Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cocktails and Conservation to Protect Virgin Falls

Join me this Wednesday.

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Reception to support Robert Duvall

KATHLEEN STARNES – Walter Strickland
“Green Gables Estate”
6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.

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Brad Staats
Businessman Brad Staats, Republican candidate for the 5th Congressional District, named AJ McCall a prominent businessman and strong Republican advocate as State Finance Chairman for his campaign.

“AJ McCall has proven to be a tremendous asset in helping elect several Republican lawmakers across the State of Tennessee. I have enjoyed getting to know AJ over the past couple of months. He will bring valuable resources to the campaign in our efforts to raise the money needed to get our message out to the voters of the 5th Congressional District, “Staats said.

McCall, a graduate of Vanderbilt and a former officer of the Army Reserve, serves as CEO of his family’s successful furniture and appliance store DT McCall and Sons, which has several locations across Middle Tennessee. “With unemployment numbers above 8% for the last 43 months, I feel that Brad brings a new perspective to Washington. I also feel that Davidson, Cheatham and Dickson county residents deserve a Representative that understands the difference in signing a payroll check, instead of the back of one,” McCall states.

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Small business endorses Charles Williamson in House District 50

NFIB/Tennessee supports pro-small business candidate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The National Federation of Independent Business, Tennessee’s leading small business association, has endorsed Charles Williamson for the open seat in the 50th House District. The endorsement was made by NFIB/Tennessee SAFE (Save America’s Free Enterprise) Trust, which is comprised exclusively of NFIB members. The general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 6.

“Charles Williamson will be a very strong supporter of free enterprise in Nashville and will work to protect small businesses in House District 50,” said Jim Brown, state director of NFIB/Tennessee. “Charles Williamson is the clear choice for small business because he will emphasize reducing the burdens of government on hard-working entrepreneurs.”

Williamson, a small business owner, said, “I greatly appreciate NFIB’s support for my campaign. I look forward to fighting for less government and less red tape so our small-business job creators can get back to doing what they do best, which is grow Tennessee’s economy. Tennessee is already a great place to do business, but we can do so much to make it even better.”

NFIB’s endorsement is critical to the Williamson campaign. Small business owners and their employees vote in high numbers and are known for actively recruiting friends, family members and acquaintances to go to the polls. NFIB has pledged it will activate its grassroots network on behalf of the Williamson campaign. NFIB’s political support is based on the candidates’ positions and records on small business issues.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

2-for-1 BEER! - Liberty On The Rocks

Tomorrow night, September 20th. 5:30-

Mafiaoza's on 12th Ave

This is such a fun event! There is no opening prayer, no pledge, no treasurer's report, no reading of the minutes of the last meeting, no guest speaker. There is no program and no agenda, no officers and no one in charge. This is just a bunch of right-of-center liberty-loving people getting together to drink and socialize.

I am a regular at these events. Now, I will tell you, the more libertarian end of the right-of-center spectrum dominates but right-of center folks of all strips are welcome.
Attendance is usually about fifteen to twenty-five people. It is on the patio at Mafiaoza's in the 12th Avenue South neighborhood.  For this group, happy hour with two-for-one drinks is all night long. 

The group ranges in age from those in their early 20's to those in their 70's, and with everyone from students to laborers to attorneys. The larger group usually ends up breaking into four or so smaller groups with people floating between the groups. Right of center is still a pretty broad spectrum and interesting discussion and respectful but animated debate is the norm. If you are tired of hanging out with your liberal co-workers or family or people who never talk about anything of substance, come party with some smart like-minded people.

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 Rise & Shine
 Saturday, September 22, 2012
Green Hills Satellite Campaign Office
4108 Hillsboro Pike (Next To McDonald’s)Coffee, Pastries and Fellowship at 8:30am
Program Begins at
9 am
Please Bring Along A Chair Or Two For Use During The Meeting
Convention Delegates and Alternates:
Kathleen Starnes
Beth Campbell
Bob Schwartz
Nathan James

 Event Chairmen - Peter and Gail VoyseyKathleen Starnes, DCRP Chairman
This event sponsored
by the

Davidson County
Republican Party

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The trailer for "Innocence of Muslims"

Here it is. This the trailer of a movie which may or may not exist that has set off rioting across the Muslim world.
This is unbelievably bad. The acting in wooden and amateurish. The dialogue is dubbed into the film. It is a collection of disjointed scenes and makes not sense.

