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First off, let me give a standing ovation to Kossack, tireless hero of progressive activism in KS & MO, tmservo433, for his excellent reporting on Twitter and here on our very own Daily Kos, where he on Saturday night alerted us to Republican shenanigans in the Koch Industries Americans for Prosperity ALEC Tea Party HQ Kansas Legislature, and, after remaining at the Capitol into the wee hours of Sunday morning, continued updating from the building the entire next day, until the Bircher Society spawn had finally carried out their dastardly plan to union-bust one of the last remaining unionized professions we have in this right-to-work-with-no-benefits-no-security-no-justice-for-meagerly-wages state: teachers, while setting in motion their age-old dream of defunding public education and privatizing it to the highest bidder.

Bypass the cheetohrnado for a peek into the grimmest of fairy tales from the Land of Oz What The Fuck!!! ...

For those of you who don't know yet, our corporatemasters kicked Kansas public education, teachers and students to the curbthis weekend:

Conservatives in the Kansas Legislature this weekend took advantage of a serious problem — inequities in public school funding — to attack teachers and create new problems.

In a deplorable sneak attack, Senate leadership and allies in the House tied the elimination of due process for teachers to crucial elements of school funding. That issue hadn’t been dealt with in the normal committee process. Conservatives rammed it through...

Due process hearings — used about 10 times a year in Kansas — protect teachers from arbitrary firings if, say, they run into a conflict with a parent or administrator. It is a condition of teachers contracts throughout the state. To deny it represents a major change for the worse in teacher-school relations.

Yes, a deplorable sneak attack:
Some parts of the bill were added at 4 a.m. Sunday in a meeting whose legality is still being questioned.
reports Butler County Times-Gazette publisher, Kent Bush, in a scathing takedown of Koch Bros/AFP/ALEC and their legislative minions:
That is the problem with the Americans for Prosperity and the Koch brothers. They buy their way into offices so that they don’t have to participate in actual politics. You will never hear AFP or the Koch brothers in a direct debate. [...]

Hundreds of teachers filled the state capitol this weekend trying to lobby for legislators to take their side. There was no similar response from AFP. No one from that group stood in the chambers or held signs asking for legislators to take away teachers’ due process.
They don’t have to.
They write checks, send secret emails and support groups like ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council, which has two Kansas legislators on the board of directors) that create legislation like that passed this weekend.

Thanks to Kansas Democrats, led by House Minority Leader and 2014 gubernatorial candidate par excellence Paul Davis, the state's biggest teacher's union, Kansas National Education Association, and fed-up Kansans, this bill will not go unchallenged:

Paul Davis urges us to join the fight:

This was a disappointing weekend for Kansas children and teachers. Despite the additional funding included in the final education bill that passed last night, a clear attack was made on the teachers that help our kids learn each and everyday. Also, Gov. Brownback was nowhere to be found all weekend. He failed to make schools a priority and let House and Senate leadership force through unpopular, partisan policies instead of focusing on a simple, straightforward solution. As I told teachers in the Capitol last night: I'm not done fighting, and you shouldn't be either. Don't give up. Tell your friends. Fight for change.
KNEA questions the legality and vows to go to court:
KNEA general counsel David Schauner said the bill — which links changes in teacher rights to next year’s K-12 school funding — can’t apply retroactively to teachers who already have those protections.


The bill doesn’t eliminate due process. Instead, it changes the definition of “teacher” to exclude K-12 teachers but leave others, such as community college instructors, covered. Schauner said it can’t do so to those who already earned due process.  link

If the Twitter army of education activists, or those teachers and activists who streamed then poured into the statehouse this weekend are any measure of fed-up but ripe-for-battle Kansans, I'd say it's time to get to work for 2014 and beyond!

Join us!

8:06 AM PT: Good morning, Kossacks!

I unfortunately have zero time today to rec & respond to the new comments but let me at least say thanks to those who have helped get the word out by sharing, rec'ing and commenting. I'll stop back in tonight and promise to read all the new comments.

PS: Has this story been covered on the front page yet?

10:51 AM PT: tmservo433 has a new diary up, a visual and textual chronicle of his experiences this weekend:
Please read, share & rec!

Originally posted to StepLeftStepForward on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 09:33 PM PDT.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project, Kansas & Missouri Kossacks, and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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