I’ve always been a proponent of public education and better salaries for teachers. Today that stance has been dealt a severe blow.
I still think teachers deserve better pay, especially those whose classrooms more resemble daycare centers (k-3rd grade, roughly), and those teaching in areas where it’s literally dangerous for them to show up for work each day. However, it would appear from the linked article that teachers need first to get back some of their union dues, and a hefty settlement against the fraudulent organization that claims to represent them. I’m sure any working teacher in the country would happily accept a fair portion of the $65 million wasted on the likes of Jesse Jackson, et. al.
The problem here is that organizations such as the NEA have lost any interest they may have had in supporting their members, and have turned into a politically driven sideshow.
No wonder the liberals hate the Bush Whitehouse so much. As long as the President keeps appointing people like http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/chao-bio.html Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao to his cabinet, their little shell game becomes more and more exposed.
If we told you that an organization gave away more than $65 million last year to Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Amnesty International, AIDS Walk Washington and dozens of other such advocacy groups, you’d probably assume we were describing a liberal philanthropy. In fact, those expenditures have all turned up on the financial disclosure report of the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers union.
Under new federal rules pushed through by Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, large unions must now disclose in much more detail how they spend members’ dues money. Big Labor fought hard (if unsuccessfully) against the new accountability standards, and even a cursory glance at the NEA’s recent filings–the first under the new rules–helps explain why. They expose the union as a honey pot for left-wing political causes that have nothing to do with teachers, much less students.
When George Soros does this sort of thing, at least he’s spending his own money. The NEA is spending the mandatory dues paid by members who are told their money will be used to gain better wages, benefits and working conditions. According to the latest filing, member dues accounted for $295 million of the NEA’s $341 million in total receipts last year. But the union spent $25 million of that on “political activities and lobbying” and another $65.5 million on “contributions, gifts and grants” that seemed designed to further those hyper-liberal political goals.