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BOARDWATCH: Almost another 'Blow by blow' as the Chicago Board of Education continues to strangle democracy using the powers of the appointed school board, mayoral control, and Kafkaesque rules at its July 24, 2013 meeting

Like several of the speakers who stayed long enough to be called on to join the "public participation" more than three hours after the Board meeting began, teacher Tracy Barrientos became emotional during her remarks against the cuts. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Like several of the speakers who stayed long enough to be called on to join the "public participation" more than three hours after the Board meeting began, teacher Tracy Barrientos became emotional during her remarks against the cuts. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Like several of the speakers who stayed long enough to be called on to join the "public participation" more than three hours after the Board meeting began, teacher Tracy Barrientos became emotional during her remarks against the cuts. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Like several of the speakers who stayed long enough to be called on to join the "public participation" more than three hours after the Board meeting began, teacher Tracy Barrientos became emotional during her remarks against the cuts. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Like several of the speakers who stayed long enough to be called on to join the "public participation" more than three hours after the Board meeting began, teacher Tracy Barrientos became emotional during her remarks against the cuts. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Like several of the speakers who stayed long enough to be called on to join the "public participation" more than three hours after the Board meeting began, teacher Tracy Barrientos became emotional during her remarks against the cuts. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Like several of the speakers who stayed long enough to be called on to join the "public participation" more than three hours after the Board meeting began, teacher Tracy Barrientos became emotional during her remarks against the cuts. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The Fiscal Year (FY) 14 Proposed Operating Budget was the main topic at the monthly Chicago Board of Education (BOE) on Wednesday, July 24, 2014, at 125 S. Clark Street in the fifth floor chambers of the Board. Other topics covered in Power Point presentations were the 2013 Illinois State Achievement Tests (ISAT) Preliminary Results and the newly designed CEO Office: the Office of Strategic School Support Services (OS4).

One of Chicago's newest hires, Tracy Martin Thompson (above during her Power Point at the July 24 Board meeting) outlined another new program that the Byrd Bennett administration claims will do a job that has been being done for decades. She was hired by CPS in December 2012 as "Chief Officer Strategic School Supports" at an annual salary of $170,000 per year. Like Barbara Byrd Bennett and Chief Innovation and Incubation Officer Jack Elsey, Martin Thompson's most recent experience was in Detroit. According to a CPS press release announcing her hiring in December 2012: "Tracy Martin-Thompson comes from Detroit Public Schools with a strong track record of ensuring that students and faculty are provided with the necessary tools for success. As Chief of Staff, Academics for Detroit Public Schools, Martin-Thompson supported the District’s lowest-performing schools, developing and executing implementation of a comprehensive five-year academic plan. She also assisted in the redesign of teaching and learning framework, supporting the alignment of curriculum, instructional strategies, assessment and professional development." Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.By the time all of the presentations by Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd Bennett were finished, it was after one o'clock. Students and others noted that the Board was deliberately undermining every attempt at public democracy during the public meetings of the school board of the third largest school system in the USA, and more than half the people who had signed up to speak were either "no shows," "removed," or "consolidated. A major forum for the public to participate in the deliberations of one of its most important and powerful bodies continues to be undermined.

As usual, CPS security staff were rehearsed to move quickly against anyone refusing to go along with the official guidelines, and there were several small scuffles and one large one before the meeting went into executive session. Public Participation followed the Power Point presentations.

Before the meeting even began, Estela Beltran, the Board Secretary, was asked by student activists why individual public participants were being grouped. Beltran explained that grouping was in the guidelines.

it was 10:45 a.m. before Board President David Vitale welcomed everyone. Roll call indicated that only Board members Dr. Henry Bienen, Dr. Mahalia Hines, Dr. Carlos Azcoitia, and Board President David Vitale were present. Board Vice-President Jesse Ruiz, the newest Board member (Deborah Quazzo), and and Urban League chief Andrea Zopp were absent. Also present were Chief Education Officer (CEO) Barbara Byrd-Bennett and General Counsel James Bebley.

