Teachers Unions

Gutfeld on teachers’ unions going after charter schools

As America struggles with COVID-19, rising crime and riots, it’s nice that the teachers’ unions are helping out. I kid. In their demands for reopening schools, the United Teachers of Los Angeles — a union for public school teachers — has included, surprise: defunding police. And … a shutdown of publicly funded, privately operated charter schools. Now, these go beyond what normal unions demand. Worse, the teachers use this crisis to preserve power by destroying those who won’t conform. By trying to shut down charter schools, the teachers union is demanding the elimination of any competition, and depriving desperate poor families of an education that might change their children’s lives. This speaks to the real truth of a big American problem. It’s not systemic racism. It’s our systemically corrupt education system. It’s the teachers’ unions, led by leftists, whose only goal is to cancel competition that might reveal their incompetence. And so, at the start of life, poor students are placed in a system where no matter how many billions of tax dollars are shoveled into it, it just gets worse. The students don’t stand a chance, and the unions prefer it that way. Yet charter schools produce better-educated kids, with a far better head start in life. You’d think that would be embraced. But the price of union success is student failure. Once we see the results of charter schools, we realize the cause of all our inequalities isn’t racism, it’s the scandalous lack of choices left for poor Blacks, poor Whites, poor everyone victimized by urban liberals.] So these kids begin their lives in a hole — a hole that isn’t a grave, but might as well be one. At least for their futures.

No kidding!!  As usual, Greg nails it.  This was adapted from Greg Gutfeld’s monologue, known as a “Gregologue” on “The Five” on July 29, 2020.  To see the actual video and the following discussion with his co-hosts on The Five, click on the text above.  Thanks Greg!   🙂

LA teachers union advocates for illegals, then complains of overcrowded classrooms

About 30,000 Los Angeles teachers and school employees are holding education hostage to demand higher pay and “smaller class sizes” – a popular phrase that equates to more dues paying union employees. On picket lines across the district Monday, striking teachers toted protest signs in the rain as they swapped horror stories about classes with 40 or more students packed in “like sardines.” What they didn’t discuss: How the United Teachers Los Angeles union’s immigration policies contribute to overcrowded schools and its demands for more staff to handle the situation. “It’s absolutely not about the pay raise. It’s about class size reduction. In other words, hire more teachers,” teacher Andrea Cohen told CNN. “We want to have fully staffed schools. That means librarians, nurses, psychiatric social workers and their interns. We have 46, 45, 50 students in a class. That’s unacceptable.” UTLA doesn’t define its demand for “fully staffed schools.” Los Angeles Unified School District negotiators offered to add nearly 1,200 more educators, counselors, nurses and librarians, with hard limits on class sizes. The district also bumped up its previous offer by $24 million, with a proposed 6 percent raise and back pay for the 2017-18 school year. UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl described LAUSD’s latest offer as “woefully inadequate.” Some have used the same phrase to describe the government’s response to illegal immigration and its impact on public schools, in Los Angeles and elsewhere. The Education Trust-West estimates roughly 250,000 undocumented children between the ages of 3 and 17 are enrolled in California schools, with the highest concentration in Los Angeles County. The group estimates 750,000 K-12 students in California have undocumented parents. The parents come to California and Los Angeles schools because of sanctuary policies that shield them from federal immigration officials, as well as the vast resources provided by the district and teachers union. UTLA holds an “Immigrant Rights for Educators Workshop,” for example, to arm union employees with legal information, resources, and “a network of concerned community members and educators who stand up for immigrant students and families.” The union’s Social Justice & Action Resources also advise on how to “Shield Against Immigrant Detention and Deportation.” Union members hosted and participated in several rallies in recent years calling for “Freedom for Immigrants!” and declaring illegal immigrants are “Here to Stay.” Keeping illegal immigrants in LA schools is likely a key to keeping UTLA members employed, as district enrollment data shows the overall number of students in district schools has declined every year 2002-03, when it peaked at 746,831 students. And as student enrollment has steadily slid to about 600,000 students this year, an increasing percentage are also moving to independent charter schools, which are typically not unionized. Since 2002-03, the number of students attending charter schools increased from less than 50,000 to well over 100,000 for 2018-19, according to the superintendent’s final budget. Illegal immigrants equal demand for teachers, which pay dues to the UTLA. It’s why the union focuses more on immigration rallies and contract demands than keeping students in class. Ironically, many immigrants aren’t fond of the teachers strike. Grandmother Juventina Hernandez attended a UTLA presentation to immigrant families as the union prepared for the strike last fall, and she told LA School Report she wasn’t impressed with what she saw. “We wanted to know more about their demands, but all we heard is that they want us to commit in supporting them to go on strike,” Hernandez said. “But how are they committing to our community, to our kids? I wanted to know how they were prepared to support our kids if they go on strike for those two weeks, but we heard none of that.” A union official left a petition with the parents asking for their support, mother Margarita Gilley said, but very few signed on. The UTLA “knows very well our needs, and then they used them to lie to us,” she said. “Out of the entire presentation, I didn’t see anything that reflected our real needs, only their needs. I’m glad most of us didn’t sign their petition.” Azucena Gonzalez, a mother of two at John Marshall High School, also saw through the charade. The union’s focus is on “convincing us to give them our support, what they are asking for them, what is in their best interest,” she said. “That’s all we heard.”

