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A Bill Creating A Labor History Curriculum Is Headed To Malloy’s Desk

by | May 18, 2015 3:31pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Education, Labor

The House gave final passage to a bill that requires the state Education Department to come up with a curriculum on labor history and the role of capitalism in America and world economies.

The bill passed the House on an 84-61 vote with three Democrats voting against and four Republicans voting in favor. The bill passed the Senate on May 6 and is now headed to the governor’s desk.

The legislation has been touted for several years by Senate President Martin Looney.

“Without the contribution of organized labor and the sacrifice and courage of union activists, the average worker, even the average non-union worker, would have many fewer rights and benefits in employment,” Looney said Monday. “We owe it to the children of Connecticut to teach them about these extraordinary contributions so that they might have an understanding of this critical component in American history.”

This is the first time the bill has made it through both chambers.

There was concern among some lawmakers, during Monday’s House debate, that the effort was meaningless since as of February the state Education Department modified its social studies curriculum to include the topic of labor history and capitalism. There also was concern about the need for additional curriculum.

Rep. Richard Smith, R-New Milford, said the school day is already full and there’s no more time in the day for this additional curriculum.

“Our teachers do not have the time to teach what they’re supposed to teach because we keep requiring and dictating to them what they have to teach,” Smith said. “This adds one more component.”

He said if teachers came to the legislature in large numbers to lobby for the passage of the legislation, then he would reconsider his support. However, he said that’s not what happened.

“Those who are in the field did not come forward with that information,” Smith said.

Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, D-West Hartford, who co-chairs the Education Committee, said both teacher unions testified in support of the legislation and those are the organizations that represent teachers.

“They did so because they think it’s a valuable measure,” Fleischmann said.

Smith described the legislation as “a union driven bill.” He said the bill “is not educational.”

Rep. Ed Vargas, D-Hartford, said there is a need for this legislation because traditionally history has been taught from the point of view of the kings, queens, presidents, and captains of industry.

“We hear about Henry Ford, David Rockefeller, the Vanderbilts . . . and sometimes students would get the idea that history is driven by a few people in leadership positions,” Vargas, a former teacher, said.

He said some of the concerns of those who oppose the legislation may be a little overstated.

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(13) Archived Comments

posted by: Jim in Mfg | May 18, 2015  4:02pm

Silly stuff.  Meanwhile the budget deadline is approaching and they are not spending enough time reviewing where the State of CT may be wasting money.  Oh yeah, they could be going through all of those excellent suggestions in the Union concession suggestion Box.

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | May 18, 2015  4:39pm

I think they should be studying something a little more germane, like why there are no minimum qualifications to be an elected official.

Loony I say! Freaking loony! Twist up a fatty, click your heels and say stooopid!


posted by: ocoandasoc | May 18, 2015  10:17pm

So I guess in ten or twenty years the schools will be required to explain to students how the teachers unions stymied any improvements in public education and the State employee unions helped push Connecticut into bankruptcy. Quite a legacy.

posted by: Jesterr72 | May 19, 2015  5:36am

More BS from the loony Left State Government and unions; Pure indoctrination.  Meanwhile, we graduate kids who can’t do basic math or write a coherent memo.

posted by: cullen | May 19, 2015  9:58am

This is yet another ploy by the Dems to infuse the socialist philosophy in our classrooms. Students have barely enough time to cover the regular curriculum & these jerks up there think this is necessary. This is all the more reason why lawmakers should stay out of the education process. This is about vote-buying.

posted by: oliviahuxtable | May 19, 2015  10:09am

Senator Looney is correct. You people in the non unionzed sector…
You think your corporate bosses want to give you vacation days, sick days, a 40 hour week, medical benefits? They did years ago because unionized workers flocked to employers who did and so the corporations had to offer the same to get employees.  Now they are contracting your benefits,  making them smaller,  while reaping huge profits ...you know that is the case….but you feel powerless against them….fear of losing your job if you speak up. So what do you do? Look at unionized workers and condemn them. The problem is politicians’ pockets are lined far, far more by corporate donations and so their will is done. You suffer.  What we need is more unions. If you folks had a union you would be singing a different song.

posted by: SocialButterfly | May 19, 2015  12:56pm

@oliviahuxtable: We need more unions “like we need another hole in our heads.”

posted by: ocoandasoc | May 19, 2015  1:13pm

I think I have to sort of agree with Olivia…. If the kids in our public schools and their parents had a union I think the State’s education system wouldn’t be mired in mediocrity. And if the CT taxpayers had a union legislative pandering like this would not be tolerated. Not to mention we wouldn’t be looking at ANOTHER multi-billion dollar tax increase! And maybe the large number of Irish voters in the State will unionize and demand a similar curriculum for the role of Irish immigrants in the making of America and suggest that all legal documents and State publications also be printed in Gaelic.

posted by: Bluecoat | May 20, 2015  10:37am

Can we also recommend Michelle Malkin’s new book - “Who Built That - Awe Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs”

Maybe the Union Reps can learn something too?

posted by: State_of_Connecticut_Ombudsman | May 20, 2015  11:20am

So, now our Democratic Majority is reverting to brainwashing our youth through the education system to capture future votes.  It insults me that our legislators had the nerve to bring this to the table. This state is truly lost under Democratic Leadership…they really all need to go.

posted by: NoNonsense | May 20, 2015  11:28am

How about a curriculum about Germans, Polish and Italians, too? And why aren’t all State documents also in German, Polish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese?

posted by: Bluecoat | May 20, 2015  2:35pm

How many private sector jobs does it take to pay for the salary, bi-annual longevity bonuses, health benefits, and retirement benefits for 1 State employee? Is it 4 to 1? 3 to 1? 2 to 1?
How much money did the State borrow to pay bribes to keep both Union companies and non-union companies here in CT?
What year into the future will all our current longstanding pension debt be retired? How many private sector jobs will it take to make this debt go away?

posted by: art vandelay | May 21, 2015  8:28pm

art vandelay

The state has no business developing a pro union anti capitalist/corporate educational curriculum. If the state is going to indoctrinate our school children to the virtues of unions in American History, they also need to educate students as to how capitalism and free enterprise transformed our nation into the great country that it is.  They also need to educate our youth how closely unions are aligned into Marxist/Communist ideologies and how they are one of the core foundations to that form of government.

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