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Why Aren’t Workers At Unions Eligible For Public Service Loan Forgiveness?

In 2007, the Bush-era Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, also known as 20 USC 1087e (m)(1). The premise of the program was simple: student loan borrowers who made their payments would have any remaining educational debts forgiven after 10 years of public service. Through PSLF, lawmakers and advocates intended to make public service a viable option for more borrowers, including graduates carrying large student loan balances. Unfortunately, this intention has not been realized for most borrowers or PSLF participants. Rife with exclusions and plagued by a history of poor communication and logistical failures, PSLF has historically approved very few borrowers for loan forgiveness even though many have applied.

Supporting Native American Students In Higher Education

In 2019, 25% of Native Americans over the age of 25 had an associate degree or higher. When compared to 42% of all those over the age of 25, the gap is evident. Coupled with challenges that many Native higher education students face — including financial instability, the need for support in more ways than one is apparent. From the research done on the matter to the strides made in tuition assistance and how institutions of higher education can go the extra mile in creating a more inclusive academic environment, here’s what you should know. With regard to Native Americans and higher education data, one Forbes article notes that “Only 36.2% of Indigenous students entering four-year institutions of higher education in 2014 completed their degrees in six years, as compared to 60% of all other undergraduate students in  the U.S.” While this highlights the fact that the matter isn’t a new issue, understanding the challenges behind low enrolment or graduation can largely be found in financial matters, according to newer research.

Protests Against Imposing Israeli Curriculum At Palestinian Schools

Families of Palestinian students at Al Iman schools in occupied Jerusalem organised a protest on Sunday against Israel's imposition of its curriculum on Palestinian schools. The families said during the protest that the Israeli occupation distorts Palestinian textbooks. "It erases the Palestinian identity from the Palestinian curriculum," the families said. At the same time, they raised placards during the protest which was organised in front of Israeli municipality of Beit Hanina, reading: "We reject Israeli textbooks." On 28 July, Israeli Minister of Education Yifat Shasha-Biton revoked the permanent operating licenses of the six Al Iman schools in East Jerusalem under the pretext that their curricula contain "dangerous incitement" against the Israeli government and army.

Seattle Teachers End Week-Long Strike

Seattle, Washington - Six thousand Seattle educators walked out on strike September 7, which would have been the first day of school. The top issue was the district’s proposal—disguised in social justice language—to end student-teacher ratios for many categories of special education. Also key were struggles over class size, cuts to services, and wages, especially for substitutes and paraprofessionals, who often work most closely with students with disabilities. Late in the day September 12 the bargaining teams announced a tentative agreement, but provided only a summary to members. On September 13, after eight hours of meeting on Zoom, members voted 57 to 43 percent to suspend the strike, even though they still hadn't seen the entire deal. They had voted before the strike to stay out until members approved a contract.

The Strike That Started The Red Wave

In 2012, I joined thousands of my fellow public school teachers in Chicago and walked off the job. After facing 30 years of corporate education “reform” that demonized teachers and led to massive privatization of public schools across the United States, teachers everywhere were ready to fight back. For many of us in Chicago, ahead of the 2012 strike, political developments had shown a range of possibilities for what that fighting back could look like. We had watched intently as protesters took over plazas in Tahrir Square to demand the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, as well as the crowds occupying the Wisconsin statehouse to oppose Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-union Act 10.

Ten Years Ago, Chicago Teachers Gave Us All A Jolt Of Hope

If you feel like your union needs a jump-start—whether you’re a longtime shop steward or just started your first union job—this book is for you. The impulse you have (“This union could be stronger and better, and I want to help change it”) makes you part of a long tradition—what we at Labor Notes affectionately call the trouble-making wing of the labor movement. One basic principle unites us troublemakers. We believe democracy, meaning broad member participation at every level of the union, is the heart of union power. The Chicago Teachers Union’s 2012 strike didn’t just put the union on the map; it gave a jolt of hope to the whole labor movement.

Teachers In The Ridgefield School District Go On Strike

Ridgefield, Washington - Ridgefield teachers went on strike Friday after negotiators failed to reach an agreement with the Ridgefield School District on a new contract at a bargaining session Thursday night. “We're not doing this for just more money, we're not doing this because we're greedy, we're not doing this because we're lazy, we are doing this because we want to make a difference for our kids," said Joe Thayer a teacher with the Ridgefield School District. "I don't think what we're asking for is too much. I think that those issues are things that every parent and every family and every teacher could get behind. And I wish the all district leader ship was behind those also.”

