|Back to Aug. Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 163||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||AUGUST 1999|
Chase praised the Florida Teaching Profession-NEA for its fight against the voucher law. The NEA affiliate joined the Florida Coalition for Public Schools, which also includes the ACLU, the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, the AFT, and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, in filing a lawsuit against the voucher program.
Chase charged that the marketplace "bombards youth with violent images, preys on them commercially, exploits them sexually, and at every turn, throws acid on their innocence." He quoted Harvard divinity professor Harvey Cox, who said "the market is becoming more like the Yahweh of the Old Testament, the Supreme Deity . . . whose reign must now be universally accepted . . ."
"And I would add," Chase expounded, "we all know this market god will stop at nothing in the name of money. Yes, the market is eager to grab hold of the public schools. It would love to do to teachers what it did to HMO doctors: turn us into profit centers, profit maximizers."
Antonucci reports that, when the applause died down after Chase's remarks, union Vice President Reg Weaver "resumed the business at hand by reminding delegates of the 'big giveaway' to benefit NEA's political action committee." Antonucci notes that, in past years, the raffle has included prizes such as new cars and vacations. "The irony was hot, but no one seemed inclined to strike," he observed.
While convention delegates offered suggestions for curbing school violence that included hiring more counselors and teachers "so we can make each kid feel important," Mr. Chase announced a program whereby "1,000 school districts will receive free satellite dishes and air time for original programming designed to help school personnel set up school security measures." The NEA resolution labeled "Freedom of Religion," however, which opposes "the imposition of sectarian practices in the public school program," including "a moment of silence" during the school day, was not rescinded. (See Resolution I-27, page 4.)
NEA Election Victories
Other resolutions call for school courses in multiculturalism, global education, career and vocational education, family life education, sex education, HIV/AIDS education, environmental education, conflict resolution education, and labor movement education.