Gee.. What a surprise..  Not.

PA Teachers Union Sues to Ensure Educators Cannot Be Armed for Self-Defense

Pennsylvania’s Tamaqua Area Education Association is suing to prevent teachers from being armed to defend themselves and their students. The Morning Call reports that the suit comes after Tamaqua Area School District became “the first district in the state to allow armed school staff as a way to defend schools against shooters.” Tamaqua Area Education Association president President Frank Wenzel issued statement in which he defended the union’s fight to keep teachers unarmed: “As teachers, counselors and other education professionals, we are trained to provide a high-quality education to our students, not to carry or use firearms in dangerous situations. This is a bad policy for a lot of reasons, but we are challenging it in court because we believe it is illegal.” But Tamaqua Area School District board member Nicholas Boyle disagrees with Wenzel. Boyle pushed the measure to allow teachers to be armed and The Inquirer quotes him saying, “There’s no law that says you can do it, and there’s no law that says you can’t do it, so I think we’re good.” A group of Tamaqua residents launched the “Tamaqua Citizens for Safe Schools” in response to the board’s decision to arm teachers. And on November 23 Tamaqua Citizens for Safe Schools urged people to sign a Sandy Hook Promise petition to prevent teachers from being armed nationwide: Teachers were not armed when Sandy Hook Elementary School was attacked December 14, 2012, and attacker spent over nine minutes harming defenseless people without any armed response.

