The Bristol Labor Council is hosting a labor walk on Sunday, November 2 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Bristol Labor Council office at 61 East Main St, Forrestville. This is the last “get out the vote” walk before the election, and local labor-endorsed candidates are likely to appear.
The problem of buses arriving late has been a continuing problem, one especially prevalent at the elementary and K-8 levels. What teachers need to know is that a new TRANSPORTATION CONTRACT exists that addresses the issue.
By contract, buses must not only arrive, but depart school within 20 minutes of dismissal. Buses are considered to be late starting 20 minutes after dismissal. For elementary, that would be 3:45 PM. If a bus arrives between 9 and 20 minutes late, the bus company must pay a fine equal to 25% the daily bus rate. For elementary, that would be between 3:54 PM and 4:05 PM. Buses more than 20 minutes late (which would be 40 minutes after dismissal) must pay a fine equal to 50% of the daily rate. It is hoped that these provisions of the new contract will encouraged the bus company to design realistic routes and arrive in a more timely manner.
Additionally, the BFT encourages all teachers at the individual schools to arrange for administrators to relieve teachers of bus duty 20 minutes after dismissal. Any teacher on bus duty who finds themselves in an untenable situation 20 minutes after dismissal without an administrator to relieve them should feel free to contact Ellen Solek at (860) 480 3689.
The BFT will hold its annual holiday party this year on Saturday, December 6. The party is for BFT members, their spouses, and children. Once again, the event will be held at Greene-Hills School.
More details, such as start time and a list of events, will be posted as the date approaches.
The Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce will host a debate for local state Senate and House of Representative candidates Oct. 6 at Saint Paul Catholic High School.
The debate will take place in the auditorium of the school at 1001 Stafford Ave. from 6 to 9 p.m. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and political reporter Tom Monahan, formerly from NBC30, will serve as moderator. AFT CT staff will be on hand to distribute t-shirts to teachers who show up starting at 5:15 PM.
The debating candidates are:
78th District state House of Representatives — Whit Betts (R) and Dan Santorso (D).
79th District state House of Representatives — Frank Nicastro, Sr. and Josh Levesque (R).
31st District state Senate — Henri Martin (R) & Rob Michalik, Jr. (D).
Opportunities abound for BFT members to get involved in local or state elections.
- a phone bank for Rob Michalik, running for state senate, will happen on Oct 21st at his campaign headquarters from 4:30-7:30 PM
- AFT Connecticut Union Phone Bank at AFSCME, New Britain: 10/14 from 4:30-7:30pm and 10/27 from 4:30-7:30pm
-Labor Walk -on 10/18 from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM at the Bristol Labor Council office at 61 East Main St, Forrestville
- PRE-DEBATE RALLY, Thursday, October 2ND, 5:30 PM Rally, UCONN, In front of Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts
Published in the Hartford Courant
Reported by Jenny Wilson
Education became a dominant theme in the governor’s race this week, as Democrats launched an attack against Republican candidate Tom Foley for education proposals they say would slash funding from schools that need it the most.
At the core of Foley’s education plan is in-district school choice and “money follows the child” — two policies that, combined, will result in students leaving low-performing schools and then those schools being stripped of per-pupil funding. Foley has proposed implementing an A-through-F grading system for schools that would allow parents, whom he has described as “the best decision-makers” to choose where they want to send their children.
Malloy’s campaign points to the governor’s investment in low-performing schools and cites figures that show progress in education — like higher test scores and graduation rates, and a narrowing of the achievement gap. At a press conference Wednesday, allies of the governor said Malloy continued to support education, even as federal recovery funding vanished.
Campaigns released dueling television ads about education this week, with Foley promoting his plan and Malloy touting his record. Recent polling shows that despite some bumps this year — both in the areas of charter school management and the rollout of the Common Core State Standards initiative — Malloy still leads in polls on education. A Quinnipiac University survey released earlier this month found that 46 percent of respondents thought Malloy would do a better job on education policy than Foley, compared with 40 percent who said the former U.S. ambassador was better-equipped to handle the issue.
Throughout the campaign, Foley has criticized the governor’s approach to education, and described it at an event earlier this summer as “heavy-handed” and “arrogant,” saying he tried to fix areas where schools were not broken. He defended his education policy proposal at a press conference Wednesday.
“What I’m hoping is … the marketplace starts to exert pressure on schools,” Foley said. “Right away schools are on notice that if I’m governor, I’m going to make sure that this gets passed and implemented — so they should start being better schools right away.”
The Greenwich Republican said he drew on his business experience to formulate his approach to schools, admitting that his policy would result in schools being reconstituted.
“Institutions that aren’t performing lose — that’s kind of the way the private sector works, and it ought to be the way the school works, too.”
Foley said he was not worried about over-migration to high-performing schools because while the grading system was intended to be objective, “a lot of parents won’t agree.” Most parents are inclined to think that the school their children attend is a good school, Foley said.
The Malloy campaign — which has attacked Foley for making business decisions that hurt middle class workers at the Bibb Co. in Georgia, a company Foley owned that later filed for bankruptcy — countered that “you can’t leave our children’s education to the whims of the free market.”
Malloy campaign spokesman Mark Bergman said Foley would “treat public schools and public school teachers just like he treated mills and workers in the private sector — closing them down and putting them out of work when he decides they have failed and are inconvenient for him.”
The Malloy ad released this week praised the governor, saying he “faced the Great Recession as others did not, refusing to cut education and instead taking the hard route, making tough choices so we can invest millions more in our local schools.”
According to the governor’s office, nearly $260 million has been invested in the Alliance district program, which directs investment to Connecticut’s lowest-performing districts. Forty percent of Connecticut students attend school in a low-performing district.
“Tom Foley proposes to slash dollars to schools that need it the most,” said state Rep. Andy Fleischmann, who said the A-through-F grading system would “stigmatize schools and communities while failing to address their challenges.”
Connecticut House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz said Democratic policies have proven results. At the press conference, the lawmakers cited this year’s National Assessment of Educational Progress test, also known as NAEP, which showed a narrowed achievement gap in 12th grade.
“All of the work that we’ve been doing is starting to bear fruit, and the achievement gap is starting to close… that’s something to be celebrated, not attacked,” Fleischmann said.
But Foley did not hesitate in attacking that claim. He said NAEP measures achievement in 12 categories, and that, because the achievement gap had narrowed in only some of them, “we’re not doing better and we’re not making progress.”