Sunday 27th May 2018

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Critics Say Arizona Teacher Strike . . . Teaches More About Politics Than Pay Raises

May 8, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

PHOENIX — Leaders of a major walkout by Arizona public school teachers seeking pay raises actually were motivated by partisan political activism against Republicans.
That was the accusation voiced by some hosts and callers on widely heard conservative radio talk programs here as public schools around the state headed into a second week of closure as this hardcopy issue of The Wanderer went to press on May 3.
The walkout, which began on April 26, repeatedly drew large crowds of red-shirted protesters to the state capitol here as legislators worked to honor Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s recent pledge to raise teacher pay by a hefty 20 percent by 2020.
Teachers rewarded Ducey by walking out anyway. They dubbed their movement #RedForEd.
Replacing Ducey and other GOP state officials with Democratic Party candidates in this November’s elections was bruited as the motivating energy behind this activism.
NBC News reported on April 27 that Arizona Democratic gubernatorial hopeful David Garcia looked to the current climate as a warning to the GOP. NBC said:
“Pointing to the political climate that has given rise to movements across the country like the March for Our Lives protests and the #MeToo movement, Garcia thinks the education movement that has seen teachers walk out across the country is a sign to Republicans that come November there will be huge consequences.”
Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction, Republican Diane Douglas, futilely had asked the teachers not to go on walkout. In an April 20 statement that headlined Douglas “implores” teachers to reconsider their plans, the superintendent said:
“It’s an absolute shame that it has come to this, but now that we are all in this situation, I hope that the teachers and capitol leadership can rebuild trust and come together to resolve this matter as quickly as possible for the sake of our students.”
Douglas began her statement by saying, “I have long been a vocal proponent of providing teachers with significant pay raises.”
Some observers saw walkout parallels with large, angry demonstrations at the Wisconsin state capitol in 2011 against proposed limits on collective bargaining.
“The unions are trying to replace the DD’s,” one Phoenix talk host said, referring to Arizona Republicans Doug Ducey and Diane Douglas.
The free-market Goldwater Institute based here warned school districts that the walkout actually “constitutes an illegal strike,” but the Grand Canyon State’s largest daily paper, the leftist-tilted Arizona Republic, cheered it on.
All the way across the top of the big Sunday, April 29, Republic’s broadsheet-size front page, supposedly a news page, was the banner, “#Red4Ed: A grassroots civics lesson.” The headline didn’t attribute that inspirational civics-lesson description to someone else. It was the Republic’s own editorial judgment.
Organizers saw the protest grow “into a tsunami of grassroots activism, culminating in the largest teacher walkout in recent U.S. history, with more than 1,000 schools closed, and 850,000 students affected,” the Republic enthused.
The newspaper said the median pay for Arizona elementary school teachers is $44,990, according to data tracked by the non-profit Expect More Arizona organization.
This would mean that in a household with two such teachers, the income would be nearly $90,000, hardly a shabby sum in a relatively low-cost state like Arizona, where major expenses like homeownership may be only half that of neighboring California.
Phoenix-based KFYI radio news (550 AM) said the aim is to bring average teacher pay here up to $58,000.
James T. Harris, a KFYI talk host and former high school teacher in Wisconsin, brought a Badger State GOP legislator on the air to recall death threats against her during her state’s 2011 capitol tumult.
Although death threats weren’t in headlines here, the Arizona protesters’ determination to get their own way was a continuing theme, regardless of resulting disruptions.
Among the consequences, countless families had to arrange supervision for youngsters who weren’t in school, with nurses reportedly being asked to work extra shifts at hospitals because other nurses had to care for their unschooled children.
Even the Republic reported on May 2 that school closures were cutting off a major supply of donor blood for blood banks because, according to a blood-services spokeswoman, high school students are the biggest group of donors thanks to school drives.
With summer vacation just around the corner, one might ask why teachers were closing down school systems by their own absences now, instead of postponing their activism for a few more weeks. But that’s the answer: Disruption wouldn’t work if school is closed anyway and there’s nothing to disrupt.
Radio talk host Harris said on May 2 that protesters said legislators weren’t doing their jobs by failing to deliver the pay boost yet, but, Harris said, the truant teachers certainly weren’t doing their own jobs. “It’s hard to wrap your head around it,” he said.
In a letter dated April 27, the Goldwater Institute warned school district superintendents: “This week, your district unlawfully closed schools as part of a coordinated plan to allow public school employees to refuse to report for duty or to discharge their contractual obligations as district employees. Although dubbed a ‘walkout,’ this action constitutes an illegal strike.
“This letter is to inform you and all district employees that these acts are unlawful. If the district does not reopen and employees do not return to their duties, parents and students will have a legal cause of action against them,” wrote Goldwater’s vice president of litigation, Timothy Sandefur.
Because the Arizona constitution guarantees students the right to a public education, Sandefur wrote, “This unlawful strike — and the district’s efforts to aid or encourage it — are therefore not only a breach of contract, but an intentional effort to deprive Arizona students of their constitutional rights.”
Arizona law doesn’t permit public school employees to strike, he wrote, and the “refusal of public employees to honor the conditions of their employment contracts is a breach of contract, and a breach of contract constitutes insubordinate and unprofessional conduct under state law.”
Harris, the radio host, said on May 1 that a new group named Purple for Parents had formed to oppose #RedForEd and was “growing exponentially.”
“I sense that parents have had enough,” Harris said, warning the teachers, “You’re completely underestimating the animosity that is building against you. . . . I don’t think they understand” what parents are thinking.
Deep in a full-page story on #RedForEd on April 29, the Republic acknowledged the left-wing politics of some movement leaders that openly was being called socialist and Communist on local talk radio.
One of the most prominent leaders is 23-year-old Noah Karvelis, in his second year of teaching after moving to Arizona following university graduation in Illinois.
Karvelis had been a volunteer in the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and canvassed last year for Knock Every Door, the Republic admitted.
#KnockEveryDoor’s website (knockeverydoor.org) headlines “political revolution in your community” and laments “the disastrous 2016 election.”
The site says, “We help volunteers start door-to-door canvasses for candidates, issues or just to talk about what’s at stake in our communities after the election of Trump. The most important thing is for as many people as possible to get to work having the conversations necessary to build a majority of voters who will support economic and racial justice at election time.”
Had an important leader of a statewide strike turned out to have, say, a Tea Party background, one can be pretty sure the Republic repeatedly would characterize him as “controversial” and “divisive.” But it seemed to have taken talk radio to stir the newspaper’s reluctant interest in what’s behind people like Karvelis.
He also is, ahem, campaign manager for a Democratic candidate for Arizona superintendent of public instruction, Kathy Hoffman, the newspaper said.
Meanwhile, the Republic added, another prominent walkout figure, Joe Thomas, the president of the Arizona Education Association, had held a news conference to endorse David Garcia, that Democrat running for governor.
The newspaper named a few young activist teachers including Karvelis who moved to Arizona and still are picking up experience.
“More than one-fifth of 46,000 Arizona teachers in 2016-2017 were either in their first three years of teaching or lacked the basic qualifications, such as formal training,” the April 29 Republic said.
Two days after the strike began, The Wanderer, hoping to gather some quotations, stopped by the hotel where local Republican leaders were having an awards lunch on April 28.

