The Joint Finance Committee voted today to end the independent agency status of the Wisconsin Arts Board, moving the oversight of arts to the Tourism Board. The proposal will now go before the State Assembly and Senate for final approval as part of Gov. Scott Walker’s 2011-13 biennial budget. The vote was along party lines with 14 Republicans voting in favor and four Democrats voting against.
The committee did restore some of the cuts Walker proposed, returning over $350,000 to the agency over the next two years. The Board was facing a drop from $3 million to $750,000; now it will have just over $1 million in the next budget period.
The JFC also reversed Walker by allowing the Arts Board the autonomy to select its own executive director in the future.
Protests have engulfed the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where students are standing against a proposed bill that threatens teacher's unions. The outcries come as the state's new Republican Governor Scott Walker announced a plan to end collective bargaining for most of the state's 175,000 public employees.
For-profit" colleges have come under fire for saddling students with big debts in exchange for dim job prospects. But what about "real" colleges? They're pushing huge debts on students, too. We crunched the numbers to find the worst (NYU).
To help protect their schools from California's unrelenting budget crisis, some communities are voting to pay more property taxes to preserve teacher jobs, smaller class sizes and electives such as art and music.
So far this year, more than 20 districts have held elections for school parcel taxes, which are levied on individual parcels of property, and at least 16 have approved them. More districts are trying to place such measures on the ballot later this year.
But the tax measures, which require a two-thirds majority to pass, are mostly winning approval in smaller, wealthier districts, according to education experts, raising worries about growing inequality between schools in rich and poor communities.
Wednesday, after a heated debate among members of the Board of Trustees, a consensus on language was finally reached.
INS learned that the intervention of trustee and UPR ex President Norman Maldonado, was key in convincing Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees Ygrí Rivera, to drop her consistent hard line regarding the application of penalties to the strikers. Maldonado had not previously intervened because he was off the island.
“Maldonado and Rivera had strong encounters; he favored the student’s language, while she maintained her position of not bargaining,” a source told INS.
Ellen Schrecker, a history professor at New York City's Yeshiva University, starts "The Lost Soul of Higher Education" with a blunt assessment: "In reacting to the economic insecurities of the past forty years, the nation's colleges and universities have adopted corporate practices that degrade undergraduate instruction, marginalize faculty members, and threaten the very mission of the academy as an institution devoted to the common good."
Eastern Michigan University students celebrated their school’s decision to hold the line on tuition and fees hikes at an all-campus picnic Thursday, and gathered for a photo — with a message.
EMU photographer Randy Mascharka took the shot from the roof of the Ypsilanti campus’ Student Center.
Eastern President Susan Martin told me last month that she knows the university is taking a risk by not asking students for more money at a time when state aid could be slipping and busing expenses continue to rise.
In Puerto Rico, an ongoing strike by students at the University of Puerto Rico is coming to a head. Riot police have surrounded the main gates of the university’s main campus and are trying to break the strike by denying food and water to students who have occupied the campus inside. The strike began nearly four weeks ago in response to budget cuts at the university of more than $100 million. On Thursday, a mass assembly of more than 3,000 students voted overwhelmingly to continue the strike. The next day, riot police seized control of the main campus gates. We go now to Puerto Rico, inside the occupied campus at the university.
Despite tuition increasing 46.6 percent over the last five years, professors and students at the Community College of Rhode Island say there are fewer services and not enough spots for even the mandatory core courses.
Jim Brady, the college’s outgoing student body president, said the situation — particularly the tuition hikes that don’t seem to have an end at all three of the state’s higher education institutions — is “completely disgusting” and counterproductive to helping the state build a 21st-century work force.
A call-to-action rally at the community college’s Knight Campus Wednesday afternoon was the first of several planned events to let the General Assembly know “enough is enough.” A petition is also circulating and a march to the State House is in the works.
Making the drive up to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point once again on Monday, pro-democracy advocate and attorney Ben Manski returned to the campus he had visited in his college career. Only this time the faces had changed, but the message was the same. At 8 p.m. in the Dreyfus University Center’s Theatre, Manski delivered a multimedia presentation on “Winning Democracy,” in the hopes that it would inspire students to do just that.
“I hope that I helped to broaden some perspectives about what other students are doing around the world: what they’ve done in recent generations, that it wasn’t all just in the 60’s. I’m a little bit older, but in my generation student activists, we accomplished a lot,” said Manski. “In my experience, when people think big, they dream big and they work to accomplish those big goals. They sometimes succeed, and if you don’t try at all, then they’re not going to happen and that’s not acceptable.”
Want to travel back in time? Drive 80 miles east to Milwaukee, park on Downer and Kenwood and walk a block west. Complementing the anachronistic architecture crowding around, the tenor of student body activism pulsating across the UW-Milwaukee campus could easily fool the most well-informed Madisonian into thinking he or she had traveled to another era, one where college students fought hard to protect and nourish their education.
