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Continued Growing Support For Public Schools By Parents In Newest Poll

Parents Agree: We Need More Investment In Public Schools Not More “Choice”

Today, the American Federation of Teachers released the results of a new nationwide poll of parents that shows growing support for expanding public schools. The poll also shows that parents want to see more investment in local public schools over more “choice” in schools.

The survey, conducted by Hart Research Associates for the AFT, consisted of interviews with 1,200 public school parents in major U.S. cities including Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego and San Francisco.

“We wanted to know what parents are thinking,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten in a recent phone interview unveiling the poll. “These results match what I hear from parents and communities across the country.”

Weingarten continued, “There is zero ambiguity when it comes to what parents want for their children’s education: safe and welcoming, well-funded neighborhood public schools that help children develop their knowledge and skills and ensure equal opportunity for all kids. Parents deeply support the public schools their children attend and are happy with the job public schools are doing. And while we will never be satisfied until every public school is a place parents want to send their children, educators want to work, and kids are engaged and happy, these results confirm the sentiment we’ve seen in other recent polls that show support for public education continuing to rise.”

Parents believe in public schools. 73% of the parents polled stated that the public school their child attends provides them with a “good-to-excellent education.” Only 7% of the parents rated their schools as “not-so-good to poor.”

A good education system is the foundation for a strong economy and a healthy society. Parents understand that a strong educational foundation is the best way help their children succeed. The majority of parents polled agreed that, “public schools do more to expand opportunities for low income and minority students.” That is also why 79% of parents believe that their public school is helping their child to “reach their full potential.”

Over the past few decades, public schools have come under attack. Opponents use national standardized tests as the baseline for how well a school is functioning. Schools that did not preform well in these tests, see their budgets decreased and programs cut, which leads to lower test scores and poor performance in successive years.

The use of standardized testing has become the major driving factor in educational reform conversations.   However parents disagree with this notion. 61% of parents believe that “too much emphasis” is being placed on the results of standardized testing.

What is really concerning to parents is cuts to school budgets, increases in class sizes, and cuts to teachers and staff.

Contrary to what many right-wing politicians tell you, parents do not want more “choice” or “vouchers” to send children to private schools. Only 20% of the parents surveyed said we should open more charter schools and provide more vouchers to private schools. The overwhelming majority, 60% of parents strongly agreed “we should focus on ensuring that every child has access to a good public school in their community.”

“This poll confirms what we are hearing from parents and educators here in Florida,” said Christine Bramuchi, Co-Founder and Director of Operations of the Alliance for Public Schools. “Even with a robust charter and voucher program here in Florida, parents overwhelming support their local public schools.”

According to the poll, parents are unified in what they believe is best for their children.

  • 93-94% of parents say they want to reduce class sizes especially in early grades, extra resources for struggling neighborhood schools, and to expand career vocational or technical training.
  • 90-91% of parents say they want curriculums that include music and arts, health and nutrition services through local schools, and to hold charter schools accountable for their performance like public schools.
  • 84-89% or parents say they want more afterschool programs, expanded mentoring programs, high quality preschool for 3 and 4 year olds, additional pay for teachers who work in hard to staff schools. They agree that public schools should be a “community hub” where students and their families can partake in extra enrichment programs.
  • 68% oppose taking money from public schools to increase spending on charter schools and voucher programs.

Weingarten explained that the results of this poll are definitive and that the parents are saying loud and clear, “Stop defunding our schools.”

It is also very clear whom parents trust when it comes to the education of their children, teachers.   By a 79-21% margin, parents agree that teachers have the right ideas when it comes to public schools. Less than half of the parents trust their governor, their local mayor or town official, or their state legislatures when it comes to their children’s education.

Rounding out the bottom of the list, with a dismal 33% support, is President Donald Trump and his Secretary of Education, Besty DeVos.

DeVos is wildly unpopular with parents. Nearly 75% of the parents polled knew about DeVos and her position as Secretary of Education. Of those familiar with DeVos, 44% disapproved of her job performance as Secretary of Education while only 23% actually approved of her performance.

“It’s striking that the agenda being pushed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to defund public education and divert resources to vouchers and other privatization schemes—even when they are cloaked as ‘choice’—is completely at odds with parents’ educational priorities. This is true across every race, political persuasion and area of the country. These results should serve as a clarion call to policymakers to stop defunding our schools and instead deliver on the priorities parents want, to reclaim the promise of public education for all children,” Weingarten added.