Education Reform

Seth Leibsohn, co-host of Phoenix-based KKNT radio’s (960 AM) Seth and Chris Show, told The Wanderer, “The teachers asked for a substantial raise. They were given it. They need to learn to take yes for an answer.”
Now, Leibsohn said, “we need to get to the serious business of education reform.”
The #RedForEd leadership hasn’t done a good job of divorcing politics from policy, he said, adding that a distinction needs to be made between teachers and the #RedForEd movement.
Diane Hirsch, a retired nurse and precinct committeewoman, told The Wanderer that considering summer vacation is just around the corner, “To me, the timing is very strange for this walkout….
“I certainly would like the governor’s (teacher funding) plan to go forward. I have empathy for the teachers,” Hirsch said.
Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jeff Flake this year, said, “The only thing I could say is, I was sheriff for 24 years,” and whenever he gave a speech, “it was, ‘take care of our teachers’.”
Asked if he favored the strike, Arpaio replied, “How can I say? You have First Amendment rights.”
Another man urged Arpaio to step along for the GOP lunch before The Wanderer could pursue the thought as to whether expressing “free speech” through a strike conflicts with teachers’ contractual duties.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Speaker Ryan Proposes a Return to Catholic Social Doctrine at Prayer Breakfast

Washington, D.C. – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast Thursday about how he believed the answer to many of the political problems society faces today, including “moral relativism” and “tribalism,” can be found in Catholic…Continue Reading

