The Janus case is a blatantly political and well-funded plot to use the highest court in the land to further rig the economic rules against everyday working people. The billionaire CEOs and corporate interests behind this case, and the politicians who do their bidding, have teamed up to deliver yet another attack on working people by striking at the freedom to come together in strong unions. The forces behind this case know that by joining together in strong unions, working people are able to win the power and voice they need to level the economic and political playing field.
AFT Pennsylvania President Ted Kirsch released the following statement about the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision to hear the school funding equity case. In a news release, Kirsch called it a win for students, parents and the commonwealth. A Commonwealth Court had rejected the case by six school districts, parents and organizations. Read Ted's comments.
A mid-state senator plans to push a bill authorizing education savings accounts, which are the latest iteration of school tuition vouchers. AFTPA President Ted Kirsch released a statement opposing this failed privatization strategy. “Let’s not waste time going down this road again – when 20-years of research has shown privatization schemes such as these fail to raise student achievement," Kirsch said. "All students and communities deserve good, neighborhood public schools with the resources to address children’s needs. That’s where we should focus our attention and invest our tax dollars.”
AFT Pennsylvania opposes taxpayer-funded school vouchers, education scholarship tax credits (Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs), which are back-door vouchers that use tax breaks to subsidize private and parochial schools. Vouchers represent a false hope for a few children, while most vouchers/scholarships are used by students already attending private schools. Vouchers do not deliver better outcomes for students and leave fewer resources for public school programs that are proven to work.
The 2018 budget proposal released by the White House on March 16 "takes a meat cleaver to public education" and ignores promised investments in the types of skills, training and other vital family supports that Trump rode to the White House in 2016, AFT President Randi Weingarten says.
AFT Pennsylvania's Executive Council has approved a resolution opposing legislative efforts to eliminate school property taxes across the commonwealth. The resolution was approved unanimously by the Executive Council March 10. The property tax elimination bill has not been introduced yet.