The results are the latest in a series of polls released this summer and fall on people’s priorities for public education. Gallup released a survey last week showing support for public schools was up by 7 points compared with 2012. PDK’s annual poll showed deep support for public schools and investments in wraparound services, such as mental health services and after-school programs, and resources to prepare students for successful lives and careers; it also showed strong opposition to funding vouchers for religious schools. And an Education Next poll showed public support for charter schools fell by 12 percentage points over the past year.


All of the data and polling results can be found at AFT.org

New Polling Data Shows Trump Is Not As Favored By Union Members As He Says He Is

Donald Trump (Image by Gage Skidmore CC FLIKR)

Donald Trump (Image by Gage Skidmore CC FLIKR)

Do Union members really support Donald Trump as much as Trump says they do? 

Donald Trump said and continues to reiterate, “I have tremendous support within unions…every poll shows it.

Everyone knows that Trump likes to stretch the truth a little and nobody loves Trump more than Trump, but the truth is that union members really don’t like the idea of a Trump presidency.

Today, the AFL-CIO released new internal polling data that shows “Trump is at 36 percent among union members in the five battleground states of FL, NV, OH, PA and WI.”  

Just as many other Americans are turning away from Trump’s extreme rhetoric and xenophobic statements, among union members Trump has lost over five points in these key states over the last two and a half months.   

“We are educating our members and demonstrating the dangers Trump’s reality show poses to our reality. It’s making a difference. And we’re not letting up,” wrote the AFL-CIO. “’Every poll shows it.’ He can keep saying it, but like most things with Trump, the claim is just hollow words – and it won’t come true on Election Day.”

Trump is really not as pro-union as he claims.

Culinary Union 226Union members across the country are watching the ongoing labor dispute between Trump’s Las Vegas Hotel and the Culinary Workers local 226 (Unite Here) as real guide to how Trump works, or doesn’t work, with unions.

In April, after Trump Hotel Las Vegas disputed the union election, the Regional Director for the office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) covering Las Vegas overruled the Trump Hotel Las Vegas and certified the Culinary and Bartenders Union as the legal collective bargaining representatives to the more than 500 workers at the hotel.

Since then Trump Hotel Las Vegas has tried to “negate their employees’ right to unionize and instead of recognizing the results of the federal government union election, hotel management has undertaken a hostile anti-union campaign” wrote the Culinary Workers Union in recent press release. “Employees of the Trump Hotel Las Vegas are calling on their boss, the Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, and co-owner Phillip Ruffin to negotiate a fair union contract.”

The Culinary Workers Union is also working to “educate and inform the travel industry about the serious ongoing and escalating labor dispute” at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas.

In July, the Culinary Workers Union and AFSCME teamed up to hold a rally highlighting Trump’s union busting tactics.  Maria Mendoza was one of the thousands who showed up to protest the Trump’s failure to negotiate.

“I work hard everyday, but with the low wages I’m paid, I really struggle to provide for my daughters,” said Maria Mendoza, a guest room attendant at the Trump Hotel Las Vegas. “Mr. Trump says that he wants to ‘Make America Great Again,’ but I work for him and want him to negotiate a union contract so my coworkers and I can have fair wages, job security, and good health benefits.

Culinary Trump Protest

The ongoing battle between union members and Trump’s Las Vegas hotel is not the only thing that union member have taken offense to. Earlier in the campaign Trump professed his love for “Right to Work.”  Trump told the crowd that Right to Work is “better for the people” and “gives great flexibility to the companies.”

Union members have been fighting for decades against these so-called Right to Work laws. Right to Work (for less) does nothing but lower wages, reduces a workers chance to have any type of retirement benefit, weakens collective bargaining, and is just a tool to bust unions.

So-called Right to Work laws hurt all workers.

“The average worker in states with Right to Work laws makes $5,971 (12.2 percent) less annually than workers in states without right to when all other factors are removed than workers in other states,” stated the AFL-CIO.

Trump’s continued support of anti-worker policies like Right to Work and his company’s refusal to negotiate with workers will only drive down his support among union workers further.