Judge rules ‘transgender’ high-schooler should have been allowed opposite-sex bathroom

NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia, May 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A judge has ruled that a Virginia high school should have allowed a gender-confused former student to use the restrooms designated for the opposite sex. Gavin Grimm is a female Gloucester High School…Continue Reading

One of the most ‘liberal abortion regimes’ if vote passes

Ireland will have one of the most liberal abortion regimes in Europe if Friday’s referendum is passed, the No campaign warned during its final press conference on Wednesday. With the broadcasting ban set to come into force on the eve of the…Continue Reading

Pope asks for prayers for Catholics in China

Pope Francis has appealed to all Christians to be spiritually close to Catholics who live in China, and to pray they may live their faith in full communion with the Holy See. Speaking during the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope recalled…Continue Reading

Life is the ‘true source of America’s greatness,’ President Trump tells pro-life gala

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — President Donald Trump affirmed the importance of the right to life and called on pro-life voters to help secure it Tuesday night, in his keynote address at the Susan B. Anthony List’s 11th…Continue Reading

Bishop Schneider: Priests who ‘bless’ gay unions will answer for it on Judgement Day

May 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Clerics who “bless” homosexual unions are “reintroducing a kind of pagan temple prostitution,” which is “akin to apostasy,” Bishop Athanasius Schneider said in a newly-published interview addressing ongoing controversies and crises in the Catholic Church.…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Catholics must let Christ reign as King in face of ‘apostasy’ within Church

ROME, May 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholics must consciously place themselves under the “Kingship of Christ” in the face of enemies of the Church today attempting to “infiltrate the life of the Church herself and to corrupt the Bride of…Continue Reading

President Trump to cut Planned Parenthood funding

The Trump administration is announcing its intentions to cut a significant amount of taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses. The proposed regulation will also better protect victims of sexual assault, incest and rape because it will require that…Continue Reading

Bishop Tobin is right: the Catholic Church must stay true to itself

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, who is the Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, in the United States, has tweeted, and it is a mighty tweet, a gem amidst the dross and banality of Twitter. The Bishop has written:

Alfie Evans laid to rest today with no coroner’s investigation, no toxicology report

LONDON, May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The question of what caused the death of UK toddler Alfie Evans may never be known. The UK High Court refused today to order a post-mortem examination of the toddler’s remains at the request…Continue Reading

Google and Facebook Censor Pro-Life Free Speech Ahead of Ireland Vote to Legalize Abortion

This has been coming on in Ireland for months, really since the outlines of the wording for the May 25 referendum to gut protections for unborn children were released. Simon Harris, the Minister of Health, and others, committed to overturning…Continue Reading

Bill Nye the Science Guy Headlines Fundraiser for Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

Bill Nye “the Science Guy,” a man who became famous for teaching children about science, has anything but children’s best interests at heart. Nye is an abortion activist who spoke Tuesday at fundraiser for Planned Parenthood in Texas. San Antonio…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Ireland votes to legalize abortion: ‘a tragedy of historic proportions’

baby2

IRELAND, May 26, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Irish citizens voted to legalize abortion on Friday, ending Ireland’s legacy as one of the world’s most pro-life nations. The votes are still being officially counted, but the pro-abortion campaign is declaring victory and pro-lifers are calling this a “tragedy of historic proportions.” “The 8th amendment did not create a right to life for the unborn child – it merely acknowledged that such a right exists, h

Irish Times exit poll projects Ireland has voted by landslide to repeal Eighth Amendment

Ireland has voted by a landslide margin to change the constitution so that abortion can be legalised, according to an exit poll conducted for The Irish Times by Ipsos/MRBI. The poll suggests that the margin of victory for the Yes side in the referendum will be 68 per cent to 32 per cent – a stunning victory for the Yes side after a long and often divisive campaign

Voting underway on Ireland’s abortion referendum

Voting was underway in Ireland on Friday on a referendum that could legalize abortions in the country, which currently bans the practice except in rare cases when the mother’s life is in danger. The referendum in the largely Roman Catholic country will decide whether to repeal a constitutional amendment, in place since 1983, that protects the life of fetuses from the moment of conception. If citizens vote to repeal the amendment, new abortion laws would…Continue Reading

Ireland . . . Abortion referendum: Last call for campaigners as voting starts

Both Yes and No campaigns have been holding events in Dublin on Thursday as the two sides prepare for the final day of campaigning before voting. Both sides are making their final appeals to voters ahead of the moratorium on broadcast coverage, which begins on at 2pm on Thursday. The ballot boxes are open from 7am to 10pm across the country and the results will be counted on Saturday morning