The "good news" portion of the meeting began with the recognition of seven schools in six different "Networks" that had shown "exceptional performance" on the 2013 ISAT scores, according to Byrd Bennett. The schools were: Prescott , McDade Classical, Canty, Webster, Coonley, Pershing East, and Dixon. Increases ranged from +12 "points" at Prescott to +8.3 points (at Dixon). The principal or a representative from each school spoke about the achievements at their schools.

The business portion of the meeting followed, with the Chief Executive Officer going to the podium for what became more than an hour of lengthy Power Point presentations.

It began with the ISAT scores. CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said that the students continue to make strides. She remarked that the scores on the ISAT, an elementary school achievement test (which was implemented in 2001), had shown a steady growth over the past 12 years across all groups — but especially in the "Pioneer Full School Day" schools. She added that this year in Illinois the test was more rigorous. Byrd Baker then introduced Dr. John Barker, "Chief Accountability Officer", who gave the Power Point Presentation overview on the 2013 ISAT Preliminary Results (as of July 2013). Dr. Barker presented slides reporting that 65% of schools "saw an increase" in composite ISAT scores since 2001. District Reading, Math, and Science scores since 2001 which Meet or Exceed (M/E) or Exceed have increased steadily, he said. Other slides showed that "Welcoming School" scores outpaced Sending Schools Composite M/E scores; Turnaround school scores surpassed district school scores; while charter and neighborhood schools have experienced similar growth since 2001. Also, all composite scores for grades 3-8 increased.The slides also indicated progress by race and gender.

The financial situation came next. CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett began by speaking about the "historic financial challenge of the budget." She mentioned the billion dollar deficit, the required increase in Chicago teacher pension payments, and the supplemental aid from Springfield that usually doesn't arrive till November (but will be released earlier this year). She also spoke of the need to reduce truancy and provide resource centers for parents -- and to have meaningful "pension reform."

Byrd Bennett then called on Tim Cawley, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), to present the overview of the Proposed 2013 - 2014 (FY 2014) Budget in a detailed Power Point. Cawley began by talking about the $400 million "dollar pension cliff". He said the pension cliss "loomed" this year, focusing, as had CPS and the mayor, on the "pension crisis" while ignoring or downplaying many other problems that became obvious as he went on.

Cawley told the Board that the Board had been counting on Springfield reform of pensions. He said the solution to the budget problems would be more state funding and pension reform. He added that Illinois underfunds education compared to other states, presenting a slide showing that. At this point, some in the audience shouted out, "Why wont' you renegotiate toxic swaps with the Bank of America (BOA)? There are solutions that are not in this proposal." (The person was then escorted out by Security.)

CAO Cawley continued by stating that the problem began in 2009. He informed the audience that Moody's just downgraded us this morning and we will save money by moving from 125 S. Clark Street and selling this building. He added that you don't see fewer teachers because the teachers are following students to the welcoming schools. (The audience responded with a long, drawn-out "NO!").

Board Member Henry Bienen wanted to know what was the basis of the projected enrollment figures in Cawley's Power Point. Cawley responded that the increase was due to Pre-K and Education Options Students. (Someone shouted out "swaps" again). Board Member Bienen referenced remarks by Board Member Andrea Zopp at a previous Board meeting that people were engaging in "Magic Thinking" in regard to renegotiating swaps, adding "What are swaps?"

The presentation was interrupted so that Cawley and Chief Financial Officer Peter Rodgers for a presentation on the "toxic swaps." Chief Financial Officer Rodgers explained why an "unravelling" of the swaps was not viable. He compared the problems of swaps to the long-term problems that might result from renegotiating a mortgage from a fixed rate to the possible benefits of adjustable rates. He added that the Board's portfolio today is largely in fixed rate bonds.

Board Member Hines called the mortgage analogy "good" and remarked that adults should model behavior (rather than calling out during Board meetings).

Someone in the audience then shouted out to CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, "You're a Zimmerman without a gun." When Security surrounded the shouter and began to remove her, she shouted again, "Don't push me!" while the audience applauded. The person who was shouting broke from security several times before she was escorted from the meeting. Board Member Carlos Azcoitia asked if budgets would be earlier in the future. CAO Cawley then said that in the future, the FY 15 budget will be presented in June.

