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General: How you have been affected in this economy and what you want to hear from President Obama during his State of the Union address?

Comments: 192

I want him to address the fact that teachers are being asked everyday to do more with less. Because of the heavy reliance on high stakes testing as the sole indicator of success,instruction is influenced by the test. Teachers are also tasked with addressing physical, social and emotional needs. We need to be free and unencumbered to do their job of TEACHING, not parenting. Even though he has done so in the past, President Obama needs to remind some parents that some of the work must be done at home. Check your child's folder, do homework, stay attuned to their needs. I am the teacher at school, but you are the teacher at home.

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Sanita Irvin
JFT
GRETNA, LA

My teacher retirement pension fund has gone down as higher payments, $40.00 a month, are taken out of my account. The Social Security payment has also been reduced for me and my husband. How are you going to support retired people and their medical coverage?

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silvia manzano
san antonio, TX

As a retired teacher from Texas now living in KY, and working a job which pays into Social Security, I am very upset that when I am ready to retire a second time, my Social Security benefits will be subject to an "offset" due to my having served the state of Texas for over 22 years. I have also suffered because my pension has NEVER gone up since my retirement...no COLAS for TRS members...and the high cost of electricity, food, medicine, etc. really takes a chunk out of my money. I know we need to cut back...but why do I have to "cut back" and not the millionaires and billionaires? Social Security is not an "entitlement"...we earned it.

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Kathryn Vauthrin
Louisville , KY

Tell us his plan on how he is going to dismantel the greed and end the corruption of Wall Street. The time for talk is over and serious action needs to happen now.

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Daniel Fernandez
Corinth, TX

Help us save our unions and give teachers power to change policy without fear of losing jobs. The assault on education has reached an unbelievable level of corruption and wickedness. We will be forced to keep the status quo or risk being unemployed. Our education system is failing so let's get the politicians and business men out of the way and let people who know how to educate do the job. You are where you are because someone taught you. Let us teach again. This is a class war we won't tolerate and can't afford to loose. Help us keep our jobs and protect our future...the children.

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Diane Fernandez
Corinth, TX

I've had to assist financially several family members and my partner because they have been laid off and their unemployment benefits have been cut. I've also taken in my cousin because if not, he would have been homeless. Many of my friends have had to move in with their friends or family members. Americans need steady jobs that pay a decent salary, because the standard of living is high and the wages are low. The Middle Class has been shafted and always carries the burden. It's unjust for Americans who have worked their entire life, paid taxes, and now can't benefit from unemployment or food stamps. It's unfair, and un-American.

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Jacqueline Carrero
Hollywood, FL

Although President Obama helped the lower middle class with tax cuts, he compromised with funding cuts on health care for public schools. That hurt me as a St. Louis Public School Nurse. It hurts the poor children that rarely see Dr.s. I paid more out of pocket the last few years than ever for necessary equipment like printers and ink cartridges for health reports being sent home to the parents and for supplies. A sick child doesn't learn well. A dead child can't learn.

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Jane Humphreys
MNEA
St. Louis, MO

I want to hear that President Obama is going to support unions and the people's rights to organize. I want to hear that he understands how truly difficult a teacher's day is and that we need support to do our jobs properly, not criticism. I also want to hear that schools should be about learning, not testing, and that multiple measures of achievement must be used to measure progress, not one single test.

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kirsten ostrofsky
AFT
east northport, NY

I need it explained to me in very simple terms how it is ethically and morally right that those making hundreds of thousands to billions are paying the same taxes that I pay or less on my meager $43K a year (gross). How can Mitt Romney with his over $300K in speakers fees last year pays about 14.7% taxes? Why is everyone scared to eliminate the tax loopholes that only the top 1% are able to use? How is it ethically and morally right to always cut funding for education and pass legislation that contains unfunded mandates? I really need it clearly and simply explained to me so that maybe I can understand.

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Anna Marie Garrett
Hillsborough CTA
Tampa, FL

I am part of the upper middle class and I am tired of paying close to 35% in taxes from my hard earned "working" dollars, while very wealthy people receive money from their investments (not blood sweat and tears work)that they pay only 15% on!!! When will we have "fair" taxation in this country??? Just imagine what could happen to the deficit if the wealthy paid their "fair share." Nana of five, 68, and still teaching.

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Shirley Oltman
BLEA
Strongsville, OH

The elderly, disabled, poor, and middle class(99%) are NOT the people that caused this recession, but we are the first made to pay by having anything and everything taken away from us! It is past time for the rich(1%) to be brought to justice and made to pay restitution to the 99%, and start paying their fair share NO EXCEPTIONS! Subsidies should only be for startups and small companies to get them up and going, NOT for companies already making billions, that is NONSENSE! We should go after all these offshore investments too! Do any politicians have any common sense of fairness????

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Nancy Wrensch
Jefferson, WI

Here's what I'd like to hear Pres. Obama say: "My fellow Americans: The past year has caused me to do some soul searching. It's been difficult for me to reach certain conclusions, but... It's clear that capitalism has ceased to be a useful system. It has become a brake of the development of humanity's potential, and so therefore my Administration will be phasing it out. And, because with this realization comes many implications, I affirm that the US respects the right of self-determination of all the world's peoples, and therefore we are closing our military bases abroad, starting tomorrow. Our troops will come home to rebuild America."

