Walkout and speak up: Students and teachers take on gun violence & austerity budgets

Can students and teachers change the story on gun violence and school cutbacks? One month after the school massacre in Parkland, Florida, students across the country and throughout wintry Vermont walked out of class to demand new gun safety laws. Student activist Hazel MacMillan, a junior at Harwood Union High School in Moretown, Vt., speaks to us from the Vermont State House about student-led efforts to press for stricter gun safety laws and where the movement goes from here. And Vermont NEA president Martha Allen reacts to Pres. Trump’s demand to arm teachers, and how educators are resisting school cutbacks. (March 14, 2018 broadcast)

Hazel MacMillan, student activist & junior, Harwood Union High School, Vt. 

Martha Allen, president, Vermont National Education Association

Vt. veto session politics: Killing pot, attacking teachers

This spring, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott vetoed the state budget after the legislature rebuffed his last minute demand for the state to to strip local school boards of the right to collectively bargaining health care benefits with teachers. Scott also vetoed the Legislature’s marijuana legalization bill. The standoff over these issues forced the Legislature to stay in session two weeks longer than anticipated and required a one-day veto session last week. The result? Scott signed a budget almost identical to the budget he vetoed. The budget includes penalties for school districts that may result in property tax hikes. No deal was struck to legalize marijuana. Advocates discuss the politics of the veto session. (June 28, 2017 broadcast)

Dave Silberman, Middlebury lawyer and pro bono drug policy reform advocate

Darren Allen, communications director, Vermont NEA

 

Who is behind the national campaign to weaken unions?

As Vermont Gov. Phil Scott attempts to assert state control over collective bargaining with teachers over their health benefits, we examine the national network of conservative organizations that is backing statewide efforts to weaken unions. A new expose shows how the Bradley Foundation, the Koch Brothers, and the American Legislative Exchange Council are behind national anti-union efforts and are leading a campaign to flip blue states red. (May 10, 2017 broadcast)

Mary Bottari, Deputy Director, Center for Media and Democracy

Is Vermont the next anti-union state?

In his first few months in office, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott has attempted to level fund K-12 education and weaken teachers’ collective bargaining power. Scott’s moves have elements in common with the strategy of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and other Republican governors who have launched bitter fights with public sector unions. We explore whether Vermont is part of a national campaign to undermine unions. “Take this fight seriously and unite and push back harder than you’ve every pushed back before,” warns Wisconsin union leader Amy Mizialko. (May 10, 2017 broadcast)

Martha Allen, president, Vermont chapter, National Education Association

Amy Mizialko, vice president, Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association

Transcription available here.