Board member Bienen then stated that the pension is not the final solution to the Board's financial short-fall. He said there are other reasons for not enough money, and added, you are affecting classrooms by the cuts. He remarked that if Springfield decides to give another pension holiday -- which he said he was against and hoped that they would not do -- that would not solve the problem. He remarked that Illinois looks terrible on education funding compared to other states. He also said that TIFs (Tax Increment Financing) and renegotiation of debt were "magical thinking." He added that you can stick your head in the sand and hoot and holler, but you will have to learn to live with it and fix it because manna from heaven is not going to fall.

Board President Vitale remarked that we are not voting on the budget today.

CAO Cawley informed the public of the three public hearings which would be held the end of next week: Thursday, August 1, at 6 p.m. at Truman College and Kennedy King College and Friday, August 2, at 6 p.m. at Malcolm X College. He said more information is available on the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) website. He said that after the hearings, we will report what we hear from the community.

The next Board meeting will be on Wednesday, August 28 and the Board is required to pass the budget by that meeting or by August 31 at the latest.

By the end of today, detailed budgets by school will be posted on-line.

Next, Chief of Strategic School Support Services Tracy Martin-Thompson, presented the action plan for OS4, which spoke of a vision for higher-performing neighborhood schools. Previously, improvement was brought about by interventions, such as, turnarounds, closures, and restarts (closing a school and reopening it as a charter.) OS4 is a plan designed to support struggling schools in order to bring about long-term student success. Level 3 Elementary Schools, plus Morgan Park High School and Level 2 Esmond Elementary School, and communities that were significantly impacted by school actions were selected for the OS4 program.

Remarks and questions followed the Power Point presentation on "OS4." Dr. Ronald Whitmore, principal of Smith School thanked the Board. CAO Cawley wanted to know if schools are going to learn from one another, how partners are selected, and the role of parents and communities. Mention was made of a School Improvement Grant (SIG) program and State Incentive Grant Process. Board Member Hines asked how will you incorporate achieving schools in the plan, will those that are not in network during the OS4 process return to network, and how many high school people are on your team?

General Counsel James Bebley then gave an overview of Board actions that were being proposed. Approval was recommended for the amendment regarding swap issues and independent swap dealers. The re-adoption of the 2013 Student Code of Conduct, subject to updates, was also recommended.

Board President Vitale reminded everyone that office hours to speak with Board members are available by calling 773-553-1600.

Board Secretary Estela Beltran informed everyone that the next Board meeting would be on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.

It was now 12:50 p.m.

Before public participation could begin, however, three elected officials who had been waiting were called on to speak to the Board.

State Representative Ann Williams of the 11th District, which includes the Northside, Lincoln Park, and Roscoe Village, spoke about the budget, the loss of funds, the negative impacts, surplus TIF funds, the pension, a graduated income tax, the school funding formula, the antiquated tax code, and the city pension which had not been addressed. She spoke of a Coalition of 70 members who would make education a priority. She ended by asking, "Where's the money for education? You can't take the kids to Disneyland if you can't make the mortgage payment or put food on the table."

Board President Vitale remarked that the TIF issue is a challenging one. He said the new Jones High School and the addition to Coonley Elementary were beneficiaries of TIFs.

Next, Alderman Roberto Maldonado of the 26th Ward in the Logan Square area spoke of the need for the Marine Math and Science Academy to be placed in the Ames Middle School. He was surrounded by several students in bright blue t-shirts advertising Marine Math and Science Academy. He presented signed petitions which had been obtained.

While protesters outside were marching in opposition to the plan to place the Marine Military Academy inside Ames Middle School, Alderman Roberto Maldonado brought students wearing tee shirts in support of the plan to the Board meeting. Substance photo by David Vance.Maldonado said that Ames and Marine both are choices for the community. He added that Ames was a state-of-the-art facility which was under-enrolled. He asked that Ames be modified by adding Marine Math and Science Academy to the building. He denied two myths. He said Marine Math and Science is a not a recruiter for the military and Marine Math and Science is not a charter school. He said students are required to take ROTC as a Physical Education (P.E.) course. He wants a petition approved that would require Ames to include Marine.

Board President Vitale said the Board supports this, but state law requires going through the process, including public hearings. Although Maldonado was surrounded by young people in support of the Marine school, earlier a large number of people from Maldonado's ward had joined the protests outside and made it clear they were against the military school.

