Today's News & Commentary — April 15, 2016
The New York Times reports that a California Court of Appeals reversed a District Court decision overturning teacher tenure rules. In a notable decision two years ago, a lower court had struck down five California statutes and other rules effectuating the use of seniority to determine teacher layoffs during budget crises. This decision, holding that the laws do not in fact deprive students of a quality education, will allow the statutes to stand. Then panel of appeals judges explained that “[t]he court’s job is merely to determine whether the statutes are constitutional, not if they’re a good idea,” and if ineffective teachers are in place, the statutes are not the root of the problem since school and district administrators place teachers within the district.
According to JDSupra, the EEOC announced yesterday that New Jersey’s Local 25 Sheet Metal Union and its apprenticeship school will shell out a combined $1.65 million to settle part of EEOC’s lawsuit based on race discrimination. The decades-old lawsuit addresses the Union’s discrimination against black and Hispanic journeypersons from 1991-2002, and the damages will go to those harmed by the discrimination.
On Thursday, retirees in the trucking, parcel delivery, and grocery supply industries flocked to Washington D.C. to rally against impending cuts to their pensions, according to the New York Times. The pension cuts, which will affect 400,000 retired workers, will take effect on July 1 as a result of a little-noticed measure attached to a December 2014 bill that allows trustees of retirement plans to cut benfits if a pension fund’s failure is “likely to overwhelm the underfunded Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.” Hundreds of people, joined by Senator Elizabeth Warren and several other members of Congress, rallied in front of the Capitol shouting “no cuts!”
The number of U.S. workers who filed claims for unemployment benefits decreased for the second straight week, reaching its lowest level since 1973, per the Wall Street Journal. The seasonally-adjusted 253,000 jobless claims signal an increasingly robust labor market.