Archive for August, 2011
Embedded in this post is an updated vote tally sheet on SB 161 (Huff), the measure that would result in educators, educational support personnel, and classified employees administering a form of valium rectally to a student undergoing an epileptic seizure during class time, after school activities, or any other school-related activity.
Legislative rules generally allow lawmakers to change their votes until the “roll” is locked down. The current “final” tally shows the bill gaining approval with 46 aye votes, 21 no votes, and 13 abstentions. While an abstension denies a bill’s proponent the needed “yes” vote, CTA and a coalition of nurses, school personnel, and parents were urging lawmakers to make a definitive statement by voting no. Even so, for all intents and purposes, the bill passed 46-34.
It now heads to a quick vote on the Senate floor, where it will be defeated if it fails to get a majority of lawmakers behind it.
If it gains Senate approval, it will move to the governor’s desk, where it could be killed by a veto.
The CTA-opposed measure, SB 161, requiring school employees to rectally administer the drug valium to students experiencing epileptic seizures while in classes, just cleared the Assembly on a 47-16 vote (with 17 abstentions). (See the previous post for a vote tally.) It now goes back to the Senate for final approval.
Contacting your State Senator immediately to urge her/him to vote against SB 161 could help kill the bill. The Senate is expected to act on this quickly.
Educators are concerned about the danger to students by having non-medical personnel — including teachers, other certificated personnel, and education support professionals — administer the drug.
Educators believe it is unrealistic to assume non-medically trained school employees will receive
sufficient training to distinguish between different types of seizures and recognize whether the seizure can be safely treated with Diastat. The manufacturer’s instructions call for the medication to be administered through a student’s rectal cavity while she/he is in the middle of an epileptic seizure.
Educators are concerned about the health and safety of all school children. SB 161 is the wrong answer to get students the health services they need. Under current law, parents can already use the 504 process to get their child specialized medical services.
Posted at these links are a CTA letter on the bill, a Coalition letter on the bill, and an AP article about the bill’s potential impact on student health:
- · http://www.cta.org/~/media/97A4CD4E5D964E4EA894F6F42CD427… – CTA letter
- · http://www.cta.org/~/media/43A3B4838DBF45449610E022031567… – Coalition letter
- · http://www.cta.org/~/media/CBF258405EBA40BFA8ACE76651D523… – AP/Sacramento Bee article
Over the objections of educators, nurses, and parents, SB 161 (Huff) – a measure to authorize “volunteers” to inject Diastat (valium) rectally into seizing students during classroom time, on athletic fields, or elsewhere at school – gained the Assembly’s approval on a 47-16 vote, with 17 lawmakers “abstaining.” (While an abstension denies the bill’s authors a vote, it does not make a definitive statement by the lawmaker that she/he oppposes the measure.) CTA and a coalition of pro-student groups were asking lawmakers for “No” votes.
See the tally above…..
SACRAMENTO, Calif.) 30 August 2011 – California and federal policy makers should protect the jobs of educators, school personnel, public safety workers, and other public sector workers in part because their spending serves to power local economies and can help the state and the nation recover.
In a Tuesday morning teleconference from the state capital, Alissa Anderson, deputy director of the nonpartisan California Budget Project, said that the state and national economies are “mired in the most severe downturn” in the past decade.
While California has lost more than 1.1 million jobs and consumer earnings and spending are down, corporate profits are soaring, with multi-national corporations amassing cash in overseas accounts, instead of hiring back workers.
High unemployment, low wage growth, and rising corporate profits have resulted in wages and salaries now comprising the smallest share of revenues, while corporate profits are representing the largest share.
The CBP’s new report, “On the Edge: CA workers still face toughest job market in decades,” finds that California and the nation are experiencing a “massive job deficit,” with the state having lost 1.4 million jobs since the “great recession” began more than three years ago.
The key to recovery, according to the CBP, is to expand employment. To achieve that goal, policymakers are being urged to “take a proactive approach” to avoid a sluggish recovery or another downturn.
