Commentary: Teacher Union Power Is Still in Full Bloom

CTA Event

As a result of the Janus decision in 2018, no teacher or any public employee has to pay a penny to a union as a condition of employment. The good news is that since then, 20% of workers in non-right-to-work states have dropped out of their unions, according to a report from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. The not-so-good news is that 70% of teachers nationwide are still willingly paying union dues, a great deal of which goes to politics, specifically to progressive candidates and causes.

The California Teachers Association has the honor of being the biggest political-spending teachers’ union in the country. A recent report reveals that between 1999 and 2020, the 300,000+ member union spent an astonishing $222,940,629 on politics – about $6 million was spent on the federal level, while almost $217 million stayed in the state – with 98.2% of all spending going to Democrats. The top advocacy issues for CTA include regulating charter schools, immigration reform, social justice, and a slew of almost exclusively left-wing causes.

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Commentary: As Families Take to Charter Schools, Cities and Their Teacher Unions Throw Up Obstacles

A vote by the Los Angeles board of education vote last month to ban charter schools from sharing space at 300 district campuses is the latest big-city attack against alternatives to struggling traditional public schools.

With the strong support of United Teachers Los Angeles, school board members say the ban will protect black and Latino students from the disruption and harm that occurs when charters are placed in buildings used by other public schools. But charter advocates reject the board’s reasoning. Far from hurting disadvantaged students, charters in LA and other cities have established an outstanding track record in accelerating their academic performance compared with traditional schools, according to researchers.

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Conservative Group Asks IRS to Investigate the American Federation of Teachers

The conservative Landmark Legal Foundation (LLF) has asked the IRS to audit the second-largest teachers union in the United States for allegedly misreporting its political spending.

In a letter to the IRS, which the Washington Examiner obtained, the group alleges that the American Federation of Teachers inaccurately claimed that it did not “engage in direct or indirect political campaign activities on behalf of or in opposition to candidates for public office” on their Form 990s from 2016-2019.

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Connecticut Governor’s Lifting of School Mask Mandate Depends on Legislature Voting to Extend His Emergency Powers

Connecticut children cannot be certain they can finally be free of wearing masks in school since, although Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said he would end the state school mask mandate by February 28, that plan may depend on the legislature voting to extend his pandemic emergency powers, and then on individual school districts.

In his State of the State address Wednesday, Lamont told residents he will roll back some coronavirus restrictions, including the school mask mandate, adding, “You have earned this freedom.”

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Teachers Union, Health Care Group Back Mandatory Masks for Florida Schools

The Florida Education Association (FEA) and the Committee to Protect Health Care are both supporting the idea of making masks required in Florida’s public schools, and blasted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for his efforts in opposition to such a mandate.

On Wednesday, the largest teachers’ union in Florida said individual school districts should be able to make their own decisions.

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North Carolina Teachers Strike in Consecutive Years Hoping for Higher Wages

  North Carolina teachers took to the streets Wednesday for the second year in a row with hopes that a more politically balanced legislature will be more willing to meet their demands. Teachers, auxiliary staff and supporters marched in Raleigh with scheduled speakers including Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the Rev. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign. When an estimated 20,000 people marched for teachers last year, Republicans held a veto-proof majority in the state House and Senate. The results of November’s election changed that, and now Cooper’s vetoes can stand if Democrats remain united. The House budget released Tuesday includes some of the teachers’ demands: higher pay for veteran teachers and restoration of a salary bump for teachers with masters’ degrees. Teachers in neighboring South Carolina also rallied Wednesday and Oregon teachers plan to gather next week as walkouts that began in West Virginia last spring continue across the country, with many proving successful. In Raleigh, teachers were going to meeting spots Wednesday morning ahead of the march and rally. One group of teachers donning red shirts with the North Carolina state outline walked to the state legislative building Wednesday morning. Among them was a seventh-grade student,…

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Tennessee Star Poll: Will Republicans Continue to Take Toxic Teachers’ Union Political Contributions?

A new Tennessee Star Poll reveals that Republicans who accept contributions from the Tennessee Education Association (TEA) may face a backlash in a primary contest. The survey asked whether voters would be more or less likely to vote for a candidate who accepts funding from the TEA. An overwhelming number of 75.6% indicated that they would be LESS likely to vote for a candidate receiving funds from the teachers union; a mere 8.5% would be MORE likely; and 15.9% indicated that they didn’t know. The Triton Polling survey was conducted over four days (April 13-16) and polled 1003 likely Republican Party primary voters statewide. It has a margin of error of 3.1%. The poll results almost exactly mirror responses to the same question of 1000 likely GOP primary voters that was conducted by Triton December 12-18, 2017. In that poll GOP primary voters were asked: The Tennessee Education Association and National Education Association are unions that use Tennessee teachers’ dues to oppose the Second Amendment, support Planned Parenthood, and attempt to elect political candidates like Hillary Clinton. Would you be more likely or less likely to support a Republican candidate for the state house or senate who accepts money from…

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Officials Say Oakland Teachers’ Strike Costs District Nearly $1 Million A Day

by Neetu Chandak   The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) says the teachers’ strike costs the district nearly $1 million a day. This estimate is based on the number of absent students, with the savings of not paying teachers factored in, according to the San Francisco Chronicle Tuesday. The strike has had an impact on more than 36,000 students. Only 6 percent of students have reportedly showed up to classes, according to CBS SF BayArea. The total loss would be $5 million if estimates remain the same as teachers continue to strike for the fifth day Wednesday. “Our numbers show the impact that the student absences are having on the district in support of our teachers,” OUSD superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell said, the Chronicle reported. Teachers went to the picket lines Thursday to protest what they believe are unlivable salaries in a city where the median monthly rent price is a little more than $3,000 and the median housing value price is $735,000. OUSD entry-level teachers can earn around $47,000 a year, according to OUSD data. The Oakland Educators Association (OEA), the district’s teachers union, asked for a 12 percent raise over a period of three years. The district has…

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