6,000 Seattle Teachers And Support Staff Strike

Six thousand teachers and support staff in Seattle, Washington began a strike this morning, cancelling the first day of classes for 50,000 students in the state’s largest school district. The walkout followed a 95 percent vote by teachers, paraprofessionals and office workers to authorize strike action. The Seattle Education Association (SEA) did everything it could to reach a last-minute deal but was unable to prevent a strike. Union officials have pledged to continue talks to reach an agreement to bring teachers “back to the classrooms as fast as possible.” The union also dropped its initial opposition to the district’s demands for the intervention of a mediator.

Our Business Schools Have A Blindspot

Tranby is an Indigenous adult education school in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Glebe. Founded in 1957, its graduates include Eddie Mabo, who went on to win the most significant land rights legal battle in Australian history – overturning the fiction of terra nullius. What makes Tranby special is not just being Australia’s oldest not-for-profit independent Indigenous education provider. It is the type of education it provides – teaching the skills needed to manage organisations and communities democratically. It teaches co-operation, and the skills to run co-operative organisations. This makes it a rarity in business education.

Exploring Alternative Schools In Southeast Asia

Marginalized communities and their ability to organize themselves towards a common goal would attest that even amid multiple crises, they can cultivate notable practices that produce and reproduce transformative pedagogies, especially for the young generation of learners. These four (4) cases from Southeast Asia provide a material foundation for dynamic learning processes that amplify the central role of communities in developing emancipatory pedagogies attuned to their situation, context, culture, histories, and capacities. Their ground-based undertakings dare to challenge the mainstream educational paradigm extremely influenced by market and capital.

Peace Literacy: Education For Life

Philadelphia is awash in guns: More people were shot there in 2022, hundreds fatally, than in larger cities including New York and Los Angeles.  In this “country’s poorest big city,” most shootings take place in neighborhoods shattered by multiple forms of racial discrimination and endemic poverty. The market in legal gun sales is also booming in Philadelphia, the culture of fear driving citizens to carry guns for safety.  Further complicating solutions is the disagreement between the progressive district attorney and the chief of police over models of crime enforcement in the city On the other side of our country, a miraculous alternative to the seeming nihilism of West and North Philadelphia neighborhoods breeds hope.

Biden’s Student Loan Scam

The Biden administration announcement of so-called student loan debt relief does little to alleviate the problem it claims to solve. Forgiving $20,000 for Pell grant holders and $10,000 for all who earn less than $125,000 is questionable for a variety of reasons. It is a midterm election bait and switch that pleases gullible democrats, helps only a minority of borrowers, and is nothing like what candidate Biden proposed during the 2020 campaign. Americans owe $1.7 trillion in student loan debt. This crisis did not occur by happenstance. Universities did not escape the neoliberal onslaught and are fund raising machines charging astronomical amounts of money for tuition and room and board.

SEIU Colludes With Columbia To Push Through Contract For Staff

Dining, clerical, and technical staff at Columbia University, unionized with SEIU 1199, are waging a “Vote No” campaign after their union leaders agreed to an unacceptable tentative agreement. The proposed contract offers only three-percent raises per year, when inflation is hovering around nine percent — an effective pay cut. Library officers who supervise some of these workers are receiving raises of six percent, which is also far too low. This is the result of closed-door bargaining divorced from the rank and file. Rank-and-file volunteers were recruited to serve as contract captains back in June, but were routinely excluded from the negotiations.

Teachers Union In Ohio Went On Strike For Students—And Won

Columbus, Ohio - Students, teachers, and support staff in Ohio's largest school district returned to the classroom on Monday after the Columbus Education Association won a new contract and ended its weeklong strike. Gathered at the local minor league ballpark on Sunday, CEA members voted 71% to 29% to approve a three-year contract with Columbus City Schools that satisfies most of the union's demands, which revolved around improving students' learning environments and opportunities. "We are so excited to get back to where we belong—our classrooms—doing what we do best: educating our students and shaping the future of our great city," CEA spokesperson Regina Fuentes said at a press conference.

Organizers Have Fought For Debt Cancellation For Over A Decade

Following over a decade of activism against the United States’ massive student debt crisis, President Biden announced a plan on Wednesday to cancel a significant amount of student loan debt for tens of millions of low and middle-income Americans. Many organizers, whose work made the announcement possible, have viewed the news as a major victory for their movement. However, they also see it as just a small first step in a country where many borrowers — especially Black and Brown borrowers — are saddled with far deeper debts, and the root causes of educational inequity remain largely unaddressed. “This $10,000 further marginalizes the already most-marginalized,” said Dr. Richelle Brooks, a member of the Debt Collective and founder of ReTHINK It, who currently owes $240,000 in student loan debt.
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