A shadowy man on the phone

State government theft from workers shows we need trust in ourselves, not new laws.

By Justin Katz | May 6, 2022 |

With a bit of spectacularly bad timing for Rhode Island insiders (who may very well win anyway), an employee of the state Department of Labor and Training has been charged with stealing funds from exactly an area that labor unions are trying to make more flush: An employee of the Rhode Island Department of Labor…

Patrick Crowley and Richard August on State of the State

State of the State: Pending Legislation from a Labor Union Perspective

By Richard August | April 24, 2022 |

Richard August and union organizer Patrick Crowley discuss legislation and unions’ power as a special interest.

A dark classroom

Teachers aren’t fleeing Providence schools.

By Justin Katz | April 15, 2022 |

The Annenberg Center on the Study of Educators at Brown University took a look at employee retention in the Providence school district and concluded that there has not been an “exodus of teachers”: Using data up and including the start of the 2021-22 school year, we show that, while retention did fall in Providence more…

Hospital beds

When activists call for more government, remind them of Eleanor Slater.

By Justin Katz | March 28, 2022 |

Here’s an important detail from a recent budget analysis by the Rhode Island Public Expenditures Council (RIPEC), as summarized by WPRI’s Eli Sherman: In a breakdown of the hospital’s financial picture, RIPEC estimated McKee is seeking to spend $143.7 million in state and federal revenue next fiscal year on the state-run medical and psychiatric facility,…

Tiles with abuse words

The Providence teachers union goes full DARVO.

By Justin Katz | March 15, 2022 |

The amazing thing about Sarah Doiron’s report on the staged protest of the state Department of Education by teachers union members  is that it doesn’t say why the state took control of their schools.  The audacity is nothing short of shocking: More than 100 teachers marched the streets of Providence Monday afternoon to demand the state…

Teacher and students

School districts still have illegal provisions in their contracts.

By Justin Katz | March 9, 2022 |

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity has localized a study from the Mackinac Center finding that some school districts in Rhode Island continue to have provisions in their teacher contracts that don’t reflect the right of teachers to work without joining the union and requiring express consent to enroll them: According to the Mackinac…

A water drop and ripples

Funny how we’ve forgotten why the state took over Providence schools.

By Justin Katz | March 7, 2022 |

It’s depressing to say, but it looks like the anti-reform strategy of the teachers unions and other special interests succeeded.  From the beginning, it was clear that the plan was to delay and obfuscate attempts at correcting the unforgivably terrible performance of Providence schools until the attention of the public moved on. For some reason,…

Interactive art at the RI Dept. of Labor

Are we allowed to point out obvious truths about Putin, RI labor unions, progressives, and energy?

By Justin Katz | March 3, 2022 |

I don’t want to make too much of this, but sometimes we have to put the obvious on the table.  Otherwise, we’re apt to wander off in dense forests of complexity because we reject the ability to see in an open field. Journalistic writer Michael Shellenberger makes the so-obvious-it’s-easy-to-ignore point that the West’s throttling down…

Construction workers reviewing a site

“Wage theft” legislation is a good illustration of unions’ destructive activism.

By Justin Katz | February 18, 2022 |

If you’re only a casual observer of legislation and/or labor law, you might find news coverage of Rhode Island labor unions’ study on “wage theft” confusing.  The study is about misclassification of workers as independent contractors, yet the rhetoric is about “wage theft.” Are those the same thing?  It’s an important question, because the push…

A hoodie on a beaten school bus

A healthy state would force money-grubbing special interests out of schools.

By Justin Katz | February 16, 2022 |

You know you’re dealing with greedy special interests most concerned with maintaining their own position when you read something like this, emphasis added: The plan has the support of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals, the Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Association, the National Education Association Rhode Island and the Hassenfeld Institute for…