From the NEA Representative Assembly – first post

We’re about to begin the third day of the NEA’s Representative Assembly(RA) And meetings for each of the state caucuses began earlier on July 1, so it’s a little late to be putting up Post #1.  I’ve been very busy getting support for a motion —   here called a New Business Item — qualified for consideration by the RA. I’m going to begin catching up by sharing the wording of the NBI as it was first submitted, before a slight modification.  (The thrilling story of the modification will come later.)  The language of the NBI appears first and then the rationale; you’re allowed a maximum of 40 words for the rationale.   Here it is:

NEA will launch a massive media campaign this summer and fall, paving the way for a 48-hour locally-initiated, nationally-coordinated political strike and teach-in at strike schools in January 2010. The media campaign will use NEA publications and target mainstream national media. The strike will occur just before the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., who called for moving beyond reforms won “at bargain basement rates for the power structure” and who was killed while organizing a direct action campaign to “create the crisis that will force the nation” to end poverty.

The message of the media campaign, the focus of the teach-in, and the demands of the strike will be as follows:

  • full funding for equal, quality education — including substantial class size reduction and other steps needed to achieve this goal — at corporate expense
  • redirection of the multi-trillion dollar corporate bailout to support students and working people with money for schools, health care, housing, pensions, and other human needs
  • an end to funding cuts and other attacks on public education, including federal and state policies continuing to punish students, close public schools, and promote charters/privatization.

Rationale:

Real school reform requires trillions to transform educational conditions, trillions handed to corporations instead. Only the direct power of educators, students, and working people outraged by this injustice can win equal, quality education. We must not waste this historic opportunity.

That’s it for now. Time to go to the California Caucus, an intimate gathering of about 1000, which meets at 7 am every morning. I’m late!  I’ll post again soon about what the response NBI has received.

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