Cardinal Sarah: Ordaining married men would be a ‘break’ with Apostolic Tradition

CHARTRES, France, May 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Ordaining married men to the Catholic priesthood would be a break with apostolic tradition, a leading Catholic prelate has said. Robert Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said that “serious consequences” would arise in the Church if she were to admit married men of sound reputation, or “viri probati” into the priesthood. The Cardinal, who is 72, made

Advertisement(2)

Can A Pope Change Moral Truth?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN (Editor’s Note: Please see commentary from The Wanderer on p. 4A.) + + + That joking retort we heard as children, “Is the Pope Catholic?” is starting to look like a serious question. Asked five years ago about a “gay lobby” in the Vatican, Pope Francis responded, “If a person is…Continue Reading

Teacher-Strike Movement . . . Looks Ahead To Using Experience Gained To Help Dems In November

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — It looked like one of those YouTube man-at-the-beach interviews by Mark Dice where random clueless passers-by don’t know what country Mt. Rushmore is located in, or where Donald Trump lives. But these particular questions were posed to red-clad protesters outside the Arizona State Capitol. They had answers, all right, but…Continue Reading

Laboratory Rats And Their Masters

By GEORGE A. KENDALL I recently heard a story which upset me more and more the longer I thought about it. It concerned a young man getting ready to go off to college. The young man’s father is a very successful executive, and his son has been accepted for admission to his father’s alma mater,…Continue Reading

In Defense Of An Ancient And Universal Tradition Of The Church

By JAMES MONTI On Sunday, June 3, here in the U.S., we will be observing the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. In other places this same feast will be celebrated on the preceding Thursday, the day of the week originally chosen by Pope Urban IV (+1265) for this commemoration of the Holy Eucharist in accord with…Continue Reading

Iraqi “Republic”: No Christian Converts

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. His column is distributed by Creators.com.) + + + The 2017 State Department report on human rights in Iraq, which was released last month, begins by unambiguously declaring: “Iraq is a constitutional parliamentary republic.” It says, “The outcome of the 2014…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ… The Sacrament Of Confession

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 30 Confession is certainly the most controversial of all sacraments that Christ instituted for our salvation, especially among Protestants of every denomination. The most common objection is, “Why should I confess my sins to a man just like me, and perhaps a worse sinner?” The objector misses the point completely, since Confession is not…Continue Reading

Blessed Are The Pure In Heart

By DON FIER In our treatment up until now of the eight Beatitudes, it has been demonstrated that the first three, in keeping with the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, are mainly associated with “flight from and deliverance from sin. The next two…are the beatitudes of the active life of a Christian who, freed from evil, engages in the pursuit…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Can you explain how the date for Easter is determined? It changes every year. — R.W., Massachusetts. A. Since the Council of Nicaea in 325, the date on which Easter falls is determined by the full moon. It is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon occurring after the vernal equinox, that is, the time of…Continue Reading

The Tenth Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum… “Any Experience Of Rupture Must Come To An End”

By ARCHBISHOP ALEXANDER K. SAMPLE (Editor’s Note: The Most Rev. Alexander Sample of the Archdiocese of Portland, Ore., gave this homily for the Pontifical High Mass at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., on April 28, 2018. (The occasion was a celebration of the tenth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter that…Continue Reading

The Oneness Of God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Solemnity Of The Most Holy Trinity (YR B) Readings: Deut. 4:32-34, 39-40 Romans 8:14-17 Matt. 28:16-20 In the first reading today, Moses addresses the people of Israel, challenging them to think about what they might believe about God and about themselves in relation to God. The problem for the Jewish people, having come out of Egypt,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Louis-Zéphirin Moreau

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the late 19th century the Canadians endured a crisis of education called the Manitoba question. Prelates, priests, politicians, and laity joined in both the private and the public debate that lasted for years. The Catholic Church was deeply divided over the question of the schools and letters crossed the Atlantic to and from Rome in efforts…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Ivan Merz

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord paid the laborers the same wage whether they worked from early morning or began in the afternoon. The rewards were the same (Matthew, chapter 20). So too are the rewards for serving the Lord with zeal and perseverance. St. Augustine, converting at the age of 33, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Francis of Assisi — all…Continue Reading