To read more about the film and who made it and how actors did not even know what they were making, follow this link.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Southeast Davidson County Conservatives’ Breakfast Meeting

Saturday, September 15
8:30 am - Breakfast & Social 
9:00-10:30 am - Meeting 
Shoney’s Bell Road @ Cane Ridge Rd. (I-24E) 
($5.00 minimum food/drink purchase, please) 

Guest Speakers 
Mark Winslow
TN Republican Party State Executive Committee District 19

Kathleen Starnes Chairman GOP Nashville
Kathleen and Mark just returned from the Republican National Convention and will give us “an inside look” at the convention activities. 

Councilman Robert Duvall

District 59 Campaign Update!!!!

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Update: School Board meeting of 9/11/2012. Great Hearts fails.

The School Board meeting on 9/11/2012

This is the first meeting of the new school board. The first order of business is the election of Chair and Vice Chair. The Board unanimously elects Cheryl D. Mayes as Chair and Anna Shepherd as Vice Chair.

"Public Participation" starts at 09: 06. Councilman James Stanley addresses the Board making a plea and argument for a new high school for the Dupont Area. At 22:36 Shelly Baldwin makes an argument against the approval of Great Hearts academy, arguing that their existing schools are not adequately diverse. She is followed by a couple other people who speak against Great Hearts and one person who speaks in favor.

The discussion of the Great Hearts application begins at 35:06. Will Pinkston of District 7 ask good questions about the legal issues surrounding the state's authority to order the school board to approve the Great Hearts charter application. Mr. Soloman, the attorney representing the Board says the State is on sound footing and the School Board has no legal grounds for defying the State.

Anna Shepherd says the State is bulling the School Board. Jill Speering of District 3, argues against Great Hearts as well as Amy Frogge of District 9. The Attorney, Mr. Soloman, in response to a question from Mr. Pinkston had explained that the three "contingencies" in the State order are not conditions that the state must meet before approving the Charter but are requirements of Great Hearts that go along with the order. Frogge, who is an attorney, takes an opposing view and says the Board cannot approve the Charter until the contingencies are met.

Michael W. Hayes of District 8 speaks in favor of Great Hearts saying that the majority of Great Hearts schools meet the Metro School Board's definition of diversity. Elissa Kim of District of District 5 does not take part in the discussion. I was anxiously looking forward to hearing what she would have to say on the issue.

The vote is taken and those voting against Great Hearts and voting to defy the State are Amy Frogge, Jo Ann Brannon, Sharon Gentry, Anna Shepherd and Chairman Cheryl Mayes. Voting in favor of Great Hearts are Jill Speering, Elissa Kim, Will Pinkston, and Michael Hayes. The discussion end at 1:16:07.

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I'm sorry, so sorry, please accept my apology....

This is the statement issued by the embassy in Egypt in response to the deadly attacks on the American embassies in  Egypt and Libya:   “The Embassy of the  United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims—as we condemn  efforts to offend believers of all religions.”

What an outrage! The message should have been something along the lines of,  "Stop the attacks or we will but a boot up your ass, it's the American way. We will light up your world like the 4th of July." 

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Obama is aleep at the wheel and in over his head.

Media and Obama out to lunch — Romney had it right
By , Washington Post, 09/13/2012

....So what exactly was the problem? As far as we can see, Romney, the Near East desk and Clinton were in sync. Ah, but where was the president? He apparently had gone to bed and so the day passed without comment from him.(link)

My Comment

We all now know the story of the attack on our embassies in Egypt and Libya, the death of Americans, the apology from our embassy in Cairo, an entire day without an adequate response from Washington, Romney's denunciation of Washington' inaction and the delayed denunciation of the attack from Secretary of State Clinton and the President.

When we needed strong leadership and some sabre rattling, what we got was an apology that some low- budget movie had offended the sensibilities of Muslims.  If someone makes a movie critical or even blasphemous of another religion, that is not an official American position.  We can not apologize for the actions of another. We owe no one an apology.  Muslims need to learn that in the rest of the world where people have various degrees of freedom of expression, that offensive things are often said or done. Get over it! We will not let your offense be justifications for attacks on America.

What is clear from this incident is that the President is not up to the job. He is "out to lunch" or "asleep at the wheel."  This is not new, people just did not know it.

