Tag: Labor

Soaring Pension Costs Devour School Budgets in California »

The revised budget unveiled in May by California Gov. Jerry Brown seeks to increase the amount of money that public school districts and their teachers would pay into the teacher pension fund going forward. The legislature must approve a budget by June 15 or legislators forfeit their pay until a budget is passed. The...
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Common Core: Raising the Bar-barians »

“Barbarians at the gate.” That’s what Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal called opponents of Common Core national standards earlier this month. His remarks are symptomatic of just how far elected officials within and outside Arizona have strayed from our Constitution, which doesn’t even contain the word “education.” Supporters claim Common Core will...
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This Memorial Day Honor Vets with Education Savings Accounts »

President Obama has vowed to fix the intolerable mismanagement of Phoenix Veterans Affairs Hospital, which resulted in dozens of deaths and reports of patients put on secret waiting lists for care. Thankfully Arizona is not waiting around to do the right thing for veterans and their families—and neither should any other state. On April...
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Gary S. Becker, R.I.P. »

I first met Professor Gary Becker (1930-2014) about 15 years ago, when he came to Oxford, Miss., to present a public lecture at the University of Mississippi sponsored by the Robert M. Hearin Foundation. My coauthor and then-colleague Bob Tollison and I breakfasted with him early on the morning of Dr. Becker’s visit, after...
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Why Occupational Licensing Is Unjust, Unneeded, and Increases Income Inequality »

Employment gives people earned satisfaction and upward mobility. It can be especially fulfilling when a person is employed in their preferred field. But government policies often deprive some people of these benefits by establishing artificial barriers to employment. One such barrier is occupational licensure that prohibits employment in a specific occupation unless a would-be...
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Los Angeles County Board of Education Blocks LAUSD “Blackmail” of Charter Schools »

In February the Los Angeles Unified School District board revoked the charters of Aspire Antonio Maria Lugo Academy and Aspire Ollin University Preparatory Academy—not because they didn’t perform, but because they did at a fraction of the cost. LAUSD officials revoked the charters of these two top performing, high poverty schools enrolling 770 (mostly...
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Common Core Makes Simple Math as Complicated as the Tax Code »

Those of us recovering from tax day should be more than ready to answer a simple subtraction problem: What’s 427—316? If you mastered elementary math sometime before the onset of Common Core national standards and after “new math” had fallen out of fashion, then you can solve this problem in about three easy steps,...
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The Police State Retaliates Against Mayor for Pension Reform »

Mayor Jim Righeimer of Costa Mesa, California, is taking the city’s police union to court saying he was the target of police intimidation for trying to curb pension costs associated with the city’s police officers and other employees. Costa Mesa has $200 million of unfunded pension liabilities for its government workers. The city has...
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Retiring Teacher Seniority in California? »

California is legendary for its protection of unionized teachers. But if a new measure makes it onto the November ballot, voters would decide whether California teachers would have to bank on more than seniority to keep their jobs. Matt David of StudentsFirst submitted the measure to the Secretary of State last month, where it’s awaiting...
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PISA Results Show We’re a World Leader . . . in Spending, Not Performance »

Spending more and getting less—it’s an increasingly common refrain in education circles these days. Even U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called the performance of American 15-year-old students, who slipped in the latest international reading, math, and science rankings, a portrait of stagnation. Every three years since 2000 the Organization for Economic Cooperation and...
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