Today at 4:30 p.m. ET, Bluegrass Institute education analyst Richard Innes will be on WLAP to discuss the recent controversy about Common Core State Standards.
You can listen live here.
Bluegrass Institute joins groups in 30 states in national campaign to promote employee freedom
(Lexington, KY )– Today, the Bluegrass Institute announced its participation in National Employee Freedom Week, a first-of-its-kind national campaign to remind union members about the freedom they have to leave their unions.
National Employee Freedom Week (NEFW) is June 23-29 and will highlight how unionized employees often don’t know that they have the legal right to opt-out of union membership. It also will help educate those employees on their options so they can make decisions about union membership that best fit their employment needs.
NEFW is a national campaign with 40 partner organizations in 30 states across the nation.
The Bluegrass Institute will celebrate NEFW by conducting outreach efforts that include providing generic opt-out letters and highlighting alternatives to union membership.
The Bluegrass Institute will also release the results of a poll of union households in Kentucky showing a startlingly high percentage of union members are interested in leaving their unions. This information will be released on Monday, June 24.
“Workers need to understand their individual freedoms when employed,” said Stephan F. Gohmann, Ph.D., BB&T Distinguished Professor in Free Enterprise at the University of Louisville and a member of the Bluegrass Institute Board of Scholars. “Individual liberty is an important concept that can be applied to the work environment as workers choose to opt out of their union membership and stand as individuals.”
The number of organizations participating in National Employee Freedom Week is expected to increase in the coming weeks.More information is available at http://EmployeeFreedomWeek.
Recently, I was a panelist on KET’s “Kentucky Tonight” program about the commonwealth’s public-pension crisis.
Much of the discussion reminded me of an annoying rhetorical tactic generally reserved for parrots, but often employed by cheerleaders for bigger, more -costly government: repeating the same nonsense over and over until viewers cave to the pure monotony.
For instance, liberals squawk that the state’s $31 billion in unfunded pension liabilities is not a public-pension issue at all, but rather a matter of deficient funding. In fact, one fellow “Kentucky Tonight” panelist spouted the need for “revenue enhancement” – code language for “tax increase” – no less than five separate times on the same program.
Never mind the fact that the Federation of Tax Administrators report that Kentucky ranks No. 13 in the nation for tax burden as a percentage of personal income, and No. 9 for spending as a percentage of Gross State Product. Some believe that if Frankfort would only remove even more resources from (raise taxes on) the private sector, all of our public-pension woes would be solved.
There is no shortage of discussion about this highly restrictive contract
I ran into Donna Hargens, the superintendent of the Jefferson County Public School District at yesterday’s meeting of the Kentucky Board of Education. I wished her well as she starts what could be the most important teacher’s contract negotiation in Jefferson County Schools’ history.
To be sure, problems created in the current contract are significant.
Learn about some of those problems from audio and video recordings available in the “It’s Time To Put Kids First” web site.
For example, you can listen to our good BIPPS friend Mandy Connell from WHAS radio in a 30-minute interview with Labor Relations Attorney Peter Janus. Mandy and Mr. Janus do a nice job outlining much of the crazy, adults-before-kids stuff in the current Jefferson County Teachers’ Union contract. They discuss how this short-changes students and creates a more parent-hostile school system, as well.
Other posts allow you to play a radio ad about the union issues from It’s Time To Put Kids First.
There is even a video that I shot of Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday discussing problems in Jefferson County.
Longtime state Rep. Bob Heleringer does an adequate job of delineating some of the problems facing Kentucky’s horse racing industry, but he flounders at the finish line.
Heleringer claims Kentucky’s racetracks suffer because of an “abject failure of political leadership,” and that the answer is in electing a “dynamic, passionate” governor in 2015 “who will not tolerate the current anemic, deteriorating status quo, but will elevate racing to an even higher level of national and, yes, international prominence.
I do agree that we need a “dynamic, passionate” leader — dynamic about reforming a corrupt, bloated government and passionate about creating the kind of environment that promotes “free markets for free people” policies.
Such an approach could even revive our horse-racing industry in a way that puts it on solid footing for the future.
Meanwhile, Kentucky Board of Education reaffirms commitment to Common Core
National Review on Line is reporting that “Michigan Delays Common Core Implementation.”
So, Michigan has joined Pennsylvania and Indiana in placing holds on their Common Core adoption processes.
I am also seeing reports that Wisconsin is getting ready to place some sort of restrictions on its Common Core process, as well.
Meanwhile, here in Kentucky the state board of education today reaffirmed its commitment to the Common Core State Standards by passing a resolution of support of the state’s incorporation of the standards, now called the “Kentucky Core Content Standards.”
The Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions works with Kentuckians, pro-liberty coalitions, grassroots organizations and business owners to advance freedom and prosperity by promoting free-market capitalism, individual liberty and transparent government. Join Us