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Mailbag: Teachers unions are targeting the wrong foe

September 24, 2010

Teachers unions are targeting the wrong foe

What a shame that the Burbank Teachers Assn. totally missed the teachable moment of the school budget crisis when it came out grabbing in the article "Unions want furlough days canceled" on Sept. 17.

The governor had finally signed the bill authorizing release of federal funds to local districts — money that can only be spent on salaries in schools. So yes, the money will go to keep teachers and school staff — "will" being the operative word because Burbank and Glendale don't have the money yet and don't know how much they will end up getting with the current state budget still in flux.


The Burbank and Glendale teachers unions know California has no budget yet for this year. They know the prediction for the coming year is that local districts will have to slash more millions out of their school budgets. They know another round of belt tightening is ahead, yet they stand out in front of schools handing leaflets to parents saying "we want" as if there is somebody here in our city withholding something from them.

I wish the teachers unions would spend their considerable money, energy and time in Sacramento pushing for a budget that is fair to schools and children instead of snarling at the local level over the smaller and smaller plate of funds the districts are given each year to work with.

We need to work together to solve this huge budget problem by focusing our collective voice at Sacramento, not at each other.

Karen Broderick


Criticism of Gatto was way off base

I have never felt that an editorial was more misinformed or ungrateful than yours on Sept.12 titled "Gatto bill is a little late."

In it, you praised Assemblyman Mike Gatto's pension-reform legislation, but also criticized it for being "late" and for holding a public hearing on the topic in Glendale.

Gatto got to the Legislature 22 months into a 24-month term, near the deadline for introducing legislation. Nevertheless, he was able to convince one of his colleagues to give him a bill, then obtain rare bipartisan support for his pension-reform legislation — legislation that no one else has had the decency to take up in the past decades.

He thus showed the courage to tackle, in his first few weeks in office, a problem that has been festering for years. We the people welcome the opportunity to provide our thoughts on such legislation, right here in the Burbank-Glendale area.

It seems Gatto should be lauded for his herculean efforts to change an entrenched system. You shouldn't throw rocks at the one guy trying to fight for us.

Bridget McCann


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