Alderman Matt O'Shea of the 19th Ward, which includes Beverly, Morgan Park, and Mount Greenwood, said these were difficult times and there is no silver bullet solution to the budget. He added that we need more dollars and we need to recognize the scarcity of resources. He said he supports the OS4 program and he remarked that pension reform is clearly needed. He said he supports the return of unallocated TIF dollars to CPS. He added that he is in Esmond Elementary School, Barnard Elementary School, and Morgan Park High School every day.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis was criticized by Board President David Vitale for calling the Board members "liars" after Tim Cawley and Barbara Byrd Bennett had just presented their Power Point showing that a year-long claim that the Board had been facing a "billion dollar deficit" and had "taken the reserves down to zero" were both lies. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Next to speak was Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU). She said that parents are suing in regard to school closures. She spoke of the domino effect of school actions and said she agrees with Board Member Henry Bienen about magical thinking. She said that the average pension is $41 thousand a year and that the money from those who put that money in their pensions [each pay period] is not causing the pension problem. She mentioned that previous to 1995 money went directly to the pension fund. She added that pension holidays are problematic; though they do provide relief to taxpayers, they could be responsible for a loss in retirement payments. She advocated for a progressive state income tax, instead of the flat-rate state income tax that we now have.

She added that the Wall Street Journal says that New York pays its fair share, but we have a revenue problem and we have to figure out a better way to look at this and have to structurally change how schools are funded so we don't go through this every year.

Board President Vitale responded that we need to work together. He said it doesn't help when you're calling us liars. (The audience shouted out, "You are liars.") He replied, "We are not liars."

Public Participation, which used to begin before 11:00 under former boards, finally began at 1:19 p.m.

Vince Casillas, of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS), said he is a charter school guy. He said parents are tired of the politicizing of education. He spoke of the parent standing next to him and the amount of time she spends on transportation of her child to a charter school.

Avelardo Rivera, a student at Whitney Young Magnet High School, asked that the Board give each student its fullest attention. She said that you're not putting students first; you're putting them last. She said you're putting the bankers first. She mentioned the students that were kicked out last month and added that vendors should not use the public participation process.

Diana Arangulo, a Southside resident, who used sign language to communicate, had her remarks translated by a previous student. She asked the Board, "Why are you making our future harder?" She said that we want a school board that knows our schools and is not all rich people from the city. The translator asked, "Are you going to speak to her now?"

One of the most eloquent of the students who spoke to the Board was Diana Arangulo, who is deaf. She spoke using sign language, while a fellow student translated for the Board members. Substance photo by David Vance.The next seven speakers were all students from Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our schools. Each began by stating his or her name and some gave the student identification number.

Ross Floyd began by saying, "When in the course of student education"...and continued, "all students are created equal and deserve an equal education." He asked audience members who were affected by closings to stand up. He said the Board should not be run by bankers. He remarked that the history of the Board is the history of repeated tyrannies and it is our duty to reject and overthrow the Board.

Beatrice Ebijimi said that education is the key to a greater society. She asked why CPS was taking away from education. She mentioned the Children First labels that are everywhere. She remarked that fifty schools have been closed. She said that elementary students are crossing gang lines to get an education and added that we are achieving despite CPS. She ended by saying, "We are the future."

Violetta Vanzuela compared the present situation to one of the snakes on Medusa's head. She said we need to cut off the head to kill the snake. She asked who has the money in this country and answered it's the CEOs in this country. She added that it's not fair; no one listens.

Oswaldo Gomez asked that the Board stop investing in Teachers for America and instead invest in our teachers. He asked, "Are you listening?"

Clementine Frye remarked that the past the Board held meetings in the community, speakers were signed up on a first-come first-served basis, and meetings were held after school hours. She asked why meetings are held during school hours. She added that only half the speakers showed up after on-line sign-up began. She requested that the Board hold meetings at reasonable times where the public can attend. She asked that the current sign-up process be changed and that the Board go into the community and interact with us.

