Jed Burnham, president of the San Bruno Education Association.
Meg Whitman’s plan to “fix California’s schools” would put our students and schools in a really big fix. Here is a short summary of the dangers she poses to public education and all public employee union workers:
MORE EDUCATION CUTS: Her plan to cut $15 billion from the state budget could mean gutting education funding by another $7 billion. Our schools are already reeling from $17 billion in cuts over the past two years. TV stations airing a CTA ad exposing her budget plan were threatened with lawsuits by Whitman’s lawyers.
MORE JOB CUTS: She is calling for reducing the state’s thin public employee workforce by another 40,000.
MERIT PAY: She backs it for teachers — and the using of unreliable standardized test scores to cut the checks.
MANDATORY CHARTERS: Instead of giving our schools of greatest need the resources they must have to succeed, Whitman will force them to convert to charter schools, which she sees as a panacea for the situation.
SHAMING SCHOOLS: She prefers to stigmatize struggling schools by imposing A-F letter grades based on test scores on all campuses.
RETIREMENT ATTACKS: Her mandatory two-tier retirement system for new employees would dump secure defined-benefit pension plans for shaky 401(k) plans subject to the whims of Wall Street.
SILENCING UNIONS: To muzzle the political power of CTA members and all public employee unions, she backs anti-union “paycheck protection” proposals that would silence the voices of union members who must be heard in Sacramento.