The California Teachers Union is spending $100 Million this year to oppose initiatives that will allow its members to choose whether they want to contribute to the Union’s political causes. That is right – $100 Million, which they take from their members without their consent. David Horowitz has an excellent essay about this on his FrontPage Magazine site:
Perhaps you didn’t notice, but the biggest special interests thwarting and distorting the democratic election process are government unions. As you will see in the letter below in California alone, the teachers union alone is putting $100 million into an election campaign to defeat Arnold Schwarzenegger’s initiatives.
The teachers union is an exploiter of California school children and the biggest obstacle to needed reform in the California school system. Let me put that more clearly. The California teachers union is a racist organization that is destroying the life chances of millions of poor black and Hispanic children whom its members every year fail to teach the rudiments of reading, writing and arithmetic, denying them a shot at the American dream.
In Los Angeles County alone there are more than 300,000 poor black and Hispanic children in K-12 schools who are failing to pass whatever grade they are in. In other words they are being taught nothing. But they are being formally passed because the school system promotes them anyway — thus committing two evils at the same time: first we don’t teach you anything; then we lie to you and your parents and pretend we do. Efforts to hold teachers accountable for their failures (and reward teachers who are successful at raising their students’ test scores) have been relentlessly thwarted over many generations by the teacher unions who represent their members at the expense of the children.
And they do all their political damage — $100 million worth this year — without the consent of their members. There are a lot of good teachers out there. But the union supports a system where good teachers get paid the same as the bad teachers who should be fired, but who have lifetime jobs that no one can remove them from.
The teacher union taxes its members without their consent. It elects the school board that pays its salaries. It forces the school board to collect its dues right out of the teachers’ paychecks. It is a mini-totalitarian state that is run by rabid leftists whose last interest is the chlidren and whose first interest is themselves.
Schwarzenegger has roused the ire of the union radicals by proposing to force them to get approval from their members for the political taxes it lifts from their pockets ($300 a head). He has further angered them by asking that teachers not have lifetime jobs after a two-year trial period (where no one is watching them anyway). Arnold’s proposal is modest. Wait five years and then get tenure. But why should they get tenure at all?
Why do teachers have lifetime jobs? Lifetime jobs for teachers (and guaranteed salary raises no matter how badly they teach, no matter how lazy they are) is an outrage. Of course you’ll never read this in the LA Times or any metropolitan newspaper in America.) Because the teacher unions are the dominant force in the Democratic Party and thus part of the power structure in all major inner cities in America. They control the school boards that preside over the corrupt, failing school systems that are destroying the life chances of millions of poor black and Hispanic children every single day. They are the principal special interest electing the Democratic city councils in every major inner city in America today. Everything that is wrong with the inner cities of America that policy can affect, Democrats, leftists and organizations like the teacher unions are responsible for. They have their boot heels on the necks of the powerless, and the poor, and the most vulnerable minorities.
In California, Governor Schwarzenegger has given citizens of the state a chance to oppose these exploiters and oppressors of our minority youth in the November election. Don’t miss the opportunity to do a good deed.
The union is running misleading ads that distort the truth about Proposition 75. Proposition 75 is needed so that members of the teachers’ union can make their own choices about how their political action contributions, amounting to $300.00 per year are spent. Proposition 74 means teachers have to work for five years instead of two years before they have tenure. Not unreasonable. Who gets a guaranteed job after two years besides teachers? Both Proposition 74 and Proposition 75 must be passed this November in the California Special Election.
Here is a letter that went out to 90,000 members of the Teachers union by two teachers, Lillian Perry of Fontana and Larry Sand of Los Angeles:
From the Desk of: Lillian Perry, Fontana Teacher
From the Desk of: Larry Sand, Los Angeles Teacher
October 12, 2005
Dear California Teacher:
We are also California teachers and are writing to you because we’re concerned about what the leaders of our union, the California Teachers Association (CTA), are doing to our union and with our hard earned dollars that we send to them in Sacramento every month.
Here’s the bottom line: Our current leadership is on the verge of bankrupting the CTA to fund a political agenda that many of us do not support.
Every year, union leaders in Sacramento take more than $100 million dollars from California teachers’ paychecks. This is approximately $300 per teacher per year . Much of this is used to fund a political agenda over which individual teachers have little control. Even worse, this is taken from our paychecks without our permission.
Earlier this year, the CTA leadership decided it still didn’t have enough money to spend on politics, so the union leadership decided to take an additional $60 each year from our paychecks for the next three years . This forced assessment gave the union leaders an additional $50 million or more of our money for their political agenda.
According to court documents filed last week, the CTA has at least $34 million in outstanding loans. Now, these same union leaders are trying to borrow ANOTHER $40 million through a line of credit.
When will enough be enough? Where has the money gone?
To dozens of consultants and political firms (getting paid millions of dollars), pollsters, television and radio advertising, direct mail firms and the list goes on and on.
Much of this “Sacramento slush fund” has been used to oppose Prop. 75 – a very simple measure that says the CTA must ask our permission before political campaign funds are taken from our paychecks.
Why would CTA be so opposed, and spend tens of millions of dollars, to having to ask our permission?
Could it be that union leadership is concerned that we might not agree with their political agenda – like spending millions to qualify a measure that would have raised property taxes and millions more for measures that have nothing to do with education ?
Proposition 75 will give teachers a choice, a voice and a say. It will bring accountability to the CTA. Please read the measure for your self. If you agree with us, please join us in voting “YES” on Proposition 75.
Prop. 75 is about union democracy, a voice for teachers and guaranteeing us the right to choose how our money is spent. Visit http://www.organizenotpolitics.org to learn more.
Thank you for your time and consideration.