Public School Teachers Behind Violent Antifa Group

Public school teachers are behind a leading far-left militant group that is part of the Antifa network that federal officials say is committing “domestic terrorist violence.” By Any Means Necessary, which has played a key role in riots in Berkeley, Sacramento and elsewhere, has dozens of public school teachers among its members, including among its most prominent leaders. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security began paying closer attention to Antifa groups in general after BAMN and other extremists started a riot and attacked marchers at a white nationalist rally in Sacramento last July, Politico reported on Friday. The Sacramento violence left at least 10 people hospitalized, several of whom had knife wounds. One of BAMN’s most prominent organizers is Yvette Felarca, a Berkeley middle school teacher and pro-violence militant. Felarca currently faces charges of inciting a riot for her role in the Sacramento violence. After BAMN and other antifa groups staged violent protests in Berkeley to keep right-wing author Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking, Felarca defended her group’s acts of violence. BAMN was able to cancel another event, this time an April speech by pro-Trump author Ann Coulter, by promising a repeat performance of the Milo riots. The FBI and DHS say Antifa groups like BAMN are engaging in “domestic terrorist violence,” according to the Politico report. Just last weekend, Felarca helped organize BAMN’s mass demonstrations that “shut down” an anti-Marxism rally in Berkeley. As with BAMN’s other organized actions, left-wing actors at Saturday’s demonstrations violently attacked peaceful protesters. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi condemned the Antifa violence in Berkeley, while Felarca called BAMN’s actions a “resounding success.” BAMN’s members appear to be mixing their far-left activism with their roles as teachers. BAMN organizer and high school teacher Nicole Conaway organized a “sickout” at her school in 2015, leading other teachers in calling in sick to protest the policies of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. The sickout forced six Detroit-area schools to cancel classes, affecting nearly 4,000 students. One month later, Conaway led students in a school walkout protesting poor building conditions. She was one of three BAMN organizers arrested in connection with the protest. Other BAMN members have led similar protests at the schools where they teach. In Berkeley, Felarca and other BAMN members repeatedly abused their positions of influence over students in service of their own radical goals, Berkeley’s public school district charged in court filings obtained by local news organization Berkeleyside. Despite repeated warnings, the district said Felarca continued to try to recruit students into her radical organization, including during work hours. The leftist teacher frequently tried to bring students on school-sponsored trips to BAMN-related activities, the district said, describing the trips as attempts to “indoctrinate” the students. The school district accused Felarca and other BAMN members of weaponizing students to derail disciplinary hearings for Felarca, after student protesters repeatedly swarmed into the disciplinary hearings. The school district claimed that Felarca and other BAMN members “were actively trying to brainwash and manipulate” students to serve her “own selfish interests,” calling her conduct “particularly reprehensible.” Felarca continues teaching today. Oakland Technical High School teacher and BAMN member Tania Kappner worked with Felarca this past January to organize students and teachers in a walkout in protesting Trump. Kappner was identified in the media as a BAMN member as early as 2011. BAMN is active within both the National Education Association — the nation’s largest teacher’s union — as well as with local and regional teacher’s unions in Michigan and California. Last year, 17 different BAMN members ran for elected positions on the Detroit Federation of Teachers, according to a newsletter sent out by the DFT. BAMN also ran five candidates for different national leadership positions with the NEA in 2017. When the Berkeley school district suspended Felarca for her violent activism in 2016 (for which she was charged with inciting a riot), the local teacher’s union sued the school on Felarca’s behalf. In January 2015, BAMN organizer Steve Conn was elected president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers. The DFT’s executive board charged Conn with misconduct later that year and removed him from office. Conn and his wife, former teacher Heather Miller, were fired back in 2007 after leading a student protest that resulted in students being pepper sprayed. The couple sued and got their jobs back, in addition to a $300,000 settlement. Conn continues teaching today at Western High School. BAMN was founded by the Revolutionary Workers League, an openly Marxist organization, in 1995. As TheDC first reported in April, internal documents from the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) tie BAMN to NAMBLA., reveal the RWL — BAMN’s parent organization — worked with NAMBLA in the years just before the communist group founded BAMN. One of BAMN’s founding members is on record identifying as a NAMBLA member, calling the pro-pedophilia group the victim of a “witch-hunt.”

Unions bankrolling DeVos opposition

Three of the groups challenging the reform agenda of President-elect Donald Trump and his education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos received more than $2.6 million from teachers unions and their allies, according to federal labor filings. DeVos, a pioneer in the school choice and charter school movements over the last two decades, has received vocal opposition from Democrats and some of the country’s most powerful unions. The National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, and AFL-CIO, which serves as an umbrella group for dozens of unions including the AFT, have all called on the Senate to reject the nomination. They have also pumped millions of dollars into think tanks and activist groups that have supplied Democrats with intellectual ammunition to oppose her. DeVos, the head of the American Federation for Children, has come under scrutiny from a number of liberal groups and media outlets, along with unions. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and Center for American Progress (CAP) have each released reports critical of charter schools since President-elect Donald Trump announced the nomination in November.

..which is all the more reason to support her!  When rabid Dems and union thugs are spending millions to derail such a nomination, that’s reason enough to rally behind Betsy!  We hope she is confirmed swiftly, and gets to work soon to reform this corrupt federal agency.  To read the rest of this article, click on the text above.

