where we serve children of color and children of poverty — we create systems that are unsustainable, then we work those who are willing to do the extra work until they can no longer do the work.
education  labor  nthsea 
september 2015 by oripsolob
Pension Vocabulary : Active Tier I Teachers and Tier I Retirees! Join IRTA NOW!
The Illinois General Assembly – a bi-partisan collection of legislators – has always dodged and sidestepped every opportunity or request or demand to provide the appropriate amount to the pensions, and it is likely they will do so again – regardless of the Illinois Supreme Court’s unanimous decision striking down SB1.
labor  education 
july 2015 by oripsolob
Walmart Adjusts the Thermostat to Warm Worker Relations -
To acknowledge employees’ complaints, executives at the rally used an imaginary Walmart worker, a puppet they called Willy Sellmore, who offered a surprisingly frank take on the retailer’s policies. When an executive explained that the temperature changes had been discussed for a year, Willy appeared understandably baffled. “A year? A year? How long does it take to adjust a thermostat?” he said. “This shouldn’t be so hard.”
labor  money  corporation  inequalities 
june 2015 by oripsolob
Mom: The Designated Worrier -
And whether a woman loves or hates worry work, it can scatter her focus on what she does for pay and knock her partway or clean off a career path. This distracting grind of apprehension and organization may be one of the least movable obstacles to women’s equality in the workplace.
women  gender  sociology  inequalities  children  labor 
may 2015 by oripsolob
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