This week I watched the Charlie Rose show and he interviewed author Bob Woodward. Woodward is not some right-winger out to get the President. You remember Woodward?  He was the journalist who in the 70's brought down Nixon with the Watergate expo. He is a journalist with the liberal Washington Post.

Woodward was the only guest and Woodward and Rose spoke at length. Woodward was discussing his new book,"The Price of Politics." In the interview, Woodward exposes the Presidents' lack of leadership, his disinterest in working with Congress, his unwillingness to do the heavy lifting to get things accomplished, his lack of diplomacy, and his unwillingness to compromise. The President is presented as arrogant and inept and a poor negotiator.

Woodward reveals how the White House has no organization of any consequence, never has a plan B for any issue, and how Obama fails to nurture alliances in Congress.  Woodward tells how Reagan and a Democratic Congress led by Speaker Tip O'Neill solved difficult problems by working through ideological difference to find solutions. He compares Obama to Clinton, the Bushes and Reagan and other Presidents and Obama comes off very badly.

I have never liked Obama's politics but for a while thought he was personally likable.  That did not last long however. During the early days of his administration, during the financial crisis, I watched a televised meeting of the President and handful of Congressional leaders. All of the members of Congress, addressed the President as "Mr. President" and he addressed members of Congress by their first name, and he spoke in a manner as if he was talking down to them. He lectured.  I remember Representative Marsha Blackburn was one of the people at the table. He called her "Marsha."  The protocol should be that if Obama is "Mr. President," then Marsha is "Representative Blackburn."  That was when I knew I did not like Obama's policies or Obama the person. He is simply arrogant and thinks he should not have to deal with lesser human beings.

Having watched the Charlie Rose show and since read several reviews and excepts from the book, I don't feel compelled to purchase the book and read it, I have been exposed to enough of it to get the point.  If you are flipping channels and come across Woodward being interviewed, stop and watch. After watching Woodward talk about Obama, you will realize what peril our nation is in, how in over his head our president really is, and why it is so important that he not be reelected.

To read more about the Woodward book on Obama follow these links: here, here, and here.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mayor Dean Statement on Great Hearts Charter Withdrawl

"It is a sad day for the children of Nashville who would have benefited from the high quality education Great Hearts was ready to offer. I want Great Hearts and the rest of the quality charter operators across the country to know that I am proud to be the Mayor of a very welcoming, diverse and open city- despite what has happened here. ...
I commend Mayor Dean for the stand he has taken on this issue.

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Great Hearts Academy Withdraws From Nashville

Charter school Great Hearts Academy has decided to withdraw their application from Metro Nashville.

What a shame. Advocates of equal mediocrity must be celebrating. More middle class families, which our community needs, will flee Nashville for Williamson County and other neighboring communities with good schools. This is a sad day for Metro's school children. 

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New Nashville School Board continues to deny Charter to Great Hearts, defying State order.

Unbelievably, the new school board has continued to defy the State in denying a Charter to Great Hearts academy.

 Nashville school board denied charter for 3rd time
The Metro Nashville Board of Education has - for a third time - denied the application for a charter school.

Metro defies state, denies Great Hearts  
The Tennessean, Sept, 11, 2012,
 In a surprise move, the Metro Nashville school board defied the state’s education power structure Tuesday and denied a controversial charter school for Nashville’s West Side over concerns that it would cater mainly to wealthy, white families.    

The vote was 5 against Great Hearts and four in favor. Here is how they voted: 

Against Great Hearts and voting to defy the State: Amy Frogge, Jo Ann Brannon, Sharon Gentry, Anna Shepherd andChairman Cheryl Mayes

Voting in favor of Great Hearts. Jill Speering, Elissa Kim, Will Pinkston, and Michael Hayes. Apparetly from the Tennesseean story above, Pinkston voted not his conscience but out of fear of State penalties.

We got a better school board in the last election, but not a school board that is good enough. This decision by the board is likely to cost the Metro Schools state funding.  The state has said that if Metro does not grant the Charter that there may be "penalties." Worse than funding penalties, this vote shows that Metro Schools is not very interested in quality education and tells parents who can afford to do so to send their children to private schools or move to better schools in surrounding counties.