The impassioned and fair demands made by UWM students last March precipitated last Thursday’s revealing panel discussion with embattled UWM Chancellor Carlos Santiago. Previously, UWM’s participation in a national day of action in defense of higher education on March 4 met a rude end when administrative officials called in police to break up a passionate though peaceful demonstration. Campus and city police aggressively targeted students with pepper spray and physical violence in an effort to neutralize vociferous demands for an audience with Santiago.
Sam Stevenson is a graduate student in public health.
According to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, at least 28 states have implemented cuts to public colleges and universities and/or large increases in college tuition to make up for insufficient state funding, and four more states have proposed cuts but have not yet carried them out. Full report here...
Vermont: A proposal to raise University tuition by 4.8 percent brought an angry response by the state's Governor, Jim Douglas, who called the increase "excessive, and an unfair burden on struggling Vermont families." Under the proposal, tuition at Vermont State Colleges would rise 4 percent. Read more...
College students were quick to protest proposed tuition hikes Thursday, after University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton called for increases far exceeding the rate of inflation, citing the economic outlook and tight state budgets.
Under university policy, the president must present the tuition proposal for the year beginning in fall of 2012, with a decision on the proposal expected at the Board of Regents meeting in September of this year. That meeting will be held in Juneau.
Student government leaders quickly announced opposition to the increase, and raised questions about whether it was needed. They held a rally Thursday at the campus in Juneau.
Tyler Preston, student body president at UAS, said the increase was too big, and not sufficiently explained.
"Mostly our problem comes from the lack of transparency or understanding of where the money is going to be going," Preston said.
We understand the University of Wyoming's reluctance to discuss litigation against it. Bill Ayers' threat of a lawsuit for not being allowed to speak on campus will likely become a reality this morning when it's filed in federal court in Cheyenne.
But UW has a broader responsibility to explain to the public why it has banned Ayers. This action is much different than what happened earlier this month, when the UW Social Justice Research Center rescinded its invitation to Ayers to speak at a conference on education.
That decision was made by the center's director, Francisco Rios, over security concerns. News that the former radical-turned-education professor was coming to Laramie prompted hundreds of e-mails and phone calls to UW officials expressing outrage that someone with Ayers' past was invited to the university. According to Rios, some people made threats of violence. Others said they would stop donating money to UW.
Resources provided by Education For All Coalition members and coordinating affiliates. We’ve also included flyers, and with each flyer you’ll find a BLANK TEMPLATE version for you to utilize for your own specific purposes.
Free Speech Organizing Toolkit – A helpful handbook on your Free Speech Rights with an emphasis on educational institutions, provided by The Center for Campus Free Speech.
"In the 21st century countries that out educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow.” Thus spake President Obama in announcing that his administration would award a total of $4 billion to states demonstrating seriousness of commitment to education reform. Imagine that that tired mantra, some fifteen years after NAFTA and the outsourcing of the U.S. manufacturing, service, and information economies, is a proclamation still being rolled out as a constructive commentary on the state of education and pretext, in the name of reform, for ending its public character.
Todd Alan Price is Associate Professor of Educational Foundations and Inquiry at National-Louis University in Chicago, Illinois. He teaches in Illinois and in Wisconsin. In 2009 he was the Wisconsin Green Party candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. He is a Liberty Tree Associate.
Legal scholar and civil rights advocate Erwin Chemerinsky says there is. “There has to be a right to education in the Constitution,” he declares, “and equal protection is a Constitutional imperative.”
But according to Chemerinsky, this right has been fundamentally undermined by the Supreme Court. With the retirement of Justice David Souter, and the posible retirement in the next few years of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens, the role of the court in defending the right to education will be thrust into the national spotlight. What role might their replacements play in guaranteeing education to American children, and reversing the conservative momentum of the last three decades?
As Ohio education reformers aim ahead toward the new century and prosperity through remaking of the public school system, the Obama administration reform plan takes us back to the “choice,” “free market,” and “small government” mindset of the 1980s, of the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush:
Executive order 12803 issued by President George H. W. Bush, April 30, 1992: Sec. 3. Privatization initiative: To the extent permitted by law, the head of each executive department and agency shall undertake the following actions:
Todd Alan Price is author of The Myth and Reality of NCLB: Public Education and High Stakes Assessment. He is a Liberty Tree Associate.
On May 1, 2009, Michigan's Board of Education, like boards in most of the other states across the U.S., issued a resolution "recognizing that teachers are vital to the very fabric of our society" and declaring the week of May 4-8 Teacher Appreciation Week.
In Part II of this Counterpunch series, Liberty Tree Associate Todd Alan Price reports on his interviews with key players in the battle to which Ted Strickland has dedicated his governorship, to rebuild Ohio public education and stave off the charter phenomenon.