Asean Johnson speaking to the Board. Substance photo by David Vance.Carezy Ramirez asked to give her time over to an elementary student, Asean Johnson. At first, this was refused, but then the young student was allowed to speak. He said he wanted to give thanks for the iPads. He asked the Board to give us the two minutes to speak. He said corporations were given more. He said, let the community, the students, and the teachers talk. He added, don't let the banks control the Board. He said that the TIF that was given to DePaul should be given to the schools. He told the Board that you need to go to our mayor and tell him to quit his job. He finished by saying that something's wrong with this Board, something's wrong.

Jamie Adams remarked that some charter schools expel up to 17 times more then regular schools and that students are being pushed out of school. She quoted Emerson and said that the secret in education lies in listening.

Nidalis Burgos, of Lincoln Park High School said that next year you might attack our schools again. She added that you are setting us up for failure and you have made promises that you won't keep. She asked, what digger will you use next on our schools? She also said that it was an embarrassment to have [Board Vice-President] Ruiz on the Board.

Cian Pallasch, also a student at Lincoln Park High School, declared that the state pension reform would not save the CPS budget. He said that property taxes are needed and that you are relying on pension holidays.

Jasmine Hidalgo, a Lincoln Park High School student, asked the Board if they honestly believed that what they were doing is the right thing. She remarked that every day that we go to school, we pay for your mistakes. She asked, what are students supposed to do?

Matthew Johnson, Local School Council (LSC) chairperson at Dewey, said that the Board must explore options besides cutting. He named the categories of teachers who would be cut. He said he sent the Board an email recently.

Kathryn Schott, of the Blaine School LSC and Common Sense, spoke of the Coalition of 70 LSCs. She said education must be a priority, we cannot meet basic educational needs of the students, one school that cannot open on the first day, and that the projects for corporations are regularly funded so why not the schools. She asked that the city declare a TIF surplus.

Israel Munoz, a student at Kelly High School, asked the Board members if they had executed their jobs the best that they could. He said he sees appointed trustees that do not represent us. He asked for monthly meetings between the BOE and students, an end to an unelected Board, a democratically elected Board, and TIF funds that would go the the public schools.

Following the speeches by a dozen students from Lincoln Park, Whitney Young and other high schools, the students lined the wall during the meeting, linked arms, and chanted against school closings and cuts. The signs read "No school closings" and "I am more than a test score." The students were escorted out of the room by CPS security, but told the security staff their problem wasn't with security but with the policies of the Board. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.At this point, a large group of students lined up along the wall on the Clark Street side of the chamber and chanted "We are the people. We are the schools. This is what democracy looks like. What is American going to be like? Whose schools? Our schools!" Security surrounded them and escorted them out.

Catherine Marchese, of Belding Elementary, said the school was over capacity due to a loss of staff. She expressed concern about budget cuts. She said that the Board had decided to "punish the whole group although all have not misbehaved." She said that $400 thousand was cut at Belding.

Ronald Jackson, of Tilden High School, said he wants an apology from various individuals that he named. He mentioned that he was arrested. He said that because he is on the LSC, he tries to assist parents and that he is duty-bound to assist anyone who requests assistance. He added that the principal signed a complaint against him. He asked, "Am I going to get an apology from these individuals?"

Like several of the speakers who stayed long enough to be called on to join the "public participation" more than three hours after the Board meeting began, teacher Tracy Barrientos became emotional during her remarks against the cuts. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Tracy Barrientos, a CPS teacher at Jungman School and a CTU member, was concerned about the budget cuts. She spoke of 23-30 students in a classroom. She said that programs such as Art, P.E., after school, and before-and-after-school sports had been provided. She spoke of the stress and the nightmare that the closings had led to for so many.

Theresa Martinez, on the LSC at Bell School, expressed shock that despite the "Children First" motto, the children are first to lose. She asked if there was a hope for a brighter future with the cuts and inadequate funding. She said that the cuts affect the city, the state, and the country. She asked about TIF funds and lower interest rates on loans.

Janet Meegan, of Mitchell Elementary School, expressed anger at the budget cuts at Mitchell. She said they won't be left with a richer curriculum with the longer school day and that promises were not kept. She remarked that this year was exceptionally difficult. She said she attended a meeting where an insulting Board CEO asked where the parents have been. She mentioned that the pension is not the problem; it is not the teachers' fault. She then remarked, "Mr. Bienen seems to have a problem staying awake."