Donald Trump Right to Work

Control of US Senate Could Hinge on Candidates’ Positions on Minimum Wage

Voters in 7 states Overwhelmingly support raising minimum wage – and incumbents who oppose it pay a big penalty

Washington, DC – New polling shows voters in key swing states overwhelmingly support increasing the federal minimum wage and that candidates’ positions on raising pay could play a pivotal role in this year’s fight for control of the U.S. Senate. The results show incumbent Republican U.S. senators locked in close races could lose critical support – and even their seats – over opposition to raising wages for working people.

The polls were conducted August 25-29 by Public Policy Polling in seven states with competitive Senate races – Arizona, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.  In each of the seven states, voters are less likely to support their incumbent Republican senators when informed of their votes against raising the federal minimum wage above $7.25 per hour.

In Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New Hampshire, Democratic challengers strengthen their lead when voters were made aware of the Republican senator’s voting record on the minimum wage. And in Arizona, Missouri and North Carolina Democratic challengers actually pull ahead, flipping the contests on their heads.

“The findings of the polls are clear: swing state voters in this election are looking for candidates who will stand with them in supporting a strong minimum wage increase.  Elected officials who oppose raising the minimum wage do so at their political peril,” said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project Action Fund.

In each state, at least 67% of voters support raising the federal minimum wage above its current level of $7.25 per hour, including 74% of voters in Pennsylvania and 72% of voters in North Carolina. At least 57% of voters back an increase to $15 per hour, including 63% in both Wisconsin and New Hampshire.

“Voters are fed up with lack of action in Washington on raising wages for working people, and what we’re seeing is that just letting voters know where the candidates stand on these issues can have a significant impact,” said Dan Cantor, executive director of Working Families.

During a recent WMUR question and answer session, New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte simultaneously admitted that the minimum wage is not livable and doubled down on her opposition to raising it.

When asked by a participant whether she will “stand with New Hampshire workers to raise the minimum wage,” Ayotte responded “if we focus on the minimum wage, we’re, we’re losing sight of what we should be focusing on, which is better paying jobs because you can’t live on minimum wage.”

“My mom and I both work at Wendy’s, making $7.25 an hour and no matter how hard or long we work, we still don’t make enough to cover the basics like rent or a trip to the doctors,” said Manchester resident Kimberly Harrell. “But this election season, voters like me are changing that. We know that in our state every vote counts and we’re going to use our power to elect candidates who stand up for raising pay. Our message is simple: support a wage increase, and we’ll support you.”

The poll was commissioned by the NELP Action Fund, which that conducts research and advocates on issues that affect low-wage and unemployed workers. NELP Action, which is a project of The Advocacy Fund, is partnering with the Center for Popular Democracy Action Fund, Working Families and dozens of grassroots groups in the seven states on a campaign to mobilize voters around the minimum wage in the 2016 election. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, the coalition plans to engage in canvassing, hold candidate forums, and wage debate protests, among other actions, to energize voters around candidates’ positions on the raising the minimum wage.

Over the past three and a half years, more than 50 states, cities and counties have passed minimum wage increases via legislation or ballot initiative. Nearly 20 million workers have seen wage increases, and 10 million of those workers are on the path to a $15 wage. But the federal minimum wage remains at just $7.25 due to gridlock and obstructionism in Washington. More than 10 million workers across the seven states polled are paid less than $15 per hour, including more than 7 million who are paid less than $12 per hour. Low wages force taxpayers in these states to pick up $25 billion per year in public assistance to working families, according to the UC Berkley Center for Labor Research and Education.

“Voters deserve elected leaders who share their values and will stand with them on bedrock issues like good jobs and fair wages,” said JoEllen Chernow, Director of Economic Justice at the Center for Popular Democracy Action Fund. “Over the next two months we’ll be letting voters know where the candidates are on giving America the raise it needs.”

The PPP poll is the latest in a body of research that shows growing support for raising wages in America. In January 2015, Hart Research Associates found that 75% of Americans support increasing the federal minimum wage to $12.50, while 63% of Americans support raising the wage to $15. A poll of underpaid workers by Harris Interactive and Yougov last year showed among registered voters paid less than $15, 65% are more likely to vote in the upcoming election if a candidate supports $15 and a union for all workers.

