Even supposed allies are hitting teachers unions. Rep. George Miller (D-CA) called the policies “indefensible.” President Obama’s Secretary of Education and the New York Times editorial board both applauded the ruling. As one Democratic operative opined, “It will be very difficult for Democrats to make the case that they are on the side of civil rights and social justice if they are defending unconstitutional laws that objectively harm poor kids and children of color.”
Perhaps worst yet, even their own members are questioning teachers’ unions. The National Education Association has lost 230,000 members (7 percent of its total) in recent years. Increasing numbers of educators are realizing they do not need to be represented by a body that hurts eager students and holds back great teachers while stuffing the pockets of union bosses and campaign coffers with their hard-earned dollars.
It is a vicious cycle. Teachers feel as though the unions are no longer serving to benefit them nor the kids, so they are leaving. But in order to keep their clout, teachers’ unions are spreading their tentacles into the realms of various non-teaching professions – further alienating teachers. It appears the only ones who remain loyal to unions are union bosses and the politicians who depend on them.
The California ruling was the latest blow to teachers unions who are seeing their reputation crumble with each passing school year. From their treatment of public school teachers to their opposition of school choice, unions are being seen as a burdensome force holding back the improvement of American education – and teachers, families, and students alike have begun to digest this important lesson.
Winter Hall, a frustrated parent explained, “it always comes off like the unions serve themselves – like it’s not about the education of the children.” Beatriz Vergara, one of the students who brought the lawsuit, recalled one year with a particularly awful teacher a “lost opportunity.”
There is no war on teachers. There is a war to save our schools, save our children, and save our future – so that not a single child in America has to cope with “lost opportunity” in our education system.