Kyle Olson
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The Illinois Education Association chose an odd location for a party in Washington, D.C. in July: the National Museum of Crime and Punishment.

A new financial report filed with the federal Department of Labor reveals the union spent $11,008 on the event, EAGnews.org found.

The museum’s website lists its displays, including an interactive autopsy table. There’s nothing like strolling among pretend dead bodies with finger foods and chardonnay chanting “we’re doing it for the kids.”

Union delegates also had the treat of viewing serial killer Ted Bundy’s car.

That wasn’t the only odd news revealed by the government report.

While rank-and-file union members struggle to make ends meet working for many smaller school districts, IEA president Cinda Klickna saw a big boost in compensation over last year. She raked in $220,359 – a whopping 23 percent increase.

Total compensation for union staff and its board of directors increased slightly, to a combined $14.83 million.

The financial report also reveals that the union paid $6,000 to a third party organization – the Consortium for Educational Change – to write an application for a school improvement grant for the Cairo School District.

In May 2012, the IEA paid $40,000 to Metro IAF for an effort listed as “Rockford community organizing project.” IAF, or Industrial Areas Foundation, was founded by the late radical Saul Alinsky, whose no-holds-barred approach to gaining power is widely employed by teacher unions.

The IEA also paid $16,000 to an outfit that strangely lacks a website – the Center for Economic Organizing. The entry states that the group was paid to help the union with “strategic support” surrounding pension issues. Similarly, the union gave $10,000 to the Great Lakes Center, a “think tank” launched by Midwestern teachers unions to produce anti-school reform research and offer glowing reviews of union positions.

It’s not surprising that the Illinois Education Association spends so much on things that have nothing to do with the quality of education. That’s common for teacher unions across the nation. Still, it’s a crime that these large, wealthy organizations that suck so much money from our schools would pay so little attention to real education issues.

No wonder so many public schools are performing as badly as they are.
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Kyle Olson

Kyle is founder of Education Action Group and EAGnews.org, a news service dedicated to education reform and school spending research, reporting, analysis and commentary.

He is co-author of Glenn Beck’s “Conform: Exposing the Truth About Common Core and Public Education,” available at Amazon.com.

Kyle is a contributor to Townhall.com.

He has made appearances on the Fox News Channel, The Blaze, Fox Business Network, NPR and MSNBC. Kyle has given scores of interviews on talk radio programs coast to coast.

Kyle likes talking about his family, as well as his favorite music. Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, Neil Young and Johnny Cash are at the top of the list. He has attended 25 Bob Dylan shows.

Kyle can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.