While admitting that Great Hearts has a record in other states of providing a great education, there is a concern on the part of some with the School Board, that Great Hearts will not meet the social engineering goals of Metro Schools.  They are concerned that it will not have the appropriate racial mix and will be too white.

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Help Protect Virgin Falls!

Reposted from  Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation 

Virgin Falls
To realize the scale, notice the human figure in the upper left at the top of the falls.
(There is a fundraiser to support this project this Wednesday night September 19, 2012 from 5:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. at the Belle Meade Carriage House in Nashville, Tennessee. $50 per person. Join me in helping  save a Tennessee treasure. Please RSVP to Jeanne Fitch at (615) 329-4441 or Rod )

Help Protect Virgin Falls! Our deadline is September 28th!!

Virgin Falls is Tennessee’s premiere scenic wonder and natural attraction!  Formed underground, its stream emerges from a cave, drops 110 feet, and disappears into another cave at the bottom of the falls.  A waterfall with no visible upstream or downstream! Virgin Falls is located on a privately-owned 1,551-acre tract with portions designated as a State Natural Area.  The Wilderness Area also holds numerous other upstream spectacular waterfalls including Big Laurel Falls, Sheep Cave Falls, and Big Branch Falls.  Additional attractions along the trail include caves, rock houses, Virgin Falls Sink, and Sheep Cave Sink! Also the land would conserve over a half mile of the Caney Fork River headwaters and incredible habitat for rare life.

Help protect this destination in a 55,000 acre wilderness.
Located on the Cumberland Plateau near Sparta, TN, it is a priority destination in the Corridor that links Fall Creek Falls to Scott’s Gulf to Bledsoe State Forest.  An impressive forest corridor of more than 55,000 acres will link awe-inspiring 110’ Virgin Falls to the dramatic Fall Creek Falls, the tallest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains at 256’.  A 54-mile-long distance hiking trail is being developed called the Mid-Cumberland Wilderness Trail to take you through this wilderness corridor.  With your help, we can conserve the most important privately-held feature in the area.  Adding this scenic destination will keep visitors here longer and add to the economic vitality of the entire area.

Its privately-owned so…its future is at risk.
Although the 1,551-acre Virgin Falls State Natural Area is currently managed by the state, it is still privately owned and subject to private development pressures.  Virgin Falls was a “Bowater Pocket wilderness area,” set aside in 1970 for preservation.  The State purchased the lease from Bowater in 2006, but the land was still owned by four different private entities.  When the State’s lease expires, the land will be at risk to development.

We now have a short window of opportunity to purchase this natural treasure and to ensure it remains forever conserved and open to the public. Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation has negotiated and optioned the property on the State’s behalf.  The total cost of the project is $2.9 million but the landowners have discounted the price by more than $800,000.  Thankfully, $1.5 million is available through a state-secured federal grant and TWRA has committed $300,000.  Through the leadership of the Save Virgin Falls Committee, we’ve raised another $85,675.  We’re almost there!  We only need to raise $107,530 by September 28, 2012.  Will you help?

Each acre costs $1,318– a small price to pay for such beauty. Leave a legacy of an acre or a grove of up to 10 acres for this and future generations to enjoy.  Whatever gift you can make will get us one step closer to saving this wild and wonderful land.  We appreciate you.

This has been a priority for the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation for more than a decade. 
Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation is a statewide non-profit organization founded in 1998 with a mission to conserve Tennessee’s natural treasures.  In the Scott’s Gulf to Fall Creek Falls Corridor, we have secured more than 3,000 acres in four parcels. Conserved tracts include scenic Welch’s Point overlooking Scott’s Gulf, Caney Fork River bottomlands and the vista from Milliken’s Overlook in Fall Creek Falls.  All are open for public access with ownership divided between State Parks and TWRA.  Our most recent successes are the creation of Tennessee’s 54th State Park:  Cummins Falls State Park and the most-recently established wildlife management area at Short Mountain:  Headwaters WMA.

For more information, contact Kathleen Williams, President & Executive Director, Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation at 615-329-4441 or Steve Walsh, Director of Membership, at 615-545-0195.

