“In Europe first and now in America, elected men have taken it upon themselves to indebt their people to create an atmosphere of dependency. And why? For their own selfish need to increase their own personal power.” – Pope Francis
Our political class is selfishness in the flesh. They prey on all of us in order that they may hold on to, and consolidate their power. From this selfish political class extend tendrils which have inserted themselves into every industry, and every facet of our existence. We are deeply infected by our sometimes invisible connections to the wasteland of the federal government. One of the most deeply diseased institutions in our country is the education system. A corrupt coalition of bureaucrats collides with the federal government to keep the public school system as it is, instead of pushing it to succeed. This bureaucratic coalition is called the teachers’ unions.
Last week, a state court ruled that Louisiana must provide demographic details to the federal government regarding its school voucher program. Eric Holder and the Obama administration had previously sued the state of Louisiana regarding the voucher program. The claim by the administration was that the program created segregated environments in schools. Despite evidence to the contrary from the state, the administration continued to press.
This ruling isn’t as bad as it could have been, so there’s solace in that. However, this entire case is representative of a much greater problem, and that should be cause for alarm. A basic school voucher program takes the tax money which would have been spent on a child’s public education, and gives it to the parents, who can then choose to send their child to a better school. This often benefits poor, and minority students who would otherwise be relegated to a bad school simply by virtue of geography.
That all sounds good, right? Well, the previously mentioned coalition thinks otherwise. The teachers’ unions hate school choice because it violates their core tenant: me first! The teachers’ unions are run by bureaucrats who are comfortable with the way things are, by which I mean they get fat pay checks, and do very little. According to Jason Hart of Breitbart, employees of the Michigan Education Association have an average salary at which few would balk:
“While the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers estimate average annual wages in Michigan at $43,280, average pay for MEA staff and officers is $96,373.”
The unions are fearful that money taken elsewhere will cost them their comfortable cash cushions. The unions mask this reality by pretending to care about the teachers. They prattle on and on about how teachers will be fired by the millions if parents take their money elsewhere. They paint a convincing end-of-the-world picture to scare the public into supporting the unions. There is something wrong with this picture, however. Education should be first, and foremost about the student. If you believed the union sloganeering, you’d think that teachers were the focus of education. What inevitably betters the student should come first. Fighting for teachers at the expense of children is a bad move.
Additionally, the core complaint about money isn’t really the unions’ to make. They scream about where money is being taken, but they forget where that money comes from in the first place. The money given to parents is the money which would have been used to pay for the public education of their children. But guess where that money comes from? The parents, who are taxpayers! The unions behave as if it’s their own money being stolen right from their hands.
The reason Democrats support the teachers’ unions is because the teachers’ unions are major donors to the Democratic Party. It’s a sick cycle. The unions donate to and vote for the Democrats, and the Democrats help the unions.
The Obama administration hates what Louisiana is doing with school choice, so they made up a reason to sue that sounded legitimate. It’s a deeply corrupt move on the part of a diseased administration, and Party.
Fight the public sector unions and their sick partnership with the Democrats. Education isn’t about bureaucrats, nor is it about teachers, it’s about students.