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Study: States Waste Billions Luring Jobs from Each Other

State and local governments waste billions of dollars each year on economic development subsidies given to companies for moving existing jobs from one state to another rather than focusing on the creation of truly new positions, according to a study released today by Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center based in Washington, DC.

New Brief Addresses Causes, Prevention of Dropping Out

Efforts in recent years have sought to measure dropout rates—and graduation rates—more precisely and consistently and thus compare rates among various schools and districts. Depending on the state, 70% to 85% of students graduate within the traditional four years. Adults lacking a high school diploma suffer from dramatically lower wages—on average only slightly more than half the average wages for high school graduates—and poorer life chances, with lower employment rates, poorer health histories and greater rates of incarceration.

From Grief to Action

Gun violence is a tragic, pervasive part of American life. Assassins' bullets have felled presidents and national icons. Americans are 20 times more likely to be killed by a gun than residents of other developed countries. Even those who had grown numb to the everyday carnage were shaken last month by the unthinkable murder of the most innocent of innocents--young children in their classrooms. In the weeks since the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., more than 900 people in the United States have died from gun violence.

This must end.

AFT Connecticut Members Named to Sandy Hook Advisory Commission

Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced the names of 16 members of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, to review current policy and make specific recommendations in the areas of public safety, with particular attention paid to school safety, mental health, and gun violence prevention. Included among the appointees are AFT Connecticut member Ron Chivinski, a teacher at Newtown Middle School, and retired member Patricia Keavney-Maruca, a former technical high school teacher and AFT Connecticut appointee to the State Board of Education.

6 Reasons Why Means-Testing Social Security and Medicare Is a Real Dud

Photo courtesy of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. Means-testing Social Security and Medicare is an idea thrown around a lot to "find savings" because, on the surface, it doesn't sound too painful. Wealthy people typically are able to save more and invest in retirement than lower- and middle-income earners, so they don't need Social Security and Medicare as much, right? Wrong. 

Means testing Social Security and Medicare is a cynical way to weaken and destroy benefits for middle-income working people.

Website Launched to Help Rebuild and Restart Classrooms Across Newtown

A coalition of education leaders joined in the announcement today of the creation of a donation website, DonorsChoose.org/Newtown, dedicated to supporting the classroom efforts of teachers in Newtown, Connecticut. This effort is part of an ongoing collaboration of national, Connecticut and Newtown leaders in the wake of the recent tragedy.

Statement from AFT Connecticut President Melodie Peters on the school shooting in Newtown

We are deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire community in the wake of this terrible tragedy. We will be working closely to help the students, teachers, administrators and their families in Newtown as they recover from this tragedy.

We credit the teachers, staff and administrators for reacting immediately to protect the children.

Our thanks go out to all of their first responders for their effort to ensure the safety of all the students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

We will be coordinating grief counseling and support services with our locals the Newtown Federation of Teachers, Local 1727 and the Newtown Federation of Custodians, Local 3924, the Newtown Federation of Education Personnel, Local 3785, along with the State of Connecticut, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA) and the Connecticut Education Association (CEA).

You can click here to leave a message of condolences and support for the students, staff, teachers and families of Newtown, CT.

Stand in Solidarity with Michigan Workers

Workers in Michigan need your help to protect their voice and Michigan’s middle class.

Right now in Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican leaders are attempting to jam through controversial “right-to-work-for-less” legislation at the behest of wealthy CEOs and corporate donors. And they’re doing it with lame-duck legislators whom voters chose not to re-elect. That’s not fair. That’s not democracy. And it won’t help Michigan’s economy.

Stand up against this attempt to pass a right-to-work law in Michigan. Sign the petition.

AFT Campaign Takes on Issue of Excessive Testing

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The AFT has launched the second phase of its campaign against excessive testing, Learning Is More Than a Test Score, which will include a policy agenda that takes into account what we learn from teachers, parents and others.

Protect Our Future

Over the next few weeks, President Obama and Congress will be under tremendous pressure during the current lame duck session to avert the looming "fiscal cliff." They will face a series of high-stakes decisions on jobs and taxes that will directly affect working families and their communities. The decisions our elected officials make could begin to close the economic inequality gap in America—or make it worse.

Call your senators today and urge them to support a balanced approach to reducing the federal budget deficit and dealing with the fiscal cliff.

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