Sanders Takes A Commanding Lead In NH Poll With Nearly Unheard Of Favorability Rating

The latest poll from the UNH Survey Center show Bernie Sanders with a 60-33% lead over Hillary Clinton and enjoys a 91% favorability rating.

In a new poll, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is pulling away from Hillary Clinton in the homestretch to the Granite State’s first-in-the-nation primary on Feb. 9.

“Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has increased his lead over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. Sanders’ popularity among Democratic Primary voters continues to increase and a majority say he has the personal characteristics and qualities that a President should have. Just over half of Democratic Primary voters say they have definitely decided who they will support,” work Andrew Smith in the UNH Poll.

The results of the poll show that if the Democratic Primary was held today, 60% of likely Democratic voters would support Sanders, 33% would support Secretary Hillary Clinton and 1% for Gov Martin O’Malley.

1-19-15 poll“This poll suggests that our campaign has real momentum and that the American people want to go beyond establishment politics and establishment economics. But it’s just a poll and we take nothing for granted,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ national campaign manager.

These results confirm what other polls have also shown, that Sanders is leading Clinton in new and younger voters.  Sanders “strongest support comes from voters under 35 (81%), voters who have not previously voted in a primary (76%), and voters living in the northernmost parts of the state (74%)…. Clinton’s strongest support comes from voters who are 50 and older (41%).”

“During the next three weeks in New Hampshire we will be contacting tens of thousands of people and do all that we can to see a large voter turnout on Election Day,” added Julia Barnes, the director of Sanders’ campaign in New Hampshire.

Support for Sanders continues to grow as more people hear his plans to fix our broken economy and take on the corrupt campaign finance system that holds it in place,” campaign manager Jeff Weaver said. “Our campaign is focused every day on organizing to harness that energy.”

The poll also shows that Sanders has an unprecedented favorability rating of 91% in New Hampshire. 1-19-15 poll 2

Sanders will visit New Hampshire on Thursday. He was campaigning Tuesday in Iowa, where polls show him in a very tight contest with Clinton in the run-up to the Feb. 1 precinct caucuses.

New Poll Shows Sanders Outperforms Clinton Against GOP Frontrunners

DES MOINES, Iowa – There was fresh evidence on Sunday that confirms Bernie Sanders would be the most electable Democratic Party nominee for president because he performs much better than Hillary Clinton in matchups with leading Republicans in Iowa and New Hampshire, two key general election battleground states. 

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll found that Sanders does better than Clinton against the leading Republican candidates by an average of 6 points in Iowa and a stunning 21 points in New Hampshire. Specifically, the poll put Sanders 13 points ahead of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump here in Iowa. In New Hampshire, Sanders had an even bigger 19-point lead over the real estate tycoon. In contrast, Clinton led Trump by only 1 point in New Hampshire. Her 8-point margin over Trump in Iowa was much smaller than Sanders’ edge.

Sanders also outpolled U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in Iowa (up 5 points) and New Hampshire (up 19 points). Clinton lost to Cruz by 4 points in both states.

Clinton also was 12 points behind Sen. Marco Rubio in New Hampshire and 5 points down to him in Iowa. In sharp contrast, Sanders beat Rubio by 9 points in New Hampshire and tied him in Iowa.

In Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Tuesday, Clinton said Democratic Party caucus-goers should consider “electability” in choosing their nominee. Sanders agreed.The poll also showed Sanders ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire, 50 percent to 46 percent, and gaining ground in Iowa, where Clinton barely led Sanders, 48 percent to 45 percent.

MSNBC Poll“Any objective look at our campaigns would suggest we have the energy, we can drive a large voter turnout,” the senator said in an interview Sunday with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News “This Week.”

“As voters move toward their final choice in Iowa and New Hampshire, it’s clear they are moving heavily to Bernie,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager. “Bernie’s message of taking on a rigged economy that sends most new wealth to the top and is held in place by corrupt system of campaign finance is resonating powerfully with voters all across America.”

“And Bernie’s substantial advantage over Republicans in the general election versus Secretary Clinton is another important reason that Democratic primary voters should choose him as our nominee,” Weaver added.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll is the most recent in a string of national and state surveys that found Sanders “runs markedly better than Clinton” against Trump, Cruz, according to a memo by Sanders’ pollster Ben Tulchin. To read his memo analyzing the polls, click here.

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