Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Senate Finance Committee Meets Today

The Senate Finance Committee meets today at 3:00 to discuss the tuition tax credit and deduction bill. Please take a moment to call and encourage them to vote against this bill. Please follow this link for contact information: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/committeeinfo/senatefinance.php

Friday, May 25, 2012

Teachers, What Can You Do? Patrick Hayes Suggests Calling These Representatives

Our success in getting Amendment 49 passed in the Senate did not surprise me.  I knew we had it in us!
What surprised me was how much fun it was.  I dread talking to strangers on the phone.  I double- dread asking for things.  But this was different. 
First off, they hire really nice people to answer the phones at the Statehouse.  Second, these are very simple conversations.  Most of the time, you’re just leaving a message.  Nobody is going to engage you in a debate. 
Finally, it just felt good to say what needed to be said.  The fact that they heard it makes it that much sweeter.
Like I said, I don't like asking for things, but I need to ask you to do it again. 
Amendment 49 heads to the House of Representatives next week. 
We need to tell them what we told the Senate: "Many teachers have not been paid their full salaries in four years.  Budget Amendment 49 needs to pass, and we will be voting this issue in November."
I'll be calling 124 House members.  Can you call four?
Here are the four Representatives I need you to call:

1)      Your Rep
Click here to find out who that is (bottom left) and here to find their contact info (click on their name). 
Remember, if you see a home or office number, they’ve chosen to list it.  Use it.  They will not be in their Columbia office again until Tuesday.  Tell them you are a constituent, and you will vote this issue. 

2)      Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell

Statehouse (803) 734-3125
Home Phone (843) 556-9075
Business Phone (843) 766-5533
3) House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham

Statehouse (803) 734-3138
Home (803) 796-3582
Business (803) 796-9300

4) Chairman of House Ways and Means, W. Brian White

Statehouse (803) 734-3144
Home (864) 260-4025

For several thousand of you, #1 and 2 are the same person.  That’s a very good thing.  It’s also cheating! :)Call somebody in the Upstate, too.  We’re still growing up there.

If you’re getting this email over the weekend, go ahead and leave a voicemail.  Please try to follow up again on Tuesday.

Speaking of my Charleston friends, don’t forget the Charleston County School Board meeting on Tuesday, May 29th.  The meeting starts at 5:15, but I don’t think you’ll need to be there that early.  I’ll send you a better estimate when they post the agenda. 
Your standing ovations made a big impact at the last meeting.  Let’s dig deep and find another one for Dr. McGinley when she presents her proposal to give teachers a 2-step increase and a 2% raise.

Thank you everyone!  Let’s finish the job!
Best regards,
Patrick Hayes
Restore Teacher Salaries

Coverage of Changing Texas Schools Ignores the Racist Elephant in the Room

Coverage of Changing Texas Schools Ignores the Racist Elephant in the Room

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What is NCTQ? « Diane Ravitch's blog

What is NCTQ? « Diane Ravitch's blog

Patrick Hayes: Restore Teacher Salaries Update

Patrick Hayes is a teacher in Charleston working on getting teaches' salaries increased/restored. Here is his latest update:

I called on you to act.
You called on them to act.
We made things better.

Two weeks ago, the Senate Finance Committee budgeted a 2% raise for teachers while offering other state workers 3% and 5%.
At the end of a week of overwhelming pressure from you, the Senate approved a budget amendment giving teachers a 2% raise AND requiring districts to add a year’s experience credit (2%)to their salaries.
Tens of thousands of teachers could see a 4% raise next year, after years of broken promises.
It’s not close to perfect. There is fine print. It still needs to survive reconciliation with the House and the veto pen.
It beats the stuffing out of, "Take 2% and like it."
For years, I wrote letters and called legislators on my own. They never had any impact. What a difference 9,000 friends make. Thank you so much!

Here’s another gem the Senate passed after 4 months of your emails, phone calls, and petitions:
70.29. (LEG: Teacher Salary Study Committee)…The committee shall examine the
current teacher salary schedule... The committee
will examine potential changes to the salary schedule that may include
a pay for performance model, step increases, frozen salary schedules,
National Board Certification Incentive, or anything else related to
teacher salaries…No later than December 1, 2012, the committee shall prepare and
deliver a report...
Many people assume that this petition represents 9,000 teachers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We have broad community support, because there is a majority in SC that has been silent for too long, a majority that wants to see our schools reprioritized.
We’ve made a wonderful beginning. Thank you all so much for your hard work.

Best regards,
Patrick Hayes
Restore Teacher Salaries

I am especially heartened to see that Amendment 49 was sponsored by Sen. Hayes (R-York), Sen. Setzler (D-Lexington), and Sen. Matthews (D-Orangeburg).
This bipartisan group shows that education issues belong to all of us. Thank you Senators! Please remember those names in November.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Candidate Debate - May 21st - Dorman High

Teacher Forums of Spartanburg County will be hosting a candidate debate on Monday, May 21st at the Dorman High gymnasium at 7:00 p.m. All candidates running for state office (Greenville and Spartanburg) have been invited to participate.