There’s a dirty little secret in public school governance: for a few thousand dollars, unions can run the table. How? Elect the school board. Then, at negotiation time, they’re sitting across the bargaining table from their friends.
Who is looking out for taxpayers? In far too many school districts, no one. The inmates are running the asylum.
When unions have the ability to elect their boss – the Michigan Education Association actually has a how-to manual on the subject – a conflict of interest presents itself.
What can be done about it? Some have proposed banning unions from giving campaign contributions to those that would oversee collective bargaining agreements. That’s a good move.
The union in Michigan has brazenly gone so far as to actually initiate recall campaigns to take out board members who don’t see things the “union way.” It’s right out of the Jimmy Hoffa handbook.
And if there’s a reform-minded, troublesome superintendent? Take over the board and fire him!
As the other episodes of “Kids Aren’t Cars” show, unions – and their politician surrogates – have been very successful at making the adult employees that major focus of public education. What’s in the best interests of the children is usually an afterthought.
Consider the recent protests in Wisconsin. Teacher unions have used children as their foot soldiers. Video reveals some kids don’t even know why they’re there – they’re just happy to be out of the (union-controlled, government-run) school.
If we’re serious about reforming public education in America, school leaders must be free to act in the best interests of children and taxpayers. And that means stopping the teacher unions from “hiring” their own bosses.