To make a secure, tax deductible donation towards this worthy cause, click the PayPal ‘Donate’ link on our website (be sure to include ‘Virgin Falls’ in the note section of your payment). You may also send cash, check or credit card information to:
Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation
117 30th Avenue S. , Nashville, TN 37212

Additional comment:  Many people already think this natural treasure is preserved, but as you can see from reading the above it is not.  The reason that it is important to purchase this property now is because the price is right and the owners are wanting to sell. As time goes on and current owners die and leave their interest to their heirs, the number of people necessary to negotiate a sale, multiplies. If the property is not purchased now, it could be lost forever.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sunset on the South Harpeth

If you want to be outdoors on a fall evening in a beautiful rural setting, enjoy some good food and libation and support a good cause for a cheap price, join me. RSVP to the phone number or email below.

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What voter fraud?

Democrats keep telling us that there is no voter fraud and they keep spreading the line that all of the Republican concern about election integrity and efforts to ensure we have clean elections is simply an attempt at voter suppression. I found this interesting:

Democrat withdraws from 1st District congressional race after allegations she voted in two states
  September 11, 2012 
Wendy Rosen, the Democratic challenger to Republican Rep. Andy Harris in the 1st Congressional District, withdrew from the race Monday amid allegations that she voted in elections in both Maryland and Florida in 2006 and 2008.(link)

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Monday, September 10, 2012

I am not disappointing with Governor Romney's position on pre-existing conditions.

 By Grace-Marie Turner, September 10, 2012, National Review Online

Some conservatives are aghast that Mitt Romney told NBC’s Meet the Press that there are some health reforms he would support.

“I’m not getting rid of all of health-care reform,” Mr. Romney said in an interview broadcast Sunday, sending conservatives into a fury. “Of course there are a number of things that I like in health-care reform that I’m going to put in place.” (link)

My Comment

I know already! Anyone who is not for repealing the whole thing is a RINO, a sell-out, or worse.  Many on the right would rather get nothing rather than half a loaf. Get real! As the author says, "Romney is right. There are problems in the health sector that need to be fixed, and we can’t stick our heads in the sand and pretend otherwise. If we fail to act, the health-reform battles will return with a vengeance."

The system we have now is not a free market health care system. It is a mixed system. With Medicare, Medicaid, and mandates that hospitals serve all who come regardless of ability to pay and then take a tax deduction for the loss, and restrictions requiring that new hospitals must show a community need before they can open, what we have is not a free market in health care at all. While I want to roll back the role of government in health care, we must tweak what we have as we strive to roll back government. This much is clear: The status quo is not acceptable.  Those who advocate the status quo are on the losing end of the argument.

Anyone who has ever paid $25 for a 2 cent aspirin or tried to understand a hospital bill will not buy the argument that everything is just fine and government should just stay out of healthcare.

I am  not disappointing with Governor Romney's position on  pre-existing conditions. I am no so happy with the position on "young people." At twenty-five, you have been able to drive for nine years, get married without your parents permission for nine years in many states, vote for seven years and drink for four years and have an abortion without your parent permission and enter into contracts. It is time to kick those "young people"  out of the nest. Nevertheless, if this can peal off a few Democratic voters, I am not going to nitpick it. 

While Romney makes these concession to Obmacare and public opinion, I wish he would hammer home a message that included the ability to purchase health care across state lines, informational technology improvements, tort reform and a health savings accounts.  Those issue are winners for our side. We need to articulate Republican reform while at the same time we accept those popular provisions of Democratic reform. 

A bold proposal that I think could be a winner, is to advocate transferring from the employer to the individual the tax advantage of the cost of an insurance premiums. How many people are chained to a job they hate because that is the only way then can get insurance?  Your employer should no more provide you with health insurance than they should provide you with homeowner's insurance or auto insurance or food or lodging. We should advocate ending the ability of the employer to exempt from his income the cost of insurance premiums and advocate transferring this deductability to the individual. While I know this position is not without risk and could distorted be by the other side,  I think on balance it would resonate with many and is a winning argument.

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SoBro (South of Broadway) Strategic Plan will be held this Wednesday,

The first public meeting on the SoBro (South of Broadway) Strategic Plan will be held this Wednesday, Sept. 12, from 5-7 pm in room 206 of the Nashville Convention Center, 601 Commerce Street. 
Consultants will present a draft analysis of existing conditions in the area roughly bounded by Broadway, the Cumberland River, and the I-40 inner loop and hear community members' visions for SoBro's future.
If you have an opinion of what you would like this part of Nashville to look like, this is the chance to get involved. 

