Thursday, August 18, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: What Your Back-To-School List Reveals About Our Underfunded Schools


...back to school supply lists are likely longer than ever before due to the simple reason that schools increasingly don’t have the funds to pay for items on the list. And because of persistently inadequate budgets that continue to dog our schools, you can be sure the longer your shopping list, the worse the funding situation is throughout your child’s school system. Not only are school stockrooms increasingly bare of supplies, but teachers aren’t being adequately paid, class sizes are ballooning, programs are being cut and school buildings increasingly forego required maintenance.


Clinton risks winning without a mandate. W. Post’s Stu Rothenberg: “Part of Clinton’s goal over the next two months ought to be to create the impression that her agenda is her appeal. Only then could she credibly make the argument that the election was an ideological referendum that would fuel her presidential agenda.”
Split over launching new “public option” fight. The Hill: “Long-time ‘public option’ supporters like Sanders believe Aetna’s decision to flee the ObamaCare marketplaces this week proves what they’ve been saying all along: that the time has come for a new government-run healthcare plan in the United States. But on Capitol Hill, Democrats think a fight over a ‘public option’ is nearly impossible to win, regardless of how the November election shakes out.”
Canada is a model for expanding Social Security. American Prospect: “On June 20, Canada’s federal and provincial governments agreed to expand what’s known as the Canadian Pension Plan … the government also approved a 10 percent increase in the Guaranteed Income Supplement [for] single, low-income seniors … The government will pay for the increase by increasing employer and employee contributions …”
Sanders adviser Larry Cohen discuss TPP strategy with Mother Jones: “Only once can TPP be sent to Congress by any president. If it is sent before the election, it’s really gonna get attacked. Anyone who is in a vulnerable district, that issue is gonna go way to the top. The White House could send it after the election but they are not even guaranteed the vote. So they are caught here. They can’t send it unless they think they have the best chance they possibly have to pass it. That’s why you have [House Speaker Paul] Ryan doubting it for lame duck.”


SEIU President Mary Kay Henry explains the next steps for the Fight for $15 movement, in American Prospect interview: “We are gonna organize and shine a light on the gross racial disparities. In the case of Alabama, we’re linking arms with Reverend Barber and will do joint actions in state capitals to shine a light on the [minimum wage law] preemption and that the Alabama state legislature made a decision to block money going into the pockets of the residents of Birmingham from their duly elected city council—and that’s wrong. So we’re going to use legal action, we’re going to take direct action, and we’re going to keep organizing.”
Anti-union campaign adopts grassroots strategy. WSJ: “… the Freedom Foundation has been at the vanguard of an emerging effort to undercut public-sector unions by depriving them of dues-paying members one at a time … In Washington and Oregon, its home territory, as many as 100 activists work to tell thousands of individuals in the home health-care and child-care businesses … that they can save as much as $600 a year by voluntarily leaving their labor unions … [It] has knocked on the doors of about 15,000 home health-care and child-care workers out of about 50,000 overall in Washington state since July 2014.”


Sluggish economy could weaken state budgets. The Hill: “Budget analysts say states generally expect a 5 percent annual growth rate in their tax revenues. But the National Association of State Budget Officers, a nonpartisan group, said early indications showed total general fund tax collections rose only 2.3 percent in the last fiscal year…”
New "scare" campaign from "Fix the Debt" uncovered by's Richard Eskow: “The money behind the latest scare campaign – “How Old Will You Be When Social Security’s Funds Run Out?” – also funds a TV ad that shows jobs, teachers, and roads and bridges vanishing, supposedly because the national debt wasn’t brought under control. That’s pretty cynical, since their own ideas have led to lost jobs, teacher layoffs, and a lack of funds to repair roads and bridges.”

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