Saturday, May 17, 2008

Teaching Unions

I have written here before about public school teachers and unions and how the mixture of the two is leading inexorably to the decline of public education in this country. One need look only at the recent developments where the State and county unions are advocating the institution of slot machine gambling and the casino-style environment in which slots gambling thrives to see what truly matters to teachers unions.

The president of the Maryland State Teachers union explains this posture by asking "what has changed" since keeping "neutral" on this issue over the last 10 years? Indeed nothing has changed. Ater last contract was signed with the county union (TAAAC), with its salary increases, the Annapolis Kapital declared that we have seen the last of the annual squabbling over teachers salaries. This lasted barely a year, and I predicted that it is not the business of teachers unions to stop squabbling over money and power, especially money; that the union could never be satisfied until every employee of the school system was a due-paying union member with a guaranteed pension at 100 percent of their current salary, free medical insurance and a class size of two perfect children.

"Half of all future slots revenue- estimated in the hundreds of millions within several years - would be dedicated toward public education..." through a trust fund, according Clara Floyd MSTA President. This reveals her ignorance of the state constitution which makes no provision for "dedicated" revenue. All state revenue goes into the General Fund. She panders to the Ann Arundel County school system by asking us to "imagine" how all that money would go to clearing a backlog of school construction and maintenance and hiring a slew of new union members, er , teachers.

I would rather imagine how all that money would go to decreasing our taxes, you know, since all that slots revenue would surely be offset by lower taxes, yes? Uh, no. Not a word about that in all the "deliberations, discussions, debates" the union endured to reach this difficult decision. Instead "we will continue to fight for" increased corporate taxes and "state investments in productive industries," whatever that means. Taxes are "the only major source of revenue" that will allow the union to fight for more money for less work.

The Kapital has since been forced to print letters to the editor from teachers who are appalled at their union pro-slots stance. The Kapital even ran a humours guest column by Stanley R. Baker, a Gambrills resident, and self-declared anti-slots-when-Ehrlich-was-governor and now a retired union member, I mean teacher. His Slots-for-Tots! program would take the Union stand a step further by actually installing slot machines in the schools. But the program he imagines is needed because we, the evil, money-grubbing citizenry have a bad attitude about keeping taxes low "...and damn the consequence."

Now comes this from Washington State Teaching Hacks:

"Teachers' Unions seem to be having an increasingly tough time hiding the fact that they really don't care about what's best for teachers, or kids for that matter. Washington state's teachers unions have refused a $13 million grant that would have gone to help teachers of Advance Placement course. Why? Because teachers would have been rewarded if their kids test scores improved. Read the whole sorry story here."

HatTip - Dad

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