Detroit teacher sick-out closes nearly all of its public schools

Nearly all of Detroit’s public schools were closed Monday after the teachers union urged members to call out sick following a weekend announcement that the district wouldn’t be able to pay its teachers starting this summer. District spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski said in an email Monday morning that 94 of the district’s 97 schools would be closed for the day. About 46,000 students are enrolled in the district’s schools. The move by the Detroit Federation of Teachers was announced Sunday, a day after Detroit Public Schools’ transition manager said the district would have no money to continue paying teachers this summer without further funding from the state. “There’s a basic agreement in America: When you put in a day’s work, you’ll receive a day’s pay,” Detroit Federation of Teachers Interim President Ivy Bailey said in a statement. “DPS is breaking that deal. Teachers want to be in the classroom giving children a chance to learn and reach their potential. “Unfortunately, by refusing to guarantee that we will be paid for our work, DPS is effectively locking our members out of the classrooms.” In March, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law emergency funding that is keeping the district operating through the end of the school year as the state Legislature considers a $720 million restructuring plan that would pay off the district’s enormous debt. Former bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes, who was appointed this year to oversee the district, also said Saturday that DPS would be unable to fund summer school or special education programs after June 30. On Sunday night, he said in a statement that the union’s “choice for a drastic call to action was not necessary” and said that a sickout is “counterproductive and detrimental” to the efforts of those trying to help the school district. “I understand the frustration and anger that our teachers feel,” Rhodes said. “I am, however, confident that the Legislature will support the request that will guarantee that teachers will receive the pay that is owed to them.” Teacher strikes are illegal under Michigan law. Sick-outs earlier this year caused tens of thousands of students to miss class.

First we hear about Flint, Michigan’s water problem, and now Detroit’s public school issues.  Both cities are solidly under Democrat control (as are the teacher’s unions).  Both are a complete mess.  See the pattern?

Judge Strikes Down Coercive Dues in Wisconsin School District

A judge in Wisconsin voided a teachers union contract that would have forced educators in the Kenosha Unified School District to pay dues as a condition of employment. Judge David Bastianelli of the Kenosha County Circuit Court ruled that the school district contracts with the local chapters of three of the largest public sector unions in the country—NEA, AFSCME, and SEIU—violated Gov. Scott Walker’s sweeping labor reforms in 2011. The legislation, Act 10, restricted the use of coercive dues payments for most government workers. “The [collective bargaining agreements] entered into by the union defendants during November of 2013, were contrary to the provisions of Act 10 and are therefore null and void,” the March 19 ruling states. The lawsuit was filed by a current teacher in the school system, as well as a local taxpayer. The pair contended that the district agreement violated their freedom of association since it required non-member teachers to pay union dues.

This judge is exactly right!   It’s nice to see the NEA, one of the most destructive organizations in this country, get the smack-down in court.  Excellent!    🙂

Wealthy teachers union boss bashes charter ‘profit scheme’

Free preschool-to-college education is a right and charter schools are “a profit scheme,” according to the head of America’s second-largest teachers union. American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, who was paid $557,875 during the union’s 2014 fiscal year, routinely suggests education reformers are motivated only by money. Weingarten bemoaned the influence of pro-charter donors to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a Twitter update Wednesday. AFT is fighting the Democratic governor’s attempt to expand charter schools, which have far lower unionization rates than traditional public schools.

Imagine that..  What brazen hypocrisy!

Afghanistan vet does battle with Michigan teachers union

Michigan high school social studies teacher Adam Neuman was surprised when he saw the $80 deduction on his paycheck from the Brighton Public School District.

Good for this guy! He is standing firm against big labor, and the corrupt teacher’s unions in Michigan. Hope he prevails against them in court!!

Union enrollment plummets for Wisconsin teachers under tough law

Teachers in Wisconsin’s public schools have learned a major lesson from the state’s landmark 2011 law neutering public sector unions, with more than a third dropping out of their labor organization.

And that’s very promising news!! 🙂 This is something Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) can definitely hang his hat on next month. And, hopefully he’ll get re-elected!