The CBP recommends that congress should extend federal unemployment benefits that are slated to expire at the end of the year. The report also urges policymakers to sustain public sector jobs, including those of teachers, firefighters, child care workers, police officers and others who provide essential services and use their wages to boost local economies.
Elected officials should “minimize spending cuts that cost jobs,” the CBP recommends.
The full report is embargoed until Saturday night. It release coincides with the Labor Day weekend.
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) 25 August 2011 — A teacher-opposed measure that would lead to the rectal administration by non-medical personnel of the drug valium to students experiencing seizures in classes has gained the approval of the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
(At left) The kit that “volunteers” will be called upon to use to inject Diastat or valium in the rectal cavities of students of all ages.
On an “A” roll-call vote, SB 161 (Huff) now heads to the Assembly floor, where a vote is expected before the legislature recesses for the year next month.
Educators have been concerned about the danger posed to students by having non-medical personnel — including teachers, other certificated personnel, and education support professionals — administer the drug. The bill’s opponents point out that state law does not even allow Emergency Medical Technicians (911 first responders) to administer the drug.
Educators fear children will be hurt and traumatized by the administration of the drug. The manufacturers’ instructions call for the medication to be administered through a student’s rectal cavity while she/he is in the middle of an epileptic seizure. Educational personnel would be administering the drug to students in front of their classes.
Opponents of the measure are being urged to contact their state Assembly Members to ask them to vote against SB 161 when it comes up on the Assembly floor sometime over the next two weeks.
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) 22 August — Public library backers are set to unveil the “privitization monster” (pictured at left) to highlight their efforts to block attempts to turn public libraries into entities run by private contractors.
Spearheaded by Service Employees International Union, the media event that is slated for 2PM on Monday at the state Capitol will aim to gin up additional support for CTA-backed AB 438 by Assembly Member Das Williams.
Among other things, those at the rally are slated to read from a “mocked-up” children’s book entitled, “The Privatization
Beast Comes to Our Town.” The bill’s supporters note the privitization of libraries would lead to increased fees to users, something contrary to the spirit of public libraries, which owe their existence to work by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia more than 200 years ago.
Los Angeles Mayor Challenges Governor, Lawmakers to Raise New Revenues for Education, Other Vital Services
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa tells more than 100 members of the Sacramento Press Club during an August 16 speech near the state Capitol that he is urging Gov. Jerry Brown and the legislature to reform the state’s system for securing revenues with a goal of increasing funding for public education and other vital services.
The LA leader declared that it is time to end the “tyranny of the minority” that requires new revenues to be passed by a two-thirds majority. He also said state funding for public education has declined so precipitously that it is unreasonable to act teachers to succeed under such conditions.
The mayor said California’s funding per student under then-Gov. Ronald Reagan allowed California’s schools to become the best in the nation. The much-lower current funding is forcing California to wrestle with Mississippi for last place in public schools.
The mayor said that up to $28 billion could be raised if California closed corporate property tax loopholes and other parts of the “Swiss cheese” of its revenue system.
The mayor said that reform to governmental efficiency, pensions, and education would be the price of the new revenues.
(At photo right) Mary Strobridge, chair of the CTA State Council of Education’s Negotiations Committee, goes over with Sen. Kevin de Leon some association materials about AB 1034 (Gatto), a CTA-backed measure that would help assure students access to publicly funded charter schools. The CTA member lobbyist and CTA Advocate Seth Bramble met with Sen. de Leon and other lawmakers on August 15 at the state Capitol.
Specifically, the CTA-supported bill would shore up current civil rights protections to make sure that charter schools do not practice segregation by discriminating against students of color or those who come from families living at or below the official poverty level.
AB 1034 seeks to prevent charter schools from selectively admitting perceived “desirable” pupils from traditional public schools while screening out those considered “less desirable.”
The measure is expected to reach a critical voting point around August 26.
(Photo by Seth Bramble)