Friday, May 3, 2013

Democracy Works!

We live in a representative democracy. This means that while we do not get to vote on each individual law or regulation, we elect persons to represent us in making important laws and policies. Part of the process is the need for citizens to communicate with those elected representatives and tell them how we want them to vote. Finally this communication part of the system seems to be working much better this year than it did last year for educators.

HB 57 would have forced current educators to pay an additional 2% of their salary to help reduce the unfunded liability of the retirement system that was caused by underfunding by the legislature. It would have been an unfair tax on only some citizens (school employees) but not all others. That bill was voluntarily deferred by the author of the bill after he and the retirement committee members received hundreds upon hundreds of emails from school employees asking them to vote no on the bill. You did it! Once again you stopped a bad piece of legislation because you were willing to express your concerns to your representatives.
Congratulations! Keep it up.

Your next major democratic task, should you choose to continue to do your part in our democracy is to send more emails encouraging passage of several very important bills that will be voted on by your members of the House of Representatives as early as Monday next week. These are the good education bills approved by the House Education committee last week. They are:

HB 115 by Ted James: (Reverse Trigger) Allows parents to petition to require that under performing schools in the RSD go back to management by local school boards.

HB 466 by Havard: Stops the implementation of the new school grading system devised by Supt. White and stays with the present system.

HB 160 by Reynolds: Delays the punitive effects of the new COMPASS evaluation system for at least one year.

Please send an email to your State Representative (Not your Senator yet) and ask that he/she votes "yes" on each of these bills. The more emails they get the better. If you are not sure who your State Representative is, just click here and you will be taken to the legislative web site where you can enter your address to pull up the names and info. on your Representative. Click on the name to get his/her email address and then send an email with your recommendation. Be sure you point out that you live in her/his district. That's all there is to it. And you will feel good that you did your part for your profession. Send the emails now!
You may click on each bill number above to read the latest version of the bill or you can look at my blog post of April 19 to get additional clarification.

Keep it up. You are doing great!



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