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Brian Wiles
San Francisco, CA

I work more for less money. My husband works more for less. I have 3 kids, 5, 7, and 12 in public school and who play sports. I have mortgage and some debt. I pay my taxes, vote, maintain a caring home and obey the laws of my country. I have bailed out banks and large corporations who continue to get bonuses for those at the top. I took a pay cut and had my bargaining rights attacked. I pay for my family's health insurance. Yet, I cannot get a loan to make repairs to my home and I cannot afford to sell it and move. Something must improve for the workers of America. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This is not what America is about

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Andrea Bennett
Local 250
Temperance, MI

I am a teacher at Central Falls High School, Central Falls RI. You and your Education Secretary said it was okay to fire me despite the fact you never visited Central Falls or observed my classroom. Why should I vote for a person that makes snap decisions based on second hand information?

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Robert Scappini
Central Falls
Central Falls, RI

I think it is unfair that I worked and paid into Social Security for 14 years and because I teach school in Texas I will not be able to draw one penny of Social Security when I retire. The government just took my money! Also when my husband dies I will not be able to draw any social security from him. That is WRONG! This is definitely going to affect me in retirement. The economy is bad enough and then the government has taken away all chances for me of drawing the money in retirement I deserve. What can be done about that?

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Susan Baccus
Bonham, TX

Funding for education needs to be increased and that increase must have results that can be seen in classrooms across our country. I'm demanding that all budgets of all school districts that recieve federal tax dollars must show how tax money is being spent to improve the education of children.All school budgets must be put online so all taxpayers can clearly, completely and responsibly see how school districts are working to improve teaching and learning. More teachers must be hired if we are to have a longer school day or a longer school year. Students need to see that they are supported by us all and teachers need to see this too. We can.

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ken budz
chicago teachers union
chicago, IL

My main concerns are aid to schools, jobs, preventing foreclosures and the shrinking of the middle class. We need to regulate Wall Street, raise taxes on the rich who have made all of their obscene amounts of money on the backs of the middle class and the working class in order to force them to give back, since they only know how to take.

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Joanne Baker
Johnson City Central Schools
Johnson City, NY

How can the educational system mandate parents to be responsible and active members in their child's education. Improve grades, attendance, improve behaviors, etc. Teachers can not continue being the escape goats. Parents need to be involved, attentive to academic needs, aware of assistance, programs, etc. that are offered at the district level. If student's don't comply bill the parents. You'll see how fast they will get involved. This is what they do in Hong Kong. Or take away social services.

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Yvonne Perez
New York State Teacher
Port Jefferson Station, NY

While money for public schools has been drying up, the expansion of Charter schools has increased due in large part to the RTTT program. Across the country, public school employees have been getting laid off in record numbers. Additionally, the stress of daily teaching and the pressure on all public school staff is now greater than it was under the NCLB program from the Bush administration. Why should any public school teacher or employee cast a vote for you to be re-elected? In your response, stating that a vote for the opposition would make things worse, is not an adequate or fair rationalization!

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David Wisniewski
Philly
Pennsauken, NJ

This is not about jobs! To say jobs are the issue is to say breathing cures death. Joblessness is a symptom of corruption of the free market, bad fiscal policy, lack of effective govermental oversight, and lack of international standards. Government must do their job and regulate as all expects.

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Joe Battista
pef
poughquag, NY

Continue to speak out against the war on the middle class: Republicans are proposing a tax system identical to that used in France in 1789: no estate taxes, and no taxes on unearned income -- all the taxes to be placed on the working people. If American workers are paid like 3rd world workers, the only possible outcome is that 99% of our country will sink to a 3rd world standard of living. We should compete with Germany and Japan, not Mexico and Zimbabwe ...

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steven turiano
webster teachers association
Caledonia, NY

I am an educator and small business owner with five children in schools ranging from elementary to college during the most challenging economic times ever. My challenges currently are simply trying to qualify for student loans for my boys in college. Currently my second son who has been on the Dean's List with a Computer Engineering major at Northeastern University cannot get a loan. He helps pay his own tuition and his account is on financial hold for little over $7,000. Having exhausted our resources for his brothers, it breaks my heart to see his future hang in the balance pending a bank's decision.

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Susan Campbell
PSC
Brooklyn, NY

THERE NEED TO BE JOBS AND HOUSING FOR VETERANS ELIMINATE HOMELESS FOR THEM. TAKE A POSITION ON COUNTRIES THAT CONTINUE OF ABUSE BY THE MILITARY ON BABIES, CHILDREN AND ADULTS. pUT SANCTIONS ON THESE COUNTRIES. TAKE A MORE FORWARD ON AFRICA'S POVERTY

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Theresa Murphy
UFT
Yonkers, NY

I would like to hear the president say: "After four years of hard work on education issues Arne Duncan is leaving the administration to spend more time with his family. He will be replaced by Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond.

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Gary Ravani
CA Fed of Teachers
Petaluma, CA

Mr. President, as a teacher in a rural school in New York State, I believe that our budget shortfalls are more a result of misdirected funds than economic downturns. Withdrawing our troops from Iraq is a great start. Can you pledge to cut defense spending further by withdrawing our troops from Afghanistan, discontinuing spending on new aircraft carriers and the like, and using that money to bolster education in the United States? Respectfully, Sean L. Nevins

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Sean Nevins
Wilson Teachers' Association
Wilson, NY

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