Roundup: Supreme Court Hears Teachers Union Case

Supreme Court Case Could Weaken Government Workers Unions AP: While half the states already have right-to-work laws banning mandatory fees, most members of public-employee unions are concentrated in more liberal-leaning states that don’t, including California, New York and Illinois.

Conservative group nears big payoff in Supreme Court case Politico: The conservative Bradley Foundation has spent millions over three decades to smash labor unions. Now an investment that could barely buy a house in Washington may bring it closer to that goal than ever before. The vehicle is a Supreme Court case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, to bar public employee unions from compelling payments from nonmembers.

CTU allies benefit from newly enriched union foundation Chicago Sun Times: Although most of the foundation’s grants were doled out locally, one of the biggest recipients — getting a total of $200,000 — is the Arizona-based Network for Public Education. The network’s co-founder and board president is Diane Ravitch, a New York University professor and nationally prominent blogger who has supported CTU in its battles with City Hall.

Detroit braces for ‘sickout’ by teachers frustrated by class sizes and conditions The Guardian:  A ‘substantial’ number of educators are expected to be absent from at least 40 schools in a district facing financial calamity with liabilities of $3.5bn

Gaps in preschool access largest for Latino kids KPCC LA: Kim Pattillo Brownson, director of educational equity at the Advancement Project, said only 41 percent of all kids countywide have access to licensed childcare seat. Since two thirds of all children under 5 in the county are Latino, even if seats were distributed equitably, Latino children would still miss out at higher rates than their counterparts.

Will California’s booming economy pay off in pupil spending? AP: Soaring tax revenues have carried per-pupil education spending in California beyond where it stood before the Great Recession. But advocates and education officials say the record sum proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown is unlikely to reverse the state’s standing as a comparative miser when it comes to investing in public schools.

Principals’ Union Says Mayor de Blasio Has Lost Focus on Students NYT: The union’s president blames micromanagement from the top, with conflicting orders and too many school staff members being overwhelmed with paperwork and meetings.

A ‘no-nonsense’ classroom where teachers don’t say ‘please’ NPR: The center has worked with more than 250 schools across the country since 2009. Many of those are charter schools, but some are traditional public schools in places like Denver and Cleveland. All of them have similar populations: students from low-income families, many of them black and Hispanic. Nine of those schools are in Charlotte.

L.A. schools insider and an outsider emerge as favorites to lead the district LA Times: As the Los Angeles Board of Education closes in on choosing a new leader, attention appears to be focused on two candidates: Deputy Supt. Michelle King, an LAUSD insider, and Kelvin Adams, a superintendent from St. Louis.

Montgomery schools superintendent could be selected as soon as March Washington Post: School board members say they are pleased with the pool of candidates for the district’s top job.

Alexander Russo

Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at alexanderrusso@gmail.com.