Tim Meegan said he teaches high school. He said the fifty schools were closed down using a flawed formula. He mentioned a Sun-Times editorial in which the Sun-Times said that some persons believe the conspiracy theory that closed schools are then opened as charter schools. He remarked that public education is a service. He affirmed that he wants strong neighborhood schools. As he continued to talk past the two minute limit, the mike was pulled away from him and he was escorted out. As he left, he continued to talk and say that there are revenue sources you continue to ignore and "who the hell do you think you are?"

Christopher Swanson, LSC chairperson at Steinmetz High School, spoke of capital improvement funds. He said the fire alarm, plumbing, and the elevator system need to be fixed. He added that the school lost an engineer in October. He invited Board members to meet with him at Steinmetz High School or at the Board.

Edward Hershey, of Lindblom High School, said that because the school has the same budget next year, it cannot afford additional curriculum materials needed for additional students which the school is going to get. He addressed Board Member Bienen and said "You would refer to TIF funds as magical thinking." Board Member Bienen corrected him and said that he had said "swaps." When Board Member Bienen then spoke of not having the power to do certain things, Mr. Hershey said "I don't have the power, but I can advocate it. You could, too."

Jacqueline Casimir, a CPS employee, asked the Board, "Please don't cut me. I haven't been told where I'm going." She said she would continue to advocate for Special Education. She said she had been at Garrett Morgan School and that "we need teachers to follow Special Education students."

Paticia Breckinridge listed herself as "CTU, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), and Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE)." Breckinridge said she spent four days at the injunction hearings in federal court. She said she wants the Board to reconsider the allocation of funds. She asked for the Board's opinion on that and then remarked, "No opinion on that?" when no one from the Board responded. She talked of merging over-crowded with under-crowded schools. She remarked that all schools in Detroit are now chartered.

Rosita Chatonda, of the Chicago Alliance of Urban School Educators (C.A.U.S.E.), remarked, "I guess you saved the best for last." She said she was concerned about 3,000 teachers losing jobs. She said, "I know you're not an employment agency." She mentioned that she formed C.A.U.S.E. She told of the teachers who were devastated by the cut in teachers. She also mentioned that she was concerned about the money for Teach for America (TFA).

Public participation ended at 2:30.

Board President Vitale called for Board comments.

Board Member Hines said they should meet with the schools that got TIF funds. She questioned one person for not answering and when the person said, "I did," she apologized.

Board President Vitale said he was sure, in regard to remarks made by CTU President Karen Lewis, that during contract talks last year, a committee to go to Springfield had been proposed and rejected. He remarked that there was more power collectively than individually.

The Board then voted to go into closed session.

This reporter counted 27 speakers who actually spoke out of 60 who were signed up to speak during public participation. The state representative, aldermen, and CTU President Karen Lewis spoke for a total of about thirty minutes. The rest of the public participants spoke for an additional total of about one hour and ten minutes.



Comments:

July 26, 2013 at 2:40 PM

By: Rod Estvan

President Lewis's comment on pension holidays

Assuming that Ms. Foley recorded President Lewis comment at the Board meeting correctly, it's actually rather shocking. Ms. Foley states President Lewis said something similar to this "... pension holidays are problematic; though they do provide relief to taxpayers, they could be responsible for a loss in retirement payments."

What is shocking about that statement is the fact that the CTU went on record supporting and lobbying for a pension holiday in the General Assembly. This was Senate Bill 1920 House Floor Amendment 1 that was filed by Rep. Elaine Nekritz on May 31, 2013 -- the very last day of the session. The proposed legislation would have reduced CPS contributions to the pension fund to $350M in 2014 (from $612.7M) and $500M in 2015 (from $631.5).

The bill needed 60 votes to pass, but received only 39 votes. More than 5,000 e-mail messages and hundreds of phone messages in opposition to the holiday were sent to members of the House during a two-day period preceding the vote. Although the CTU supported this bill, far more retired and active CTU members opposed it than supported it as far as I can tell.

If President Lewis now believes pension holidays are problematic what was she and the rest of the leadership thinking when they supported the pension holiday shell bill in May?

Rod Estvan

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