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Courtney Rogers received Small Business endorsement

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) today endorsed Courtney Rogers in her race for the State House in Tennessee’s 45th  House District.

 “Courtney Rogers will be a very strong supporter of free enterprise in Nashville and will work to protect small businesses in House District 45,” said Jim Brown, state director of NFIB/Tennessee. “Courtney Rogers is the clear choice for small business because she will emphasize reducing the burdens of government on hard-working entrepreneurs.” 

Rogers said, “I greatly appreciate NFIB’s support for my campaign. I will continue to fight for less government and less red tape so our small-business job creators can get back to doing what they do best, which is grow Tennessee’s economy. Tennessee is a great place to do business, but we have more to do to make it even better.” 

NFIB’s endorsement is critical to the Rogers campaign. Small business owners and their employees vote in high numbers and are known for actively recruiting friends, family members and acquaintances to go to the polls. NFIB has pledged it will activate its grassroots network on behalf of the Rogers campaign. NFIB’s political support is based on the candidates’ positions and records on small business issues. 

Rogers is a 28-year Air Force and Air National Guard veteran and resident of Goodlettsville, TN for 18 years where she lives with her husband, Mike, and three children. 

You can find out more about Courtney at

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The Chicago Story: what is wrong with public sector unions

Read the story below. This is what is wrong with public sector unions. Thankfully our state legislature curtailed the power of  the teacher's unions in Tennessee.

25,000 Chicago Teachers Walk Off the Job

September 10, 2012,  Amy Payne, The Foundry,

This morning, about 350,000 students in Chicago Public Schools will be without teachers. While the 25,000-plus unionized teachers take to the picket lines in a strike over benefits and teacher evaluations, working parents are scrambling to figure out what to do.

"We know a strike is really going to be painful. People will be hurt on both sides," Jay Rehak, a union delegate and high school English teacher, told the Chicago Tribune. "But in the end, it's like saying, 'I'll be bloodied and you'll be bloodied, but at least you'll know not to bully me again.'"

Among other demands, the Chicago Teachers Union had asked for a 30 percent pay increase—despite the facts that just 15 percent of fourth graders are proficient in reading and just 56 percent of students graduate in the district. The school board ended up offering a 16 percent pay increase over four years, but as last night's midnight deadline for strike negotiations neared, the union rejected the offer.

The average teacher in Chicago Public Schools—a district facing a $700 million deficit—makes $71,000 per year before benefits are included.

Reuters reports that "Chicago Public Schools has projected a $3 billion budget deficit over the next three years and faces a crushing burden of pensions promised to retiring teachers."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, formerly President Obama's White House chief of staff, is getting an advanced class in union power. He came into office last year and asked the teachers to accept a 2 percent pay raise instead of 4 percent to try to address the $700 million budget shortfall, and the union refused.

He did reach a deal to lengthen one of the country's shortest school days. As the Tribune describes: "In exchange for the longer school day—an additional half-hour in high schools and 75 minutes in elementary schools—CPS agreed to rehire nearly 500 teachers in non-core subjects from a pool of teachers who had been laid off. That kept the hours in the work week the same for full-time teachers."

The most reliable data show that teachers in general work no more than private professionals in a typical workweek, even when off-site work on evenings and weekends is included. Yet the CPS school day is among the shortest for teachers in the nation.

Heritage's Jason Richwine and the American Enterprise Institute's Andrew Biggs did an extensive study of teacher compensation and followed up with additional discussion of controversial issues. When it comes to teacher pay, Richwine sums up:

Because the average public-school teacher already receives above-market compensation, policymakers should avoid across-the-board pay raises. Instead, they should focus on rewarding high-quality teachers with targeted salary increases.

Of course, teacher compensation is much more than just wages. Part of Chicago Public Schools' financial problems is the guaranteed pensions for retired teachers. Richwine explains that these defined-benefit plans, which cost several times more than the typical retirement plan in the private sector, are a bad deal for taxpayers:
Since benefits accruing to today's workers need not be paid now, states can promise generous benefits without feeling the full fiscal impact for years or even decades. Benefits to workers are guaranteed, meaning taxpayers are ultimately responsible for any shortfalls in their states' pension systems—and there are many shortfalls.

The Chicago strike, highlighting the urgent need for education reform, comes at a time when lack of confidence in public schools is at an all-time high—and support for school choice is